Smile for Death


Smile for Death – Written by Alexander X. Laymen

Have you ever looked at death and laughed? I’m talking about a full on laugh, cock your head back, and let it all out. Those of you that have, would you please raise your hand and wave it, and if you haven’t… please do take it up. The feeling, oh the feeling is exhilarating! The thought of it sends a tingle up and down my spine.

I remember the day I started laughing at death. It was a day unlike others. Shattering booms echoed across the sky as the gods cackled at the demise of the mortals below them. Only they knew what would happen next, and I was stuck watching the story unfold. There was a car taking a left turn around a bank, and since the rain was so heavy the person inside had no idea what was about to happen to them. I knew what was going to happen, and it wasn’t pretty. Watching two cars collide is kind of like a demolition derby except people get hurt, and sometimes even visit that place beyond the living.

Even as I’m telling you this story about death I’m taking the leap myself, putting the knife to my throat, trading my smile in for a shit-eating grin as I wait for the escort that picks me up. He or she will be happy to know that I won’t struggle. Moreover, I won’t try to run. I’m going to see my buddies at the bar when I get there, and I’m going to drink for eternity.

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Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey, owner, editor, & contributor at Photographic Melodie, grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos.

Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up with photography and listening to amazing musicians inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of concerts that she could only dream about as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at Photographic Melodie and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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