The Story Behind The Photo

I found this strange and beautiful photo on 2nd Ave in NYC:
WallpaperGirl
I almost didn’t pick it up, mostly because I’m always grossed out by the thought of spit, piss, vomit, dog shit and other unsavory things on these dirty streets. I worried this photo was tainted by someone’s bad experience. Possibly diseased.
But then I ran back to save the memory. I just had to.
It’s all connected to my take on photography, and the changes in how we perceive the permanence of a photo:
A Party In Someone Else’s Past
The point is, today there isn’t much invested in a specific image. You can snap a photo of your burger, your big toe, the weirdo annoying you at Duane Reade. But you don’t get it developed, so none of that really matters much.

All of which is why when I found this photo, I had to take it with me.
I thought:
Who is this woman?
Is this really an old photo or a photo designed to look like an old photo?
Is she sad or just pretending to be sad for the sake of art?
Is that wallpaper legit?
Or is it from some website that specializes in retro wallpaper to remind you of a childhood that you never actually experienced?

What is she thinking?

So here’s the game.
Create a story for her.
Let’s call her Lindsey.
Create any story you think might suit this photo.
Maybe the real person will stumble upon this and contact us!
It’s like putting a note in a bottle and flinging it into the sea.
I’ll start. The story I have created is this:

Just got home from the doctor’s office.
I’m pregnant.
But this baby isn’t human. I can feel it already.
I’m having strange dreams, dreams about another world.
My unborn baby wants to live there.
Which world is it? What does it look like? I’m not really sure.
But I do know this world can be found in this wallpaper, and it’s trying to draw me in.
I feel it. I can’t resist much longer.
Someday my baby and I will be living among the wallpaper people.
And I’m afraid.

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2 thoughts on “The Story Behind The Photo

  1. I was sent to my grandmother’s for the summer because my father doesn’t approve of my boyfriend. It smells of moth balls and old sweat, and she serves chicken broth with every meal. There’s nothing to do. I’m wasting the summer away the summer before my senior year in high school in the boondocks of Connecticut. I can’t read another book. I’m trapped.

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