My brain’s been filled up with the Steubenville case, with a brief reprieve to allow for the sentencing of the Ohio school shooter from last year. We know his name, his face, and the words he spoke to the families of the victims. I won’t repeat any of those things here. Those things—unnecessary public knowledge that has been made uber-public by profit hungry media corporations—only ensure that it will happen again. Releasing the names of those gun-happy murderers, releasing information that is absolutely not need-to-know by any stretch of the imagination, is like a promise: Do this. Do this and you, too, will become famous. You too will get your fifteen minutes. And remember: the more you kill, the greater the coverage.
I’ve been researching the Pygmalion myth for a story and wondering what I would bring to life, if I had the chance. My lego collection? Mulder and Scully action figures? My old matchbox cars? I stole them from my brothers and gave them names and families and made them kiss and dance and battle each other. Those are the things I would have chosen when I was younger. I shared the childhood belief that toys came to life the second you closed the bedroom door. I tried to catch them. Never managed to.
Nowadays, I’d bring to life the things on my desk. Rubber stamps. Watercolor colored pencils. A Dave Eggers book, a Jonathan Safran Foer book, an external hard drive. These are the things I stare at when I try to write. These are the things I stare at when, twenty thousand words into a new book, I decide to change everything important. A fountain pen. A pair of scissors. A card from my father. These are the things that could entertain me when it’s snowing and windy and too cold to do anything other than drink more tea, add more layers, write more words. A bottle of advil. A camera. Hand lotion. These are the things that replaced the toys. These are the things I’d like to talk to when no one in America is awake.
photographs taken with a Canon 60D on a walk in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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