Forgotten Moment

This is the story of a single moment in time. The moment was accidentally captured on a still photograph and forgotten. Actually, the film was never developed, and the original photographer died a horrid death, accidentally choking on a peanut purposefully embedded in his peanut butter sandwich. He was alone and no one was there to save him.

A neighbor reported an unrelenting stench in the hallway, and the apartment manager found the man keeled over at his kitchen table. All the windows were shut, and so the smell only seeped into the hallway, but the neighbor realized that it just kept getting worse every day and finally reported it after emptying the contents of her stomach on the hallway steps on an unfortunate Tuesday afternoon.

The apartment was cleaned and the contents passed on to the man’s next of kin, who stored the box with the undeveloped film in the attic. There it sat after several generations and left behind for a new tenant of the family home.

An adorable family, mother and father, small child and dog all emptied sweat, tears, love, tantrums and DNA in every crevice of the home. The dog promptly emptied his bladder on the foyer floor and left scratches on the back door. The small child, a girl, hid a half eaten peanut butter sandwich behind a staircase that would not be discovered until she had left the home for college.

It was only after the mother had died an untimely death, unfortunate and unforeseen, that the film would be discovered. She passed into the otherworld after accidentally trying to jump start her car after grocery shopping. She had absent-mindedly connected the wrong leads to the wrong ends and ‘boom’ the whole engine blew. The investigators ruled it as a freak accident. It even made the local papers. The daughter interrupted her education and returned home to assist her father, who said in a state of distress and audible tears, “I just can’t stay here anymore!”.

After packing up all of the belongings and donating her mother’s clothes to a local charity, daughter and father started to leave, when the daughter suddenly wondered out loud, “Hey, did you check the attic?” Looking at her father, she could see that he had not. She said, “Let me take a quick look. Let’s not leave anything behind.”

There the daughter found a single box, marked ‘Dad’s stuff from U street.’ After testing it to see that it wasn’t too heavy, she brought it to the trunk. She then drove her father to an apartment she rented in Maryland near her school. D.C. was too expensive, and she could keep an eye on him. She had never seen him like this and was worried.

-“Where did this film come from?”
-“The attic in my family’s home, why?
-“Do you know what is on it?”
-Well, actually I was curious, so I dropped it off here.”

The developer dropped his eyes, and then proceeded to look at her with a serious and straight face. “You must see this! Please follow me.” She went with him into the dark room. There she saw several photographs hanging up. Her mouth dropped… “Isn’t that … ?

-“…that is one of our presidents?”
-“Yes, it is! William Howard Taft to be exact.”
-“Yes, and I know… crazy right… President William Howard Taft stuck in the bathtub!”