I dropped my sandwich

This morning I dropped my sandwich, this was not the only thing that happened on my drive in to work with morning, indeed the dawn sky was stunning and with my re-found hunger for photography I stopped at Membury services to take a photo, this action itself is something quite notable as many times over the last 5 or 6 years of M4 endurance I’ve considered such an action but this morning was the first time that it actually took place. As I stood there for the short time and took those 3 or 4 snaps I smiled to myself and remembered the early days of my photography where getting on the wrong train or missing my bus stop lead to exciting new opportunities to take photos of other places. Yesterday also had it’s part to play in all this as yesterday I finally got round to saying ‘hello’ on the talkphotography forum that I joined over 3 years ago, actually 2 weeks ago deserves a mention as I bought a new camera and although justified the purchase to myself on the basis that this one will actually refuel my photographic fire, I was starting to doubt it as until that moment I had not took real shot with it. As notable as these other things may be, I was yet to drop my sandwich
I got back in the car and rejoined the M4, tried listening to the radio but this only served to exacerbate the boredom of an eastbound morning drive, putting on a ‘mixtape’ CD that I created recently was far more enjoyable and as the thoughts of music mixed with photography I found my pondering and looking forward to this year’s festivals, indeed I remembered seeing the line-up for Bearded Theory (which usually takes place a week before our regular Wychwood festival) and found myself considering applying for a photo pass
By now I was on the patch of motorway where I try not to hard to think about where I am, I like to not pay too much attention as I pass junction 13 and thus as I’m approaching junction 12 the landscape is similar enough for me to feel a little unsure and ask myself the question ‘am I approaching 13 or 12?’ then be very happy that it is indeed 12. Driving through the slowing Reading junctions is also the place where I have a bite to eat, this time last year I had lost 20kg and was looking forward to a less fat and more fit future, then got diagnosed with type II diabetes and diets and table made way for bad habits, one of which being an ongoing justification for having something to eat on my drive in so that I can take my tablets
Another thing that happened last night is that I bought myself some tea, it’s fair to say that I’m no great fan of tea but have managed to get on with the fruity stuff and lemon green tea in the past and as the coffee in the office is nothing short of foul and makes me feel awful I had decided that it was time for tea to have another innings
As I passed Reading services and slowed in the traffic at junction 11 I reached for my sandwich, a supermarket bought Prawn Mayonnaise, with my usual skill I neatly opened the packaging with my left hand and took out the first sandwich, first eating the lesser filled pointy ends of the triangle, then the right angle crusts, then one of side of the remain crust before turning over and taking out the other remaining crust and finally enjoying the soft crust-less well filled centre section. After this I took my tables, rinsed down with a little sugar free energy drink (i.e. carbonated, fruit flavoured caffine delivery system). Then came the second sandwich, same process as before but on the remain crust turn it left my fingers, paid me a little respect by not depositing any mayonnaise on my shirt, and landed in the footwell
I did swear, quite loudly. A swift scouting glance revealed it’s location as being about 6 inches behind my right foot, immediately my mind entered solution finding mode, clearly using my foot to manoeuvre the sandwich into a reachable position would not be feasible for such a delicate item, indeed the whole eating off the floor 3 second rule (before the germs get it) was already in question and so any form of sandwich movement had to be ruled out. Next option was a simple reach, I’m far too large and not at all nimble enough to get near it whilst in this position, so thoughts turned to opening the door putting my right leg out and then making the reach, even tried reaching into the passenger footwell as a ‘test’ to roughly gauge if such a stretch would be possible, it would be close and almost certainly result me over stretching and some discomfort, yes I know I was in the fast lane of the M4 but this was the morning commute and average speed was a crawl, coming to a stop being common. I waited for a good time to carry out my action but with every stop it was clear that just a few cars ahead were already moving again and even I couldn’t justify the shame of holding up traffic for such a pitiful prize
Yes, I had hit the point of grim realisation that here was I, a fat guy about to hurt himself for the remains of a dropped sandwich, I’ve heard it said when people have turned their lives around that it’s something simple such as catching themselves in the mirror to bring home the realisation and drive to make a change, I’ve never experienced that, indeed I’ve often looked in the mirror and with a sigh of sadness fully accepted what’s standing before me, even health issues, scares, inspiring success of others has done little to change the course of events and my habits over the years. I don’t think that I really believe in the ‘I caught myself in the mirror and was shocked into action’ scenario, I think it’s more complex, more needs to happen, things need to be in alignment in order for that point of realisation to be able to really pass through every barrier, gain momentum and really hit home in a way that can make the change
That sandwich would have been most satisfying and enjoyable but only a few moments before I was fantasising about shooting a festival where some of my favourite bands were playing, yes in my head the consideration felt real but in honesty I knew it wouldn’t happen, and the reason for this is the fact that it would be too much trouble, even if I went by myself and left Lisa at home (which I would hate to do) on a basis that’s out of my hands i.e. only able to get one photo pass. It would be too much trouble due to the drive, the fact that I don’t know the layout of the festival, etc etc. Reality is that if I was smaller and fitter the layout would be irrelevant and I could camp on the Friday night and return late on Saturday but as things currently stand camping is not an option, no I’m not considering a Travelodge or similar
If I were to define ‘most satisfying and enjoyable’ I would be describing some of my finer moments in photography and in the photo pit, I would talk about the passion, the timing, the feeling of that perfect moment when you get ‘the shot’, that point where you loose your breath and your heart misses a beat, the tingle up the spine, capturing the moment perfectly, seeing into a subject’s soul and feeling exposed. It most certainly would not be a prawn fucking sandwich, yet in a zombie-like plod through life, clear evidence shows that I’ve mostly chosen the latter
I think it’s time for me to wake up, don’t expect to hear my ‘success’ story in a year or two and certainly don’t wait for me to finish any marathons or similar but you can expect to find me a bit slimmer, a bit fitter and a whole lot more capable in the future, life is too short to lose sight of priorities and I’m rather fortunate in dropping a sandwich this morning to realise mine
I’m Darren, a photographer that lost a sandwich and regained a focus