De fleste av dere følger kanskje Humans of New York enten på Facebook eller gjennom nettsiden allerede, men jeg har uansett lyst til å dele noen av de små historiene som på en eller annen måte har gjort inntrykk på meg. Jeg elsker å lese om andre menneskeliv, og spesielt på denne måten. Her blir det samlet inn sitater og historier samt tatt bilder av tilfeldige forbipasserende i én av verdens største byer, og resultatet er slående vakkert. Det er sterkt, tankevekkende, vondt, fint, trist, fascinerende og øyeåpnende på en og samme tid, og alle burde følge dette fantastiske prosjektet.
Bare se for deg alle de enorme skyskraperne og alt som foregår inni dem. Alle kjøpesentrene. Alle hjemmene. Alle parkene. I de mange bakgatene. Overalt. Jeg tenker av og til over hvor mange ansikt og menneskeliv jeg aldri vil få se eller vite noe som helst om, men gjennom Humans of New York får jeg i hvert fall et lite innblikk i tilfeldige og veldig ulike liv som blir stoppet opp rundt omkring i denne enorme storbyen. Så utrolig fint, sårt, vakkert og ekte.
1. We were twenty-five and twenty-eight, but we acted like fifteen year olds. Fighting over little things, storming off, breaking up for a week and then getting back together. But developmentally, we were fifteen year olds. We’d been in the closet our whole lives, so we didn’t have any practice with relationships. He still hadn’t come out to his family and a lot of his friends. We were on one of our ‘little breaks’ when he died suddenly from a seizure. And nobody in his family or circle knew I existed. It took me four months to find out that he died. I thought he’d just decided never to talk to me again. His family never found out about me. Or him, for that matter.
2. «What’s the most frightened you’ve ever been?» – I was camping alone one night. And something kept snorting at my tent. It was terrifying. Found out the next morning it was a baby deer.
3. We were lying in my mom’s bedroom watching TV, and she asked me to get up and turn the lights off in the living room. But I wouldn’t do it because I’m lazy. So she got up to do it herself, and she tripped over a Fresh Direct box and broke her arm. She never left the hospital after that, and she died from her cancer a few weeks later.
5. I worry about going insane. Ever since I was young, I have periods where my thoughts make no sense and I get very impulsive and I hit things or bang my head against the wall. I just need to feel pain. It’s the only thing that pulls me out of my head and calms me down and gives me something to focus on. I think about the number 110 billion a lot. I think that’s the number of planets in the universe, or cells in the body, or grains of sand, or people who’ve ever lived, or one of those things. It makes me realize how unimportant I am. There have been seven times recently where I’ve had a knife to my wrist and I was trying to get the courage to kill myself.
6. Don’t tell me what to do, and I won’t tell you what to do. That’s my motto. I have a lot of feelings about the decisions of my family members, but I don’t ever offer my opinion unless I’m asked. And that’s why I’m still invited to parties.
7. He put me in the hospital when I was pregnant with her. The next day he started crying, begging for forgiveness. He said: «I’m so sorry. I was drunk. I need you so much.» So I took him back. The next time it happened, he managed to convince me that it was my fault. He said that he wouldn’t have gotten so angry if I had paid more attention to him. So I started thinking that I could be better. Then it happened again. Honestly, I stayed with him so much longer than I should have because I was afraid of becoming the stereotype of a single black mother.
9. When I was six years old, I had a vision where I saw everything that was going to happen in my life. Jesus showed me that my life was going to be very tough, but if I stuck with him, and prayed, and cried when I needed to, and ate lots of chocolate, I’d be OK. «Where were you when you had this vision?» – At the feet of my foster mother.
She was kicking me in the stomach.
10. One day you’ll feel eighteen, look sixty, and wonder what happened.
// Inntrykket blir selvsagt sterkere og litt annerledes når man samtidig blir presentert for fotografier av alle disse menneskene, men bildene ble dessverre fryktelig kornete her på bloggen så jeg brukte derfor disse i stedet.