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  • Writer's picturePeter Vos

November 22, 1963

by Peter Vos

A single frame caught on a bright rural had captured a moment that would change history and raze through many lives like a vicious storm. Many bodies left in its trail. A moment so grand that it would shape the course of history for the next 40 years, nay forever. This historical sight all caught in the lens of tens of camera. We focus on a single moment, a singular frame so to say.

In this frame, we see it all. Every minuscule moment. The tender autumn leaves falling from the trees, their golden and brown bodies carried through the wind ever so slightly obscuring our sight. The green grass getting caressed by this same wind gently stroked on this hot day. The crowd of people all carrying a variation of the same face. A face that shows excitement about this grand day, a face with the slightest touch of nervousness and worry. Was their town worth it? Were the roads clean? did the houses look good? But worry not for these same faces seemed to be beaming with pride. Yes, pride for their great town and how it was blessed on this day. A pride that outshined any of these worries. In their mind today was great and nothing would destroy this joy they felt. How naive. Of course, the only outlier, the man carrying an expression of disgust and anger, would never be caught on this frame.

We can see this car clearly, the black tires hugging the warm concrete underneath. Hugging it, asking it to not let go. The body of the car literally shining as if a gift from the heavens, although on closer inspection this is merely the glimmer of the sun being redirected from the car onto the onlookers. When we look at the inhabitants of the car we can see them. They sit stone-faced, we can see the dedication in their eyes. They serve, they protect. Or well they were supposed to. Looking even further back we can see her, dressed in all pink. heavily resembling a giant piece of cotton candy. Oh but she didn’t care that she stuck out, no her face was beaming with energy. Beaming with Joy. You were certain of it, she was basking in the attention. She adored it. and why wouldn't she ? after all today was about her.… no, about them. Such a shame, such a waste.If only she knew. You wonder what her expression would have looked like then. If only she knew.

Then, finally, we arrive at him, the star of today's spectacle. He sits there with the same smile as her. No, not the same. His smile feels gentler. You look at him. His sharp suit, his well-maintained hair and his gentle smile. You could see how he would be as popular as he was. But none of this really matters. No the thing that really caught your attention was his forehead. Or to be more precise what was pressing onto it. Yes, there it was, lightly pressing on his forehead, caught in time. Frozen. You could see the gentle glimmer, it reminded you of the body of the car. Something so beautiful, yet ultimately so destructive. If you looked closely you could see how the pressing of it caused the forehead to wrinkle around it. You could feel the immense pressure of the object lodged against this forehead. Its seemingly gentle nature a mere facade, an illusion caused by the lack of movement.The lack of flow. Frozen. A beautiful yet gentle frame in a horrid and destructive picture. You know the film continues after this but you can't help but pause it here, staring at this gentle frame. You knew how the story ended, but you didn't care. All you did was stare. Frozen.


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