Los Angeles Photographer
She led the way up the ladder. The roof isn't exactly easy to get to, or even safe, for that matter. In order to get up there you have to climb up a poorly welded ladder. Most people take one look at the rust, and ask, "Are you sure it's safe." But not mom. "Don't worry, Honey, I'm a monkey!"
We sat there, on the roof, and she told about when she was younger she used to climb up into water towers, late at night. She and her friends would dangle their feet off the top, high above the ground. This is the side of her that I love imagining: adventurous and daring. I never really got to see that side of her because she always had to be responsible and set a good example for my sisters and me. But I love thinking about what she was like before she had children. We always joke that we would have been best friends back then, but in retrospect, we pretty much are now. I guess I just wish that I could have been alive during the funnest part of her life.
Before we went back down, she took a moment to look out at the city; her hair and dress lightly blowing around in the wind. It was a beautiful day.
She looked over at me in that way. We were having dinner with some family friends. The hot summer day was finally a temperature we could tolerate. The sun twinkling through delicate leaves just beyond the window. She's eating less now, I've noticed. She always watched what she ate. As children, when she made a mistake, as a punishment we'd tease her that she couldn't have salad for a week, as if salad was her honey pot. but this is different. I know it's a symptom, but every symptom is so quietly apparent, a slithering gas leak slowly moving nearer. One more bite.
Garments created by Dongni Xu for the Arts of Fashion Foundation.