Secret Pop

May 23, 2003

Negative outlook? Well, that's how I'm living.

Every minute, I'm running out of time. Doing less than I wish I had. Letting the obligations mount.

I can't help thinking, when I'm shopping at swap meets and garage sales and rooting through old photos and birthday cards and brochures, that these all belonged to someone who is now dead. "Oh, look, what a neat birthday card that never got sent by someone who is now dead." Or, "Hey, why didn't this now-dead person's family want to keep these pictures from her wedding?" Or, "I'll bet this person was planning a trip to Europe. Oh, well. He's dead now." I can't stop thinking about it. And when I buy this stuff and take it home, I touch it all gingerly, knowing it isn't really mine. The water damage, the dust, the decay -- they all belong to someone else and their trove of memories. I'm just passing through, sweeping it into a box, and then using it for something unimportant.

Someday, someone will pay too much or too little for something that was once mine but has not joined the great continuum of things that don't belong to anyone anymore. Someone may buy a box of old discarded pictures and wonder why I would ever have bothered snapping a picture of my shoe on that escalator. Someone may not think the blurry effects in my Lomo shots are especially charming. They may instead jeer at the palsied hand that held the camera. They might say, "Any fool knows you can't get natural light shots in the Haunted Mansion!" I won't be nearby to object.

I wonder where I'll be. And I wonder how I'll feel about it. I don't like being so keenly aware that I am always, always expiring. But you never know.

It's a wicked world we live in.

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