vesselcollective

Let Me Tell You A Story About A Girl Named Courtney

In äkta on August 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm


         “Am I in your way?” asked the buzzed, blonde girl in the white bikini with pink sequins. I was taking photos of Mike Posner’s set while standing against a railing and she was standing next to me, but definitely not in the way. She complimented me on the Tiger Lily tattoo behind my left ear and said she wanted a rib cage tattoo, but for now just had the Arabic symbol on her wrist which said “mother.” Looking back, I wonder if it’s about her own mother, or if she was a mother, herself. She said, “girls with tattooed rib cages were badasses.” I asked her what she had in mind for hers and she said nothing yet but it would come to her. I agreed, because that’s how it had always worked for me–one day I’d picture something, somewhere and it would be inked soon after.

         I found out she was a Psychology major from Cleveland. She originally wanted to work in marketing, and take photographs for advertisements but the people she surrounded herself with told her she’d never make any money. I said it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re damn good at it, someone will pay you for it. Her best friend went to the University of Dayton and that was why she was here. She said she didn’t take any of her finals. She said she had A’s in all her classes but was tired of being stressed and sad, so she left for Daytona. I hate that we all have to feel that way.. though I said as long as she had an answer for herself and knew why she was doing it, that it was okay.

         She asked me if I was covering the event for the college because of the camera in my hand and mentioned that she loved photography but wasn’t allowed to involve it in her class schedule because the requirements were strict. I told her to still keep it a part of herself despite not being able to be involved in college. She really loved underwater photography and quietly aspired to make a book of nothing but, though apparently one of her professors gave her a strange look when she described the idea to them. I grabbed her hand, shook it hard, and told her to promise me she would do it because the only person standing in her way was herself. She laughed and promised.

         I wasn’t trying to be agreeable. I just really liked how genuine she was and how much liveliness she had in her despite the lack of support she had from friends, professors, and possibly even parents on the things she was interested in pursuing–like life. Going into this college event I honestly didn’t think I’d be connecting with anyone, but this girl surprised me. She disintegrated my version of “the other” and she did it without me even noticing and I will always appreciate that.

         Her friend soon became disinterested in standing outside and told Courtney she was going upstairs. Courtney asked her if she wanted her to go with her. Her friend said it was up to her. Courtney smiled and told me it was nice talking to me. I told her the same and reminded her of her promise with a laugh, but I meant it. Now it’s all up to her; it really always was.

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