Sunday, November 29, 2009

old photos and old phriends

My bunny Pepper got tired of his usual play space so he ventured into that hollow under the dressing table. At the end of the day I noticed that he left two slightly-yellowed sheets of paper on the floor, something I assumed he yanked out from under there. The corners were chewed out. Upon inspection, I realized that those were figure drawings I made as a college student - some stuff I forgot about in the past years. As when a window opens to let in light, I remembered some other stuff that should be under there with the old sketches - old watercolor drawings, technical plates, a plastic drawing board. A whole lot of photographs.


I decided to dig out the photographs and see what they bring back.

I inspected them one by one -the dog-eared, dust-mottled, faded prints. I let my mind venture into its storage area to pull out whatever i could remember about each image. I tried to clean them up and took photos of them with the borrowed DSLR, aiming to make digital copies. I downloaded into the laptop and tried restoring them via Photoshop but most of them are beyond bringing back to their original clarity - unless of course I slaved for hours and days on end with the brush and clone tools, but I didn't want to do that.

I shelved that project after getting bored with all the tweaking.

Then a few days ago, a Facebook contact posted photos of us and some common friends, circa 1998. The people tagged in the photos had fun tagging other people, as well as reminiscing what they can about the time the pictures were taken. Of course we couldn't help observing weight gain, weight loss, the awkward '90s hairstyles ...

Then other friends posted other old photos, and the fun multiplied. I wanted to add to the reminiscing, so I returned to the to-be-restored old images in my hard drive and worked on them (I tried not to be obsessive so I would finish fast; I just did what was necessary to improve on the color and contrast and removed the big stains). Pretty soon I had my own nostalgic photos to pool into the fun. I must have had around a hundred images of friends from several different circles. I just put them all in one album and tagged who i could.

I received comments almost immediately. Reminisce here, reminisce there - it was fun. Pretty soon my friends tagged our common friends who weren't my FB contacts, so I easily got to reconnect with them by clicking their "add as a friend" button.

It was fascinating - and funny - how we remembered trivial things about the captured events. What was amusing is how people remembered details about each other, and even bothered to remember. That was kind of touching. We had a blast chatting away and making fun of each other. It was a catching up of sorts.

Even if I haven't even seen or contacted most of them in a decade or more, it felt like we never really moved apart - with the familiarity we addressed each other, the unabashed fun-poking, the humor not to take offense at the childish comments and the incriminating photos. It reminded me that - though I've quite isolated myself from most of them - I've had some real friends in the past who still care somewhat about the friendship we shared back when ... whenever that was.

But I guess that was the whole point, right? ^_^