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a very sweet boy was recently overheard complaining, “agingriotgrrrl never updates her blog anymore!” and what i think he already knows, but maybe you don’t, is that the privacy of this blog has been violated several times by several people in the past year–the last, too big to even dance around, too paralyzing to mention–and of course it is public but i still cannot help but feel violated. and it makes me want to not write anything about my life. and a lot of the things i do want to write about are a confidentiality violation & so i can’t.

but. there are still a lot of things i could write about. right now i am thinking about a photograph i took ten years ago that never came out. 2003, or 4, i can’t believe that a decade (or a near-decade) has passed since then. all my shoes had holes in them. i was cash-poor but privileged, freshman year in college on borrowed money, a safe haven from the world i’d been thrust into years before. i was madly in love with ________ back then, walking from grand central to penn to see her, that walk that is too long to be convenient but too short to justify taking the subway, when i saw it: a sign, with large stenciled letters, resting against a trash can on some anonymous manhattan street corner. it said, simply, “I DREAM OF SO MUCH.”

it stunned me with its truth and beauty. i took its picture with the shitty disposable camera in my bag, not bothering with the flash because it was still light out and i thought i didn’t need it. because i hate flash photography, generally, and i didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself. a tall, scruffily dressed boy/girl–i already got enough attention & it wasn’t good. i waited for months for this picture, for the roll to be used up & money to be scraped for developing. earlier i’d had scams for free pictures but they all fell through. & when i got the roll back, this was the only picture that wasn’t there. i looked in the negatives, and the edges weren’t defined enough. the machine probably thought the picture was blank, an accidental pocket-shot, and skipped right over the picture like it wasn’t even there. i had been a 1-hour photo technician for a lot of my teen years. i knew exactly how to develop it. but it didn’t happen. i still remember that sign & maybe it’s better than having the picture.

on a mostly-unrelated note, here’s a postsecret that i haven’t been able to stop thinking about since i first saw it about a year ago:

Image

maybe it’s an internet hoax. some annoying idiot. but i am fascinated by this. someone whose friends, family, life, job all sucked. or maybe they didn’t suck, but maybe they just needed a way out. and this was their way. sending out a tiny glance behind, a look over their shoulder at the life they left. why did they leave? how? how did they get out of NY, how did they access their banking records? did they just take all the cash out of their ATM and begin a new life? did nobody care enough to try & find them? or were they just that good at hiding?

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