Lacre

July 17, 2009

posted & written by Caroline Picard

Alexander_Graham_Bell_Family_Papers-Daisy_trying_to_resuscitate_drowned_lamb
The body in the lake a bloated pillow; it floated.
Francis touched the body with his foot.

The story goes the body (when it was still Barry) went out in a canoe with a brand new not-digital camera. Barry got the camera for Christmas and he went out on the lake to take pictures during the summer; he, like the rest of the boys there, fancied himself an artist. He happened to capsize alone out there on the lake he stood up (before he capsized) he stood up and took pictures with his camera only then he lost his balance sort of and the boat rocked a little (before he capsized) and it waggled back and forth in the water the more he tried to right it, the more he overcompensated his weight until finally he flipped the boat entire (before he died). Only.
(Before he died) somehow he managed to keep his hand with the camera above the water (maybe he jumped up when the boat capsized? maybe he jumped up just a little bit—anyway—whatever) he capsized and fell into the water, only he managed to keep his hand above the water only he managed to keep the camera from getting wet and then he came back up for air, his hand still dry, the camera in his hand was dry, and then he breathed easy and flopped on top of the bottom of the boat and paddled to shore. Only.

(Before he died) he thought the whole thing over he thought the whole thing was so cool he wished he had a picture of him falling into the water and a picture of a hand sticking out of the water, a zombie hand, with a dry camera, a disembodied camera like the eye of the camera he thought. So

(Before) Barry made a camera out of wood it was real nice, sanded but not finished, its edges crisp and hard it looked like a sculpture of a camera not a perfectly-realistically shaped camera but a cartoon camera it could have been made of cardboard but it was made [sic] plywood instead. No one knew why.

(Before) Barry asked Francis “Francis, will you come with me? Will you come with me in a separate canoe and follow me and take pictures of me falling into the water?” And Francis said sure and they went the same afternoon the wooden camera finished and Barry was sat in his canoe three feet away with the wooden camera and Francis was sat in his canoe with the real camera. And Francis was ready to take pictures, “REady?” Barry asked. “Ready,” said Francis. And Barry stood up (before he capsized) and he pretended to take pictures and Francis took real pictures and then Barry started shifting his weight on the boat back and forth (like he done before he was a good swimmer Barry) and the boat started waggling back and forth in the water and Francis took lots of pictures and then the boat started to capsize and Barry tried to do the same thing again—whatever it was—to keep his hand with the wooden camera above water and Francis took pictures the whole time and Barry was in the air and Barry’s feet were in the water and Barry’s knees were in the water and Barry’s thighs in the water his torso in the water (he was smiling sort of you can see in pictures) and Barry’s chest was in the water and his shoulders and his elbows and neck were in the water and his chin in the water his mouth (smile smile) his nose his eyes eyebrows forehead head head hair wrists hands and even the camera all in the water Barry was all gone Francis kept taking pictures as the water smoothed out glossy Francis thought about how you could pour a little bit of grease on the surface of the water and it would all smooth out just like it was just like a mirror as the oil stretched out Only.
Barry didn’t come back up again.
Nope.

Francis waited a little longer (he stopped taking pictures) not even the boat was moving anymore Francis didn’t understand he didn’t understand he just didn’t. Finally.
Francis jumped in after and swam down to see if he could find Barry making a joke. Giggling under the roof of the capsized canoe. MAybe.

Nope. Francis swam back to his canoe. Careful to keep the camera dry. Francis sat in his little canoe for over four hours before they found him he didn’t want to leave the spot that Barry had drowned in he didn’t think he’d ever be able to find it again.

Eventually Barry floated back a bloated pillow. And.

That’s when they found him. And.

Cops came like it was a summer camp serial killer.

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