There’s a man in the city who takes pictures of unnoticing girls on the collectivos (public busses).  He publishes the photos, and I first saw them hanging in a back room at “SushiColor,” an old house which has been turned into a restaurant and bar.  When my host sister, Clari, who’s 21, first told me the concept, I thought it was fucking weird. If some guy did that in the United States he would be on the receiving end of so many lawsuits.  Can you say weird Law and Order SVU type fetish? Gross. Anyway, as soon as I saw the photographs, he won me over.  I want to be one of the girls on the collectivo.

I’ve been thinking about it for a couple days now, especially after yesterdays bout with the public transportation system.  I find myself gazing out at the passing stores, counting down until I need to press the little red button signaling to the driver to stop, all the while wondering if I look pensive enough, wondering if he is riding on that very collectivo.

Yet, I won’t ever be one of those girls.  I don’t say this because I am being modest, or even because I scream “FOREIGNER” with my blonde hair and big ass.  I just can’t be a collectivo girl because I am simply too ready for him to snap my photo.  The collectivo girls don’t know they are in fact collectivo girls until they see their photo somewhere.  He snaps the picture without saying anything, and then publishes it (is this illegal in the United States?). Ugh why can’t I be a photographers muse?

Better Question: Why do I want to be?

I’m sure plenty of things could have led me here… my intense only-child syndrome, child modeling days signifying an unfulfilled career, perhaps the necessity to be recognized in a city that knows me simply as another misplaced foreign exchange student.

Yet none of those possibilities bother me, and I ask myself if they should…

Ah, to be content.

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