I Don’t Know

She always says I don't know, even when she does know. Especially when she does. Like a photo album full of pictures she isn’t in but she’s there, she’s the one behind the camera. There she is, see? There she is in the way the light hits the water. There I am, she’ll say, in the precise spacing of trees and sky above your heads. But she never says she knows when she doesn't, because the consequences, she feels, are much more serious. The worst, and most serious of consequences comes from a single devastating word change. “I don’t know” can become “I don’t care” and this is something that she never likes to say. It’s an escape. From what to what, you ask next—too shrewdly for her liking—not referring to a destination (when escaping, you’re escaping from somewhere to somewhere else, something to something else).

To which she says, I don’t know, and then snaps your picture.