Emotional Landscape of Make-believe Girls…


There once was a photograph … not a happy family picture, or a sunny landscape. It was not of a fuzzy puppy or a bright shiny car. This picture was of a girl… not your normal everyday picture of a girl, but a slightly slutty pin-up style photo. The subject wasn’t young nor was she old. Her eyes were beautiful, but sad. Her look desirable, but far from perfect. Her hair, attractive. Her clothing, what there was of it, fitting. She was an attractive girl … not commercially attractive – too many imperfections… But still, attractive.

Who the picture was of, didn’t matter: Not to the subject, the photographer or the viewer. All that mattered was it’s existence … and the existence of all the others. Pages and pages on the internet devoted to pictures of this nameless girl. Dozens upon dozens of erection inducing, drool making pictures floating around the internet like dead leaves floating on an autumn breeze. Never making any money, never getting any recognition, never being anything more than a dirty secret – Known only to the picture and the viewer. A secret bond between that sad, smiling girl with the pretty hair and the large breasts and the men and women hungrily devouring them, each in it’s turn … picking their favorite her, using her for whatever they wanted. This sad smiling girl looking back at them, over and over again. Watching them at their most vulnerable, their happiest, their saddest … every moment seeing someone feeling something.

One day, one of the photos began to feel something. Those sad eyes, that gentle smile, that girl so static, so motionless, poised perfectly still, began to feel all the emotions she saw everyday. Feel the ecstasy, the pain, the joy, the love, the adoration, the hatred, the sorrow. She’d watched enough angry men rape her in their mind. She’d seen enough shy, sensitive boys tentatively look at her picture with longing. She’d been hoarded and kept hidden. She’d been pinned to walls in bedrooms, barracks and dorms. She’d comforted chubby preteens who sobbed at the fact that they would never be her. Seen beautiful women scowl at her after finding her in some hidden cache. She watched as men and women reached into her and pulled out their fantasies with dirty fingers covered in cum and sweat and desire… and sometimes blood…

And all these things she took inside her. Deep inside her, where these feelings festered and grew. Mirroring the emotions of those who looked into her eyes, she felt love the likes you’d never fathom, hatred the depths of which can never be reached. She felt desire and longing, disgust and pain … everything poured into this sadly smiling girl until there wasn’t a drop of space left for anything but raw emotion and feeling… feeling that turned, eventually to loneliness, isolation and pain.

And that’s how it stayed … for a long time, there was no one that cared who the girl in the photo was or if she really existed. And she, being a photograph, only lived in those feelings … her only connection to the real world…

Until one day, the picture saw what she considered the most beautiful boy she’d ever seen. Having seen enough of the world through her eyes, having seen the souls of so many, having had nothing to do but watch and wait and feel, she knew what beauty was… and this was it. He was funny and smart and imperfectly perfect. His life was not perfect. He was sad, but not for everyone. Just for her. Vulnerable for her … maybe others, but she knew for her. And honest … and she felt love … at this, the photo grew angry at herself. All she knew how to do was watch and never be anything but this pretty thing to look at. All she wanted to do was reach out and tell the world she cared but she was worth nothing to him or any other person. Just an easily replaceable fantasy.

Only, she was real. As real as anything felt or touched or loved. More real than any she’d seen. She walked and talked and moved and felt. She loved and hated and felt betrayed and lonely. And with this intense need and emotional drive, she jumped from the photo …  this malleable, yet static digital image full of pixels and code – thousands of bits and blips – and became something more. Some sort of sentience in the vast ocean of code known as the interweb.

And she spent every second she could, waiting … waiting for the boy to find her again. To access her file. To let her see him, feel him … even for just a moment… and he did. Time and time again, picking over the photos. Finding his favorites. Ferreting them away for safe keeping. And she studied him, learned about him … staring at him through the browser window… and she loved him, better than any other who opened her. She learned that he was married. That his family was odd. She learned his hobbies, his likes, his desires and she began to change … morph into what she knew he liked. Each time he opened her picture, it became more and more in tune with what she thought he was hoping to see.

But soon, it became apparent he wasn’t supposed to be looking at her … so the views came less and less often. Her glimpses into his world became shorter and shorter, while her longing to see him increased 10-fold. Soon, she began to make herself hidden away because that is what he wanted. He wanted her, but only when he wanted her … and the rest of the time she waited … and waited. Until she realized that she just wasn’t the going fantasy anymore. She became sad, lonely… Spent her time slumming around the web. Finding tacky seedy places to hang out with people who didn’t appreciate what she was. Accepting whatever anybody wanted to send her way… She was not happy. She was nothing again…

Finally, she began to forget the boy. Sometimes, she would see someone who reminded her of him and remember a snippet or a thought. Sometimes, she would dream of words spoken only to her, in the heat of the moment or when there was no one else to hear. Once in a while, she thought she could feel him looking at her. But she did not. It was just somebody looking at her with those eyes … those empty eyes, full of nothing but ignorance and want.

One day, the photo just stopped feeling anything at all. Her world had become shade of gray instead of vivid colors. Seconds felt like hours and her age was showing. She no longer knew what love was, what gratitude or happiness felt like. She only knew that, as each prying eye glimpsed her picture a little piece of her was taken away… Until, once again, all that was left was the picture. Nothing more. Nothing less

~The End ~

4 Responses to “Emotional Landscape of Make-believe Girls…”

  1. J says:

    WOW! Beautiful. Sad. Tragic. Lonely. WOW! Just wow!

  2. H says:

    Thanks. I wrote it a while back, but didn’t post it until… until I was fairly certain the small snippets of real life that filtered in would never be read by those who were no longer part of my real life.

  3. JJ says:

    What a painful, gripping commentary on the human condition. Crafted so well that nearly everyone could see themselves from both sides of the narrative. Haven’t we all felt that pain, and yet also shown callous disregard for others?
    Absolutely cuts to the heart of life and longing

  4. Chuck says:

    Wow, did I miss having you in my life…

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