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Fell Through The Cracks
by Meremu Kombo

As I walked into the gallery, I started to feel glad that I had come to the opening. I originally planned on waiting a week or so before quietly coming to see the show on a weekday mid-afternoon, or some other such inconsequential moment, but my curiosity and excitement got the better of me. The previous photographs from D had fascinated me, especially Dead Dog at Truck Stop Urinal, though it hadn’t been as popular as his breakthrough piece, Injured Cat at Bus Stop Urinal.

I hung up my coat and entered the main gallery space, the beads in my braided hair clicking together softly with each step I took. As I grabbed a glass of wine and headed toward the first piece in my path, I could feel the glances being thrown my way. Brief head turns, eye flickers, small amused or excited or intrigued smiles at the sole dark face in the crowd, like a smudge on white canvas. Sighing, I settled in.

Half an hour later I was engrossed in discussion with two fellow attendees. We discussed D’s use of backlight and positioning of the subjects within the frame. It seemed that they enjoyed his work for many of the same reasons I did, and I could feel my excitement fluttering at that prospect. I was eager to discuss more, I gushed, “It almost reads like music. Or I’m reminded of listening to certain songs as I look at these pictures.” Nodding her head She said, “Oh, sure, music, definitely,” and our conversation turned in that direction. A few minutes later He asked, “So, what kind of hip-hop do you like?”

And I thought, Ah, so. There it is. Set myself up for that one, didn’t I?


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Meremu Kombo is Nigerian-born, small town raised, east coast-educated, and west coast-transplanted. She can be reached at