No, it’s not. But I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled schedule to ponder the issue.
This past week, Bob had a photography project. He was supposed to photograph a full spectrum of the social interactions of some group, and he chose the Thorn. Since I was in the office so often this week because of the hours I was keeping, he wanted me to be the
victim subject of some of the photos.
I don’t like being on the wrong end of a camera. I am not a photogenic girl. I am not pretty or sexy. I don’t bother with make-up primarily because I feel that painting this mug isn’t going to do me much good. I do not dress well. Any attractiveness I may have is most likely solely derived from my sheer force of personality or my silliness. My mother has only been able to get one or two pictures of me since I hit middle school, including those damned school pictures they throw at you every year in school.
I let Bob take one picture of me anyway, because I most likely wouldn’t be readily identifiable. The night before, I had spent the night working DISCO problems on the whiteboard in the office, and I’d drawn one of those little faces with X’s for eyes and a dot for a mouth, and I’d added wriggles indicating my nappy, much pulled-on hair. Above it, I wrote “FUCKED”. Bob was tickled at the idea of a picture of a hunched over, stressed-out student, books everywhere with crossed-out work all over the board. So I let him take it.
I hope I looked sufficiently stressed, because I could mos def feel that lens’ eye on my back.
The next day (Wednesday?), I reached a point where I needed to sleep–I was getting confused and forgetful and I was shaking like a leaf (I’ve picked up muscle tremors along my right arm–the one that operates the laptop’s touchpad). So I climbed on the Thorn couch. The only other person in the office was Bob.
I am very particular about the people I sleep around. Very rarely am I so vulnerable for whatever pranks people wish to pull on me. It’s always entertaining for people to pull pranks on me when I’m awake; I laugh, I make funny faces, I very rarely get seriously pissed.
I have very serious issues with how I am woken up or scared (of the “boo” variety). Whenever I am in the Thorn office alone, the door remains at least closed, most likely closed and locked; this gives me a chance to hear the lock turn or glimpse the door opening out of the corner of my eye before I am surprised with someone else’s presence. It’s not that I’m doing anything I don’t want anyone else to see, I simply do not like to be surprised. It seriously jangles my nerves majority of the time. Likewise, being at all rudely awakened (I think there are familial roots in this…) is enough to get the culprit violently attacked and to put me on edge for the remainder of the day. Wrong side of the bed, I suppose.
Then, of course, there’s the matter of judgments and criticisms. There’s a whole ‘nother person lying there when someone is sleeping. This isn’t a side I prefer to have open to the world. If I am sleeping, then I am warm and comfortable and relaxed or I am so fucking exhausted and worn-down that even comfort has become mostly irrelevant, and both are vulnerabilities I want to reserve for me and my close ones. Particularly given that I talk in my sleep, and have been known to clearly vocalize entire half-conversations on issues bothering me.
Bob took a photo of me sleeping on the Thorn couch Wednesday, without my permission, and submitted it with his photography project, to be posted somewhere.
Am I pissed? Sorta, yes. Am I pissed at Bob? No. He just wanted a candid shot. I’m not sure he realizes how violated I felt when I walked into the Thorn office and there was my sleeping face on a poster for everyone to see.
Violation is such an odd emotion/mindset to articulate. It doesn’t sound like a big deal that he
took posted the picture, and on any kind of absolute scale, it’s not. But I fell asleep in the office trusting that Bob would wake me up in an hour and would politely ignore my confused, mumbled ramblings and would let me just rest for sixty minutes–safe from work or intensely prying eyes or pranksters looking to get one over on the News Editor. Instead he turned that eye on me and blew it up for the entire staff to see.
I’ve taken the original photo, and I asked that the poster left in the office be turned face-away from the room. Bob still has the negatives, and if he asks he can have the picture back, but before I return it, I think I’m going to do my level best to widen his world-view a little by explaining my thoughts on the matter, because both he and Luke acted like my problem with the picture was extremely odd.