Tuesday, March 18, 2008

photo-booth childhood

A week ago my cousin e-mailed me these pictures, the photo-booth kind with four images in a vertical strip. In them I'm probably nine or ten. It's clearly summertime because my skin is ridiculously dark and my hair is practically glowing it's so blond. It's in the pre-braces days, and my teeth look, as my roommate so lovingly referred to them, like chiklets. I'm wearing some goofy floral print top, and one of those friendship bracelet looking necklaces, the kind you spend hours at the pool making when you're little, or at least I did. I looked at these pictures for a long time. Something about this frozen remnant of my childhood was so compelling to me. And maybe it's because I look at a picture like that and I can't help wonder if it will ever be that easy again. I don't remember the last time I even gave a photo-booth a second glance. Now it would be a waste of time, a waste of money. But I remember so many impromptu photo booth sessions from when I was little, at the mall, at amusement parks. This was before the days of digital cameras, when the most exciting thing you could do was stand and wait a few minutes for the little piece of paper with the pictures on it to come zipping out of a slot. I miss that. I miss having naturally bright blond hair, and skin darkened from practically living at the pool. I miss the way that when you're little you can completely forget yourself, and make silly expressions in a photo-booth not to be ironic or cool but because it comes naturally. I miss the easy, perfect photo-booth, friendship necklace days of my life. They might not have been the best years or the most exciting, but they were without question the simplest.

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