As I was moving, I found this old disposable camera. I considered taking it to have the pictures developed and then I remembered that I was too poor to go out drinking, so I was obviously too poor to be spending two bottles of wine getting photos developed.
I packed the camera and dragged it with me across the country.
I spent some time wondering what was on the camera and why it had never been developed. I was sure it had to be from the Waste days because if I'd had a camera since then, I would've had the pictures developed. Unless I got really drunk and forgot I'd had one... Poverty seemed like the most likely answer.
It might be some child's from Camp that somehow ended up in my stuff and was never returned.
It might be from that party. I guess Lucky Strike was giving out cameras as a free gift with purchase of cigarettes. There were all of these black and white cameras with Lucky Strike logos at this party. This was with my hippie camp friends (many of whom were also the degenerate stoners from last week).
The host of this party is one of the nicest, most generous people you'll ever know. At the time, he also had a very serious drug problem. I think he's cleaned up his act since then. It's been four years.
Right, okay, so we're at this party and I'm sure I was drinking Southern Comfort or something, and I'm sure that at some point I danced around naked with some other girls in the backyard because that's what we did at these kinds of parties. I also probably tore into some poor teenaged boy for not being nice enough, because that's what I did at these kinds of parties.
But what I remember is that Waste had one of these cameras and the guys were using them to take pictures of breasts. They weren't too picky, I saw plenty of guys flashing just the same as the girls.
I'd never seen any of those pictures. There was an off chance this camera had never been developed because it was full of pictures of boobs, and we weren't too sure how well that would go over with the photo lab.
There was also a chance that I'd maybe bought a camera for one of the "Apocalypse" party I had when I got laid off. Or maybe for Kristie and my birthday party last year. I was really drunk. There might've been a camera there that was forgotten in the hangover.
Last night, I got the camera out, the cardboard casing had long since been removed and the camera appeared to actually be taped together. I wondered if there would even be anything on there. I walked across the street to the drug store and dropped it off for processing.
I did tell the woman that I had no idea how many exposures were on it or even if it was black and white or color. I explained that I thought maybe it was my ex-boyfriend's and I was pretty sure it was about four years old.
I got some ice cream that was really air-y and then I went back across the street and had some dinner. I thought about calling the drug store and asking before I came back. What if the pictures were all of boobs and they weren't going to give them back to me? What if the pictures were all ruined and there was no point in me bothering to go over there?
Then I remembered that I didn't have anything else to do.
I walked up and said I needed to pick up some film. The guy (the person I left them with was female) asked for my last name. I told him. He didn't pull them out of the bin with the other "B"s. They were in a drawer.
A coworker walked up "We aren't supposed to do that. We aren't supposed to give back pictures of...."
I was sure it was boobs. Twenty-four black and white pictures of people flashing the camera. Okay, I was totally prepared to act like this was some sort of art project. Shit, I bet some of those boobs belonged to minors. This guy seems willing to let me have my pictures back...
"Is there a problem?"
"We're not supposed to develop these kinds of pictures. I mean, I don't have a problem with it, except I'm at work."
The girl I'd told dropping off the film that I didn't know what they were of walked up. I now had three people standing there and I still didn't really know what illegal sort of photography I'd brought in. This is great.
"What kind of pictures can't you give me?"
"You know, we really aren't supposed to... pictures of this sort of thing."
This was looking worse by the second. If it'd been boobs surely one of them would've said breasts by now. "I'm really sorry, I just found that camera in my stuff. I just moved here from Kentucky [at this point I pull out my drivers license], and I found it in a box. I think it's more than four years old. What's on it?"
He pulled out the three particularly objectionable shots. Piles and piles of pot. I immediately recognized them as being from Rock Star Night. But I'd seen those pictures! Those pictures are in the end credits of In Search of Dodus Erectus.
"I'm sorry. I had no idea. Look. That's me in the corner. I didn't take these pictures."
At this point the girl walked away. She wanted no part of this. The two guys thought I was the coolest, and I was really glad I'd fixed my hair and put on lipstick before I went back out.
The weekend before the last week of camp, Waste and me and two of our friends had a really great time in a suite in the Clarion. I was in charge of babysitting and driving and all that stuff (I have no desire to hallucinate).
I'm sure I can't go into the details, but we really did party like rock stars for one night. Then we dragged our sorry selves back to camp, and somewhere in there I lost my backpack. It had a carton of cigarettes, a bottle of whiskey, a really cute outfit, most of my make-up and a few other little things in it. I'm still pretty upset about the loss of the backpack.
Anyway, the pictures they were interested in were of Rock Star Night.
They (the two guys) had clearly spent some time with my pictures. They showed me a few choice shots "Look at how smoky that room is!" "This guy is totally wasted." (that was Waste) etc etc. They finally let me pay for my pictures and leave.
There were two pictures with me in them. I'm not in good focus in the one and in the other I'm laying on my back on the floor with some weird pink thing in my hand that I'd probably just aquired and probably lost with the backpack (although there is a chance that it was set on fire and thrown off the balcony after I was asleep.).
I've really lost some weight since I was twenty. It's amazing. I must be skinnier than I thought. Because I was pretty thin then...
When I got home, I found my cigarettes and a beer and sat down with the photos. Pictures from camp. Pictures of Rock Star Night. A couple pictures from some party in Lexington. One taken during the filming of In Search of Dodus Erectus (I can't imagine why else I would've been carrying around a bottle of Mountain Dew and wearing that outfit.). The last one was of my first apartment, clearly when we were half unpacked...
These last four years have been bigger than I give them credit for.