Last Sunday I saw a pair of black lace panties at the back of a Tri-Met bus. Perhaps they fell out of a woman’s pocket after a one-night stand with a nice person she met at the library. Or, the underwear could be part of a public art project that will soon be sweeping the nation one bus floor at a time.
On a clear night not too long ago, I waited for the number 14 bus in front of Big Daddy’s Barbecue. As the passing cars and neon signs failed to hold my attention, my gaze rested on a scattering of ripped paper. Noticing the Kodak logo on some of the pieces, I recognized the various shades of black, brown, and pink to be those of a torn-up photograph.
I like photographs even more than I like finding random things. Fueled by the anonymity of being the only person at the bus stop, I bent down and collected the bits of paper from the sidewalk and put them into my coat pocket.
Later that evening, back at home amidst the remnants of my own life experiences, I laid out the torn shreds of a memory and set to work with my scotch tape. Slowly, the various shades of black, brown, and pink began to reveal themselves in the shape of a hand, a penis, a vagina, two thighs, a red headed man and a Good Sam Club sticker.
Question #1: What the hell?!
Question #2: Who tore up the photo, and why?
Did the couple have a falling out? Was it a roll of film that someone’s mother found in her estranged son’s room, developed, and was horrified to find photos of him with her sister? Thereby ripping the photo to tiny pieces and throwing it out of her car window.
I have never personally taken naked sex photos, but the word on the street and in the tabloid magazines featuring Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson is to never ever take the photos or shoot the video, because it will always end up in the hands of strangers.
Case in point, I now possess three photos of strangers doing the nasty. And what does one do with such things, once they have them? Inspired by Am퀌�lie, I thought, “Perhaps I should post “Found” posters along Hawthorne with the photos and a fake phone number, so the owner of the photos can reclaim them.”
I am not, however, evil to that extreme. I also considered taping the photos to the bottom of the bus-stop bench that I found them by, leaving them to be rediscovered so that someone else can partake in the mystery of the naked Hawthorne sex photos.
For now they sit upside down in my desk drawer, all but forgotten until I see a red-haired man on the 14 and try to place his face, (in the trailer next to a very hairy woman with pudgy fingers, and sunlight streaming in through a trailer window).
I imagine that, when I die, someone will be sorting through my things and come across three torn up, taped back together photos of two people who are naked and touching each other. That person, be it my mother, my future husband or a police officer, will probably look at those photographs and try to come up with the story behind why I had them in my desk drawer. The possibilities are endless.