ON THE University of Central Arkansas campus in Conway, Tommy heard it before he saw it—the brassy wail of the horns, the strumming of a guitar, carrying to him from somewhere out of sight. And then, following the sounds of the mariachi band, he saw the dancing, the younger boy at the front twirling a woman several years his senior. At that time, just after noon, he was halfway through the 24 Hour Project, which challenges photographers to post one photo from every hour of the day. At midnight, he’d seen the day start with music still underway, then fall toward sleep with the pasty lights of Waffle House, that night-owl holdout, keeping its scattered, syrup-soaked vigil. He’d seen the city start to rouse, with gas trucks offloading fuel for the gas stations, and sleepy-looking pedestrians making their way across Conway’s college campuses. But this? Seeing the dancers, hearing the music? It was like a shot of adrenaline. A few hours later, he slipped away to his car for a quick nap before the day unfolded into baseball games and prom dresses.
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