the highs and lows.

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We wake up late. Or rather, I wake up early and lay staring out the enormous windows in Amanda’s apartment. I look at my phone—5 AM. There are no curtains and each window is wide open, letting the sun and morning noises of Echo Park spill into the studio. I go back to sleep. We wake up later. I shower. Amanda braids my hair in a crown around my head.

On the drive to Griffith Observatory, I look at pictures from the night before. Six hundred photos: that’s how many she took of me. For every twenty, there’s maybe one or two that don’t look too bad.

This is my fault, not hers.

Flag the ones you like, she says.

I flag the ones of me sticking my tongue out, of me making faces.

It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. We bring our cameras. I take photographs of the surroundings; Amanda takes photographs of me.

Don’t move, she instructs me. I’m used to hearing this from her. I’m used to pausing, to recreating my steps. I’m used to doing something naturally and then being forced to do it a dozen more times until she’s captured it perfectly. Today will be the same. It’s a comfortable routine.

That’s a great outfit for photos, she said the day before, when she picked me up.

She makes me change anyway.

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photographs taken at Griffith Observatory with a Canon 60D

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