I just cropped and inserted the few photos I took from my weekend in DC and NYC. As is usual with pictures, they aren't enough to record much of what really happened, since when you photograph anything, whether it's a person, place or thing, you're always explaining something about them. I think one of the reasons anyone keeps photographs, aside from keeping a record of one's experiences, is simply because everyone else does it. Everyone's got at least one photo album, and some have catalogs of them, all in some semblance of order, of a timeline.

For the longest time, I thought that I must not have much of a life to look back on, since I only have half an album's worth of pictures. I used to have a habit of removing and discarding photos of people who for whatever reason have stepped out of my life or stepped out of importance in my memories, often both. But I would never remove their faces entirely, just cut down on the repetition, since when I had a halfway decent camera in college (before I sold it to pay the rent one month) and took a photography course, I took as many pictures as my subjects would allow. Because of this, I still have the negatives, if I ever want to see them again.

Now, as I flip through the ones that are newer ones taken within the last year, I see that I have added, with the photos, a new stage of my life. I took pictures of every rathole I lived in for posterity's sake, and a few of co-worker's, whom I've known for almost 3 years, a record for me keeping the same job. When you spend more time with a guy than his own girlfriend, 10 hours a day for 5 days for 3 years, you can't help but consider him a friend, or at least a big brother. I have all the pics from the photo shoot Shmuel and I were in when I visited him in June, some pictures of me when I first shaved my head, just one of my brother when he last saw me in August, and now the wedding and NYC trip photos. I still have at least 8 more pages before the book is full, and I have this need to keep them as empty as I can until I leave. It's not that there is nothing left here that I want to capture, it's just that I am reluctant to buy another album.

In this one book there is a brief history of me from infancy to high school and college, then the aftermath, and I guess I questioned whether I would be around to continue my own history. Not that I would be dead, but that I would feel so old so quickly. I know I have lots to learn and look forward to it, but already I feel I know too much, I remember too much. I am past the point of lamenting over lost people from my past, arriving at the point beyond which I doubt I will want to re-connect with them if presented with the option. And so, I have this whole clean slate before me, and while I look forward to it,. I am already aware how hard it may be. I never thought I'd make new friends, because I feared having to be hurt like I was when I was younger. I'm finding out, thankfully, that it can never be that painful, that some things do get better as you age.

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