We first make our habits, then our habits make us.
- John Dryden
Like any good husband, I carry a picture of my spouse in my wallet. Vincent is (fortunately for me) unfairly photogenic, but even so it isn’t one of those toothpaste-smiling pictures you see everywhere on Facebook these days. I don’t whip out my camera every chance I get and I rarely use the camera function on my phone. Neither of us is from the snapshot generation, Vincent or I – back in our day, cameras were generally heavy (and therefore relatively stationary) objects. Not to mention the time it took, developing the photos afterwards… Point is, the photo in my pocket isn’t one of my own creation. I document my life in words, not in pictures, because really. Not all pictures say more than a thousand words and those that do are definitely not snapped by an amateur like me. It’s the talent that escaped me, photography. Yes, it passed me right by.
The picture is a couple of years old by now. Not that Vincent has truly changed in the meantime, that bastard – aging with all the grace that he otherwise doesn’t possess the slightest hint of. It was taken by a professional photographer when Vincent founded his own consultancy and needed a picture for his profile. It’s a picture with a purpose, let’s put it that way. My man here knows about signal value and he made sure to dress for the occasion. Black suit, white shirt and a tie in an entirely apolitical shade of grey. What’s more, it’s a black and white photo. No frills, only a blank background and Vincent showcasing a stance that isn’t too rigid and not too relaxed. Image is everything, after all.
So. That’s the picture I carry with me at all times. The picture they’ll find on my body, if I should one day crash my car into a tree. I’ve wondered what it says about me or perhaps the question is rather what it says about us as a couple. On one hand, I suspect it bears witness to a certain level of devotion. Respect. Mutual understanding. Picture perfect, so to speak and to stay on topic.
On the other, I am actually not convinced that Vincent has a picture of me in his wallet…