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FUN A DAY 2019 #7: Severine

She looked and seemed very different in person than she did in the photos she chose to share on her social media profiles. It was a little jarring, but it reminded you that that was how it should be, more...

She looked and seemed very different in person than she did in the photos she chose to share on her social media profiles. It was a little jarring, but it reminded you that that was how it should be, and also how it shouldn’t be. She mostly shared photos of her room, of the plants and record and cassette collections that she lovingly looked after, her favorite outfits, vacation photos, the occasional nude (which would soon be deleted), and mirror selfies, in which she looked like an ordinary and particularly pretty, thin, young white woman. Her trimmed nails and pomade brows were always done, her bangs always looked impossibly good (her face was perfectly shaped for bangs), as did her freckles, and her round blue eyes looked clear and warm. She never smiled, but she looked directly into the camera, fully present; accessible, somehow.
In public, she was cool, or, remote even, if not aloof, face bare, bangs always out of her eyes (slicked back with product if short, pulled back into a ponytail when long enough). She wore glasses, and shapeless clothes. She was put together, and if you spoke to her, she was responsive, quick to drop a pop culture reference or make a joke about one of her favorite bands or television shows that wasn’t self-deprecating. (She did not self-deprecate.) But nothing about her invited you to speak to her, nothing about her appearance could be misconstrued as somehow calculated to attract attention, in particular male attention.
She didn’t question or think much about this sharp difference, it was just how things were. Everything in life seemed to be that way to her, there was the privacy, safety, pleasure of your solitude and simply being able to exist as yourself, and there was everything else, and you weighed the pros and cons of each, and if you were lucky, managed to enjoy the pros when and where you could. She played the drums in a band with two of her best friends, and she liked playing out with them, and going to her friends’ shows even when she wasn’t on the bill, but often would have preferred to spend her evenings at home, watching television and looking at her phone. She was interested in travel, especially traveling to different parts of the United States, but she also liked her city, and wandering and biking through it when she wasn’t working. She liked men, or rather sex with men, well enough, and had learned to live with a certain amount of unexplored curiosity about women, but she liked and maybe genuinely preferred being single. She didn’t want children, but often though that she would make a great parent (and might have even considered becoming one with the right social support, something she had accepted would never happen). She constantly felt a certain amount of restlessness, whether she was at home or out, whether she was here or somewhere else, whether she was alone or with someone. She’d learned, the hard way (was there any other way to learn things?), to not let this inescapable feeling trick her into agreeing to things that she knew she didn’t really want and sacrificing the things she really did. The restlessness and the occasional loneliness were safer and easier to tolerate than being trapped in the wrong life, with the wrong man.
The restlessness and loneliness could be dealt with easily enough, it was a matter of keeping yourself occupied. She went to work every day, and was lucky enough to not completely hate it. She spent her evenings either rehearsing or doing whatever she felt like that night. She practiced, listened to new music, text messaged friends, called her parents, tried and mostly failed at new recipes, and took photos. She couldn’t remember exactly when, but photography had become her ‘thing’. She collected box and toy cameras, which she used to take photos of strange objects and eerie, unfamiliar places, and she also had two compact cameras, which she used for more traditional landscapes and portraits. She didn’t develop her own film, and had never felt the need to learn how to use a ‘real’ camera or light a photo traditionally, but she experimented with over-lighting and getting weird colors and effects into her pictures. It was challenging, but there was also something assuring about photographing and documenting things that felt surreal but that she knew to be real and probably completely ordinary, about capturing places and moments that she knew she’d never be able to go back to, but that she also would never have to go back to.
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7 tracks
  • 33min
  • 21
  • 6 months ago