Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Introducing... The Nearest Dears

Hello and welcome to the The Nearest Dears Gallery! My name is Tamara. I'm a recent migrant to an urban neighborhood in Philadelphia. The Nearest Dears is a blog dedicated to my aspirations of friend-making in my new home; the 'city of brotherly shove.' (On a premature tangent, the mock title, 'city of brotherly shove' is a tribute to my youth pastor, who created it in a valiant attempt at sarcasm one day on a field trip to the Liberty Bell. Later that day, he woefully confessed to having an addiction to kiddy porn.)

Anyhow, like any new comer, I'm experiencing difficulties meeting new people with whom I can form meaningful relationships. I'm hoping (albeit romantically) that the method I use to create this virtual gallery will help me in the aim of making new friends.

The idea is as follows -every entry will be based on a photo that I take with a 'dear.'
Let's begin with the rules:

Rule 1. The dear and must be a stranger.
Rule 2. The photo must be taken in a photo booth.
Rule 3. The photo must be posted as evidence that the dear described in the entry is an actual person.
Rule 4. The Dear must be near. No one from out of town can be considered near.

So, what is a 'dear' exactly? According to dictionary-reference.com, a 'dear' is a person who is 'beloved or loved.'

Let me give you a cogent example of a dear:

To the right is a picture of me. I'm a dear. (Dear to many.) The joker of a shoe I'm with is actually my grandmother's shoe. It's quite dear to me. Grandmamare (as I posthumously refer to her) was a smart shopper. On the soul of this shoe is a sticker that says she purchased it for $9.99: a soft souled, neutral colored, wide-boxy-fit pump. It must've been a real steal in 1993.
My grandmother, (also a world-class dear), was very particular about where things were placed in our house. She had many dear things. For example, her shoes were very dear to her. They were always placed neatly on the shoe rack. Or, if they weren't, they were tucked up in pairs along the wall; never strewn about in the middle of the floor. She was meticulous.

Exactly 9 years, 7 hours and 42 minutes ago to date, my grandmother began to
feel a great pain in her heart. Knowing it was the end, looking fashionable and pragmatic as ever with her sleek fitted black dress, her hair curled, her eyes lined, her hands manicured, she slipped off those trendy, boxy pumps. Unable to make it all the way to the shoe rack, she considerately tucked them along the edge of the wall. She would never leave the house a mess.

At this point you might be asking, 'Tamara, how do I know you're a Dear? Must I just take your word for it? I don't even know you.'

Well, let's fix that. For starters, you already know my name -it's Tamara (emphasis on the tAm.) One of my good dears (who is not near) calls me Tambourine. It's my favorite sobriquet. I'm also known as Pep, Pepper, Dear Pep, Miss Pep and Pepe of the Post.

I'm a writer and a notorious raw-onion-eater (much to the dismay my nearest of dears.) My favorite past time involves sitting on subway station platforms and gazing longingly at passengers who are on subway cars pulling away. When I do this, the subjects of my spontaneous affections have a variety of emotional responses. They include: disgust, bewilderment, anger, amusement, dismay, fear and every so often, true rapture; sometimes they gaze back... Whatever their immediate, knee-jerk response is however, it doesn't actually matter. What matters is, years down the road, when they inevitably are made to face life's challenges; perhaps they go through a divorce or get sick or lose the love of a child, they may wonder who that woman was at the station that day. What did she want? Why didn't she simply get on the train? They will wonder, Why did she let
me go? She was a dear...

I was. I am.

Enjoy the gallery.

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