Alone and Dejected in a Strange Place

I sensed a profound sadness in him. He was totally alone, seemingly waiting there for someone or something. I’ll never forget it.

His name was Marzouq. He was nice and solemn. As we talked I certainly felt an emptiness there with him. I’m not sure what it was, but it was like there was something wholly unrealized in his life. While we talked, he looked at me strangely at times, a look of not knowing what to think of me and accepting me at the same time. It was comforting, and he was nice to talk to. He created the distinct impression that he was thinking about my questions before answering.

We were there, totally alone, in an unexpected rear corner of a Moghul monument. I always like to go around the backside and try to see the things that are not obvious.

After sitting to rest and talking a bit, he motioned behind him with a quick glance and raised eyebrows, and said cheerfully, “Want to see the bats?”

I said, “Are you kidding? Let’s go.”

Marzouq ducked down about ten feet from a smallish door with hard black shadows shooting inside. He began a near crab walk even while approaching the tiny door. I ducked my head too, which felt strange in the open air. Maybe he was afraid of bats streaming out, which I suddenly realized, causing me to duck down a little more than him.

He made little grunting sounds and kept waving his hand to the side for me to follow. After entering the door, a short walk, and a few turns, we ended up in what felt like a chamber. It could have been darker in there, but I don’t know how. He grunted in a way like “watch this” and he flipped on a flashlight, shining it up into the half-domed room. There were hundreds of bats hanging there, totally silent. It was eerie as heck. I set up my camera but it was way too dark even with a slow shutter speed… and I didn’t feel like light-painting with the flashlight because I thought it might look stupid and not really capture the mood anyway. We sat in there for a while handing the flashlight back and forth and making little grunt sounds. It was very strange, but entirely delightful.

Alone and Dejected in a Strange Place (by Stuck in Customs)

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  • http://flickr.com/photos/matthewsphotography/sets/72157612151013629/ Matthew

    What an awesome experience that must have been. Its small things like that we should appreciate most.

    Great character in his face as well.

  • http://www.mdsimages.blogspot.com Michael S.

    Brilliant stories as always Trey!

  • http://www.takkiwrites.com Birgit

    What a stunning portrait ! Congrat. Awesome work! I love seing more of your portraits! You must be a special person – cause you connect so easily to people and they open up to you – that is a special gift! Hope one day we can meet, too.

  • Gail in Montana

    What an experience, Trey. You will never forget that nice fellow that took you on such an adventure. Bats are such beneficial animals and are given a bad name. They are insect eating little guys and do us a great favor in the summer when there are misquitoes!! So glad you met this man and the picture of him is stunning. You sure do have fun where ever you go!!!! Great job once again!!

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com tratcliff

    Thanks y’all – glad you like the shot as much as I do! :)

  • Fenraven

    I lost my job today. I’m 57, and will probably not find another one. I have no pension, no savings, no 401K. This probably isn’t the best place to post this, but what the hell. I just had to say it to someone, somewhere…

  • http://www.tlyoung.blogspot.com Teri

    I am BEYOND jealous of all your journies. Love the detail and emotion in his face.

  • Susan

    Fenraven – hang in there – somehow good things happen when we are down – I promise tomorrow will be better – me either to all those things you listed but tomorrow is another day of hope for us! Don’t give up! I am wishing the best for you always – have seen your posts on here and appreciate them.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com tratcliff

    Thanks all!

    Fenraven – sorry to hear that… you’ll always be welcome around here! :) And don’t worry to much… things tend to work themselves out most of the time.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/titter85/ titter

    Perfect textures…on face and on shirt. His expression is kind of strange…I see sadness and smile at the same time! Excellent Trey!

    Fenraven: Don’t be so sad! I think there is a lot of things to do around that you will get job in a blink of an eye :) Cheer up and don’t be afraid of new things to come! :)

  • Fenraven

    Thanks for the encouraging words. They are a balm to my bruised soul. How wonderful to get such support from people I’ve never met. It tells me there is still much good in the world.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com tratcliff

    Fen – I bet even more people would have commented if you had posted right away at the top of a post… I think by the time you posted, most readers had come and gone… People that come here to comment seem to be some of the nicest people in the world! :)

  • CAROL

    THIS IS SO TOUCHING AND I AGREE THE WEATHERED FEATURES AND THE UNTOLD STORY IN HIS EYES ARE AMAZING.

  • CAROL

    FENRAVEN:

    SHOULD YOU RETURN TO THIS SITE AND I HOPE YOU DO!

    PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS TOO SHALL PASS, IT IS A TEST AND WE ALL EXPERIENCE THEM. STAND YOUR GROUND, CALL UPON YOUR GOD AND BELIEVE. GOOD THINGS WILL HAPPEN BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.

  • Jonathan

    Great portrait! Would I be right in saying this is an HDR image made from 1 RAW file? Thanks in advance.

    Fenraven…things can change instantly. Remember, dont dwell on the bad, everyday do something that will make you feel positive and change will come. I promise.

  • http://www.stuckincustoms.com Stuck In Customs

    Thanks – actually this one was not HDR – just LucisArt

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