Trip to the Bahamas

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Cyan blue waters and light blue skies washed over the Bahamas. I peered out at the morning resort, saturated in the brightest blues I can imagine.

“There are two types of travelers,” my friend once said. “People who want to do everything, and people who want to do nothing.”

In most cases, I’m of the latter camp, which makes me a big fan of beaches. For several days, we rested on the beachside beds of the Bahamas, sipping limitless pina coladas. I sorely missed reading, so I devoured any magazines I could get my hands on.

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On the last few days, we ventured to the shops and markets, then took the ferry to another island. We passed by Paradise Island and Atlantis, and made our way to an underground aquarium-casino area. Children and families ran around, as did gamblers, vacation-goers, workers.

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camIMG_7030DSLR Back at the beach, they offered sea bikes. I hopped on one, and paddle-boated several times. For some reason, I couldn’t stand up straight on the board, so I lied flat on my back, soaking up the sun. The Bahamas—at least the tourist spaces—were beautiful and relaxing.

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Unexpected Gift

After seeing my laborious, painstaking film scanning set up, my boyfriend surprised me with a fancy Epson film photo scanner today. I told him not to, said I was perfectly fine with my setup, bragged about it a few times to convince him (mostly me) that it wasn’t an incredibly tedious process . Then I came home to the package in my home, massive and grey and labeled Epson. Oh my god, Epson–that Epson. The Epson. Epson is known for its scanners.

So now I am scanning my film. I spend class time scrolling through film, contemplate film, shoot film, look up film accounts before bedtime. It’s still photography–I can’t escape my love for it–but another type, per se. It’s like an obsessive streak I run headfirst into year after year. I plan to shoot film just to document life, for the love of it, the embedded nostalgia, so this Epson will be put to good (and long, ideally) use. I already have my chemicals and camera and film. And now I have a scanner, thanks to my kind and thoughtful beau.

Solitude

I’ve been too busy this past week to go through WordPress and read my favorite blogs.  Likewise, Instagram has gone unscrolled, FB unscrolled, SC is a eh-unscrolled, IG stories untapped. I’ve just been busy lately, and social media just isn’t as much of a fix as it used to be.

The past week, I’ve been around lots of people. Understandably. Graduate school is, after all, filled with people, and the field of Psychology has to do with people.

I was thinking today of how ironic it was to be introverted and continually drawn to people-centric fields. I hide away in corners, yet happily work with students. I isolate myself, yet am fascinated by psychology, the study of human behavior. I’m notorious for not responding to my phone, yet opted for communication classes. I say I prefer close friends and close friends only, but seek out class and work friends.

But maybe I’m a lot less misanthropic than high school me would have been led to believe. I wouldn’t be surprised: it wasn’t until I was 15 that I realized how much I enjoyed being alone. Personality is relatively stable throughout one’s lifetime, so I’m sure the first 15 years of people-loving are still flowing in my veins. Even so, that hasn’t prevented me from shutting the entire world out today. Today is my day to be utterly, entirely, deliciously alone. In cold and solitude are where I recharge.

Middle

The cool kids glowed. I remember pulling out of the school parking lot, turning to see the light they cast onto the muddy field. The girls, the boys, so irresistibly cool. Makeup, lemonade, drugs, minds oh-so-so precocious. You smart aleck; you soon-to-be teen mom. How could we have known? Youth gripped us hard. How could you emanate light at 13?

There was M. When I remember her, I see her doing a shoe dance where her toes turn in, then out, then back in. She slides around on the concrete floors, bangs curled with a straightener. Her wrists seem lithe in my memory, nails short, hair wavy. An easy Frenchy thing about her. Indie without even trying. We were all stumbling over ourselves, backs breaking into puberty, while she snatched up the prettiest boy in the grade, no fucking sweat.

Fujifilm 35mm

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Every year, I get like this–obsessed with disposable cameras and film. My eyes drink up the beauty of film: the broken colors, the candied smiles, the light grain. I’m frugal, and every photo’s 66 cents, at least, compared to the freedom of shooting digital. So I cringe when a photo turns out dark or overexposed. Despite it, film has a small piece of my heart, a recurring piece, and I return to admiring it year after year. Here are some snapshots.

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Full bloom in angst. Taken Spring 2017. The flowers were bursting with vitality, I with fury. Black leather jacket and jeans, the small dark Mazda. I forget if I’d gotten anything to drink before we zipped off in the car.

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A repost, no doubt, from something about about cities and skyscrapers. The view from the rooftop spanned several neighborhoods. I’d sometimes meander from one side to another. Then I’d return to slouching on the soft stained couch, cyan blue laptop propped against my knees.

Sometimes I miss the city; most of the time, I don’t. I remember that people looked colder there, and I wondered if it was me. Later, on the sunny bay of California, I realized that no, that wasn’t it–it’s cultural, area-specific. We get that way when we’re constantly surrounded by humans, and it’s so, so cold.

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Old school cool. I forget when this was taken, but I remember the sentiment: oh, it’s so sunny, and there’s just something about gas stations that seems so nostalgic and old.

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A day in the arts district. I’d stopped in the middle of the street to get a better shot of the man perched on the pole. It reminds me of a statue I saw in Austin, Texas–a small man at the top of a steely pole, staring down at the cafe-goers.

Swinging Away, This Childhood

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written November 2008

I went over to my friend’s house this Friday. At the park, I walked over to two kids that looked about eight and six at the park, asked what they were doing, and invited them to a game of tag.

It ended up in a swinging contest. I was the judge.

I called the picture Swinging Away, This Childhood, because I know being a kid isn’t going to last, and you’re just swinging in the air, all free and happy with the wind messing up your hair. And then, before you know it, you have to get off and your childhood’s gone.

Maybe it’s not like that. But maybe it is. I’m not the one to speak. After all, I’m still swinging.

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On The Train to Santa Monica

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On the train to Santa Monica, I was suddenly overwhelmed with sonder, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—

an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”