This weekend I developed a roll of film that I’ve been carrying around for a decade. I’d forgotten what was on it. It was filled with pictures of an ex-girlfriend, like a time capsule of nutcase that cost me $12.00 to open.
Do this some time. Get a roll of old-fashioned film. Take some photos of you’re going to dread seeing again one day, of people you fail to avoid and possessions falling apart. Take a picture of a girl (or guy) you’re really trying to screw in the passenger seat of your vehicle that’s leaking oil. Photograph your apartment where you’ll only live a few more months. Minimum one naked shot, of you or someone else. Don’t put too much effort into it, though. It’s not a scrap book. It’s not a photo album. The goal is a hole in a future map where ten years ago there was a tack reading “you are here”.
Now, take the roll and throw it in the junk drawer and forget about it. It’s actually quite fun. Remember, it’s not for the fond memories. It’s for the rest of them, the shit you can’t wait to forget but will one day probably need a galvanizing reminder of. An ex. The bike that will get stolen next year. Twenty-five dollars worth of something you’re going to eat your way through and need more of before you even have the roll full.
Time makes your enemies into demons and your failures into catastrophes. This, I’ve found, helps keep things in perspective.