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hs45150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 45

“Yoshi doesn’t believe in commercial TV, so she wired everything up in here so all we can get is the closed-circuit stuff we make ourselves. If you’re into it you can have your own channel,” Devin said.
The screen went black and white, the tinkling of a melancholy piano kicked in. A child walked hand-in-hand with his mother through an aisle of cages stacked high to the ceiling. The camera moved closer as the little boy stopped and pointed first at one cage, then another. Inside the cages were tattered stuffed animals long neglected, their googly eyes dented or crushed. Imagined statistics flashed in bold letters: “Each year in Canada, more than 256,000 stuffed toys are abandoned or abused.” And finally, “Before you buy, consider the adoption option.”

It took Devin a moment to realize Rebecca was crying. “Hey, Rebecca. Are you okay? What’s up?”
“It’s just…I don’t know.”

Devin placed one hand on her shoulder. With the other he zapped the television off. “Don’t worry about it. Jimbeau’s stuff can be pretty fucked up. That’s his whole thing – playing with feelings, making you think you care about something that doesn’t even have any. Dd you meet him – Jimbeau?”
Rebecca shook her head. “I don’t think so. Maybe.”

Devin laughed. “You’d remember if you did, trust me. He thinks he’s famous now or something because one of his fake commercials is going to be at the film festival in Toronto this fall. He won’t shut up about it.”
Rebecca snuffled and wiped her nose. Devin squeezed her shoulder and leaned closer to her, his voice low and conspiratorial. “Can I tell you something?”
“Sure. Yeah, I guess.”

“I completely freaked when I first saw Jimbeau’s stuff. He did this one piece, like a fake insurance commercial, all about families and getting older and kids and grandkids, but with fruit instead of people, right? It totally messed with my head. Everybody cries when they first see his stuff. Man, especially that one, with all the family shit.”

“Yeah?” Rebecca stopped snuffling and looked at Devin. He had thick black hair and creamy brown skin, dark eyes and a wide mouth. His cheekbones cut high into his face and his eyelashes were unusually long and curly.

“Yeah, it’s the family shit that always gets me. I’m doing this installation thing down at the park. It’s like an inverted totem pole – The Totem Hole. The whole thing is lined with fragments of carved wood. They’re like these little scenes from my life when I was growing up, sometimes with my mom on the reservation, sometimes in the city with my dad, not fitting there or here, being like half this and half that, but nothing whole.”

“‘Half this and half that, but nothing whole,’” Rebecca repeated quietly.

“That’s the best line in my artist’s statement.” Devin said proudly. “Did I tell you I got a really big grant?”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke