Monday, November 28, 2005

Hands, Touching Hands, Reaching Out

So, the Bathroom Graffiti Project just wasn't working out. It figures, the minute you begin to look for something in earnest, it becomes harder to find. I'll still shoot graffiti when I see something interesting, but I need something that's a little more readily available, yet compelling.

Introducing...the Hands Project. The idea was given to me by Andrea, a roommate I had in my junior year of college. Man, I couldn't stand her. She and her friend Heidi lived in the second room of our two-bedroom off-campus apartment. They fancied themselves "serious" students, but really, they were just plain old uptight. Heidi had to play Bjork's "Human Behavior" every single morning while getting ready. It was fun the first 20 times, but just imagine hearing that song five days a week for an entire semester. To this day, I hear that bass line and start twitching.

Andrea came complete with a needy, sad boyfriend who called at least eight times a day. I think Trish and I talked to him more than she did because 90% of the time he called, she wasn't there. Naturally, Heidi and Andrea didn't like Trish and I because they didn't think we were serious. I prefer to think that while we were serious when we had to be, we also knew how to have something known as "fun."

Heidi and Andrea were both occupational therapy majors. On one rare occasion that I had a conversation with Andrea that didn't involve the words "Your pathetic boyfriend called 12 times while you were gone," we talked about cadavers. She and Heidi had recently gotten to the portion of the program that involved working with them in some capacity, so naturally, my interest was piqued because I love this stuff.

"Is it gross?" I asked.
"Nah, not really."
"Does it bother you? I mean, it's a dead body."

She said that it only bothered her when she saw their hands. For some reason, I'm remembering that they kept the hands covered, so if anyone glimpsed them, it was entirely by accident. But seeing someone's scars, their cuticles, their callouses, she said, gave them a story. You could picture them as human beings who held things and felt things, and it made it too real to take.

So, there you go. Sucky roommate, but a nice insight that I suddenly remembered for no reason at all a few weeks ago. I already have a few photos to post, but the inaugural one will be of the Mr.