“The Captured Woman” by Donald Barthelme
The captured woman asks if I will take her picture.
I shoot four rolls of 35 mm. and then go off very happily to the darkroom. . .
I bring back the contacts and we go over them together. She circles half a dozen with a grease pencil — pictures of herself staring. She does not circle pictures of herself smiling, although there are several very good ones. When I bring her back prints (still wet) she says they are not big enough.
“Not big enough?”
“Can you make enlargements?”
“How big can you make them?”
“The largest paper I have is twenty-four by thirty-six.”
The very large prints are hung around her room with pushpins.
“I want them in the other rooms too.”
“The staring ones?”
“Whichever ones you wish.”
I make more prints using the smiling negatives. (I also shoot another half dozen rolls.)
Soon the house is full of her portraits, she is everywhere.