Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Strangers We Know and the Friends We Don't

I woke up this morning and decided it would be nice to take a little train ride to Brooklyn with my camera in tow. The streets of Brooklyn happen to strike me as being particularly photo-worthy and I hoped I might find some willing strangers to participate in Kissing Strange while there. After disembarking from the train, I entered a nearby Mexican restaurant that I'd never been to before. It was small and dark and as I stood in line to place my order, my mind labored over the question of whether I wanted a margarita or a beer to go with my huevos racheros. I grieve over such decisions if not properly made. My tumultuous reverie was interrupted when a man exiting the restaurant handed me a napkin in passing, telling me I'd dropped it. Quite certain that I hadn't, and far more worried about the question of margarita vs. beer than dropped napkins, I thanked him and dismissively placed the napkin on the counter. "No," he said. "Read it." Entirely confused between beer, wine, margarita and napkin, I opened the latter and saw the following scrawled in ink:
KISSING STRANGE
D
.*
Kissing Strange
It blows my mind that there are people out there who read this blog and know this project and don't necessarily know me or J directly. I find it exciting that technology allows for such unspoken conversations between people, sometimes turning strangers into friends or providing the light to show things the other way round. It can be humbling to read the writing of someone you think you know only to discover that their thoughts, passions and ideals are not what you'd presumed or imagined; that the person you think you know is someone you've perhaps overlooked or taken for granted so much so that the person you think you know is effectively a stranger. This again is part of the impetus behind this project: to bring people together and illuminate the gaps between them, even and particularly when they're not aware that they're there, for if we can't see the gaps, how can we bridge them?

Mike and Jamie
NameMikeJamie
Religion
DemocratNone
Occupation
Ethnicity
Attorney
None Listed
Assistant at a Theatre Agency
German/Chilean
Political
Affiliation
Democrat
None
Marital
Status
Married
Single


Robert and Chel (?)

NameRobertChel**
Religion
None Listed
Recovering Catholic
Occupation
Ethnicity
Retired
None Listed
Graphic Design + Illustration
Asian
Political
Affiliation
Democrat
Liberal
Marital
Status

Married
Single
By the way, I find it interesting what people choose to list or leave out on the Kissing Strange questionnaire. I don't push them for answers; I just say they should disclose what they're comfortable disclosing.
I am off to see a puppet show!

x.
a

kissingstrange.blogspot.com
Because we're all family

*D, J and I hope you won't be a stranger. Send us a note and say hi!
**I couldn't make out the name of the woman in the second picture. I believe it says Chel but whoever you are, please drop me a line if I have listed your name incorrectly.

2 comments:

  1. What a story!!! I know if i ever get to do an artist's talk this will be one of the first few slides. Fantastic.

    D, for real, please get in touch. I/we have so many questions.

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