…caught somewhere between her mishandled adolescence and ill-fitting adulthood, her room sits frozen in a museum-like state of forgotten memories and broken promises, both stale and innocent in its presence. plastic, letter room decals that spell her name fade on walls that over time have taken, both, her dreams and stories alike. dozens of perfume bottles bought when times were “good” and money plenty and dainty treasures her vice, now sit, rusting and drying and dusty from being unused.

 

“i need to get me some more”, she says, on cue, when she notices me fingering the brims of half-filled bottles, a habit i’ve had since our teens. picking up random bottles, spraying them once in the air, because ‘girly’, her signature and i’ve always delighted in how serious she took it all. beside them rest another pile of artifacts, several gold-rimmed glasses, dusty from lack of wear, shiny relics from her days of party and gloss and glamour, a lavender scented candle burning on a table close by.

 

behind that rest her cigarettes, a bottle full of various pills (oxycodone, percocet, xanax) which, out of respect for who she was , i try my best to not capture in my shots (i can’t help but to wonder if i've done a disservice to my own journalistic integrity, by trying to honor my friend’s image) while still capturing who she ‘is’ in full bloom, somber essence and all.

 

she used to be a fledgling child model, a hair model, ‘just for me’, girl who was known best for her looks. craving all things fairy-tale, she is stuck in a teen warped version of who she wishes she was and who she never got to be, pregnancy and early marriage shadowing all she hoped for herself. pop star, aaliyah, rests in tribute on her walls and jewelry dressers, via magazine covers and cheap mall portraits she keeps on buying. she holds a frayed, printed out collage of trey songs, a display of rainbow colored hair ties stacked on a broken teddy bear figurine seated behind her.

 

"take a picture", she gleams, the mother with two teens now shadowing her path, the divorcee too broken to be bitter, the alcoholic and functioning drug addict, too unaware of just what i will be capturing when i do...