Couples: 3 of 3. // He's ...

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Couples: 3 of 3. // He's ...


Jeff Sharlet







POINT (-8050347.2743 5408873.901368220)

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Couples: 3 of 3. // He's buying coffee for a friend. Pause. Eyes flit away. “Well, my girlfriend, actually,” says Barry. She’s nightshift at Walgreen’s. He’s nightshift at Home Depot. A pretty excellent job. “They taught me to drive a fork lift,” he says. “It’s a pretty cool toy.” Forklift, sleep, friends, forklift. “I sleep four hours,” he says. Forklift, sleep, friends. “Mostly we go offroading.” Four hours sleep. “I’m usually the passenger.” // He met his girlfriend on his lunch break. “I really like hot pockets.” He bought them at Walgreens. “We just started talking.” // “What did you say?” I ask. Barry turns pink. I’m not making fun, I tell him. I never picked up anybody like that. A stranger. I don’t know how it works. // “Well, at first, it was mainly about hot pockets.” But then, you know. “How did you take it to the next level?” Red cheeks. “It just, like, happened.” She had a fight with her roommate. She wanted to talk about it with someone. Barry’s a good someone. They talked, at lunch, in the middle of the night, and after work—purple dawn. At the end of their day—which was 8, maybe 9 am—“we just knew.” They’ve been living together since. But they still share their lunch hours. Walgreen’s, hot pockets, he brings her coffee. Marriage? “It’s funny that you should ask that. Because she just asked me today. She said, ‘What kind of wedding do you want?’ But I could tell what she meant.” // That’s what she likes about him. He can tell what she means. “I told her, ‘I don’t care, just so long as I’m standing next to you.” // #photoessay 3/3: Couples. #nightshift #truestories #picturesandwords #bigman #inlove #romantic #goodjobs




Jeff Sharlet, “Couples: 3 of 3. // He's ...,” The InstaEssay Archive, accessed August 5, 2020,