I’ve been riding the bus a lot lately, and here, there are lots of old people who are obviously able (they know where they’re going) but also obviously limited (English).

I remember when we’d mail back thick envelopes of photographs, 4″x6″, from Shop Rite. This was before Costco and before digital photography, and I mean ‘before’ on very different scales: the first is a scale of “progress” that applies to my family, and the second is a scale of mass technological movement. Sometimes we’d get thick packages of photographs in the mail also, each one marked in pen with the situation, and I’d carefully cut out the parts of the envelope that had stamps on them and soak them in water, to remove the stamps.

I think I’ve used warm water and cold water, dishes and bowls; Sometimes I used my fingers, and I’m sure I’ve used capped markers, chopsticks, forks; I sometimes dipped the stamped paper stamp-side down, sometimes envelope-side down, sometimes straight in; whether or not I knew it, I think I really felt like I was developing a photo.

And this is weird, as the package is rarely the precursor of the content: I knew that photographs came from film, and that stamps were for mailing letters. I was probably just imitating the process of developing film that I knew from watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and maybe I liked the feeling of slippery stamp, slippery envelope, the way that sections cut from near the flap would become undone after soaking–maybe I wasn’t allowed to touch the thick, slimy brown pieces of seaweed that my parents would expertly cut into perfect uniform noodle-like strands–

I am nostalgic. I am a late-adopter to the point of personal recklessness. I often can’t tell if I want a part in creating technology, but then I remember that its creation enables us to do more of what we want, and here I mean this in the financial sense, not the broad technological sense (look I’m trying to begin the recapitulation by restating the exposition’s theme, ok??). I have ideas, but they’re the sorts that involve linking photographs (aperture) with this personal opening-up and I guess, this memory of playing a stupid Arriaga symphony marked “Allegro Apierto.” The guy was indecisive, confused, whatever; the symphony used D major and minor equally, so as to just be in D. D/d. d?

Arriaga also wrote an opera called Los Esclavos Felices. Maybe I can be one of those.

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