Linette Reeman

THEORY & EXPERIMENT ON UN-FALLING IN-LOVE

 

theory:

despite latent feelings of nostalgia or love that can be dredged up by looking at a photo of an ex, one can lessen or halt these feelings by incrementally assigning negative feelings to a previously positive image. after being shown photographs of their exes and asked to describe a hateful feeling towards them now, test subjects reported that their feelings of longing for the person in the photograph had diminished the second time they viewed it.

 

experiment:

the photograph is part of the first set i took of us fucking. in it, your head is a blond blur, bowed into my crotch, my thighs clenched and splayed/in the psych-ward i asked Luca if you wanted my hallway-number and he said you hadn’t asked for it/i get out of the psych-ward and my phone’s notifications are a whole bee-hive and you were not even part of that noise/this photograph is of the same week, but a different night. i showed this one to my history of photography class and/my classmates think the subjects of the photograph are fighting/they attempted to guess the context of it/my hand is around your throat and the fresh hickies on your shoulder stand out like two alien suns/that is why “he” (they call you “he”) is bruised and why/i tell them they’re wrong/the anonymous hand clenches the neck-skin so tight/conclude they all have boring sex/i am watching you and Dylan build a futon in the apartment in Philadelphia and/it is raining the whole week i’m in North Carolina so we drink through most of it/i take pictures of  your back from different angles at 8AM and delete them all before you wake up/my laugh breaks against the ceiling and you tell me i’m welcome to fucking leave/the photograph is of the first vegan bakery we went to in New Jersey. you are sitting on the white bench under the largest mural/you tell me you wish i was someone else you tell me you wish i was someone elseyou tellmeyou wishiwas some oneelse/holding a bitten-into cupcake and laughing. next to you sits a box of other cupcakes/we leave most of them behind to be picked apart by bugs and wind/Cheyenne asks me why you are not where you said you would be. Alain points out you have never been there. where, i ask? present, they say/this photograph was posted on your Instagram with a caption pulled from my then-favorite song. you are pushing your hair aside, gently holding my arm, which reaches/you tell me i am all talk and no action about killing myself/ from out of the frame to grasp your chin/you tell me you assume you will be my greatest heartbreak/i am getting over strep-throat, and you have made me pancakes. your Instagram caption of this moment/you finally pick up the phone, to tell me i am being ridiculous/uses the word “digesting.” i have thrown up three times that day already and/you wanted to make sure i could hear in your voice how much you didn’t care anymore/the waning sun-light drenches my pores and everyone sees me how you do.

 


Linette Reeman (they/them) exists on the internet at linettereeman.net

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