Riga, June 2008 – A beautiful morning in Riga. A morning in which everything seems to fall into place. Instead of being brutally awakened by the high pitched noise of my mobile phone I wake up just 5 minutes before the set time, fully rested and at ease. Outside there is not a cloud in the sky so we might even do some flying today. But that will happen later. Right now I am looking at the beautiful face of a sleeping girl, about a meter in front of me. She is about 25 years old. And she is pretty. Her head is resting on her arm, she is fast asleep. Around her right wrist she wears a bracelet made of colourful satin. The pinkish colour fits well with her blonde hair, which looks a bit scruffy at the moment. A thin strand of her hair is hanging diagonally over her face and moves to the rhythm of her breath. There is something magical to this, a girl sleeping. Unknowing about the world around her, free from everything that would occupy her mind during the day, worry her, surprise her, pleasure her , sadden her.
In our life we mostly see people who are fully awake. People who shape their faces, knowingly or unknowingly, in every possible expression as they please, or as the code of conduct between people demands. During sleep, that forced expression is not there. When we sleep, all muscles relax, and our face returns to its natural expression. The pure expression we all have. Should you wish to photograph someone as he or she really is, you should really wait until he or she has fallen asleep. It would make portrait photography a dull business.
For a moment I contemplate searching for my camera, and taking her picture. But I might wake her up and spoil this magical moment. Besides, I don’t think she would appreciate being photographed in this way. I decide not to, and instead I spend one more moment looking into her beautiful face. Her upper lip is curled up a bit in what seems to be a faint smile. The small opening between her lips shows a little of her white teeth. There is something decidedly cute about her. It must be a beautiful dream, playing its magic behind her closed eyes at this very moment. Just now I notice she has some very light freckles under her eyes. Every guy with any heart at all would fall in love with this beautiful creature at this very moment. And so I do. This angel-like girl, whose name I don’t know because I didn’t dare to ask. How terrible to have to wake her up now.
But we have more things to do today. So I gently tap on the windshield and watch how she startles much more violent than I would have wanted her to. I’m so so sorry !! Oh how I regret having to be so rude. As we get in the car we are surrounded by the smell of sleeping girl. She puts her seat upright and straightens out her hair. I smile, apologetic, mumble “No problem” and tell her we have to go to the airport. Still half asleep she starts the car and we drive off. Steering the car through the slow traffic of Riga she wakes up to the new world called reality. We arrive at the airport safely and she manages to get a small tip from Devin. We see her drive away from us, leaving me with her scent still in my nostrils and a new taxi story in the secret storage place in my head. About an hour later, climbing out to flightlevel two two zero I try to recall her angel like face to my minds eye. I fail miserably. And I no longer feel in love. Dammit ! I should have taken her picture after all !!