In The Shadows

Truth be told, I wanted her photo from the moment she walked in to my friend’s get-together in Isla Vista, California. I don’t remember the names of any person represented in this photo, just that they were playing “Spoons”. Being an introvert, it takes some alcohol for me to interact with strangers, so I hovered in the shadows and took photographs. It sounds creepy, but social situations are hard and I tend to regress.

If given a choice, the option to blend into the wall or darkness and somehow become invisible is always the most enticing. Being seen presents difficulty for me. It feels like exposure. Defenselessness. And the resulting behavior is disconcerting for the people around me. I get it.

Here’s the thing. No one else saw this small sliver of time. And it was beautiful. Her smile in the light. Friends and strangers having a little fun. I wasn’t a part of it, and yet I was. Any expended effort, any social awkwardness that felt — yes, like suffering — was immediately worth it.

Small moments like these remind me that world isn’t just one giant shitshow. And I need to believe that. I have to know that.

This is how I keep faith. Walking in shadow just to see the light.