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COLLEEN, 2011: The way I remember it, my eyes popped open the second this was snapped. I woke up to the shutter and an Oakland sun pouring in the window of my freshman dorm room. Molly was all set up and crouched behind a tripod, kitty-corner to the bed saying “Good morning! Don’t move!”.  There were big black sharpie X’s on the backs of my hands from a show the night before, and the postcard above my pillow read: “Alone at last”- an ironic sentiment at that point in my life, having never even shared my bed before.

I went to Mills (a private, all girls liberal arts bird sanctuary in East Oakland) to escape my tiny, nearly queerless home town in Washington State. I admittedly had little intention of studying anything other than girls at that tender, unconscious age and would probably hold an honorary BA in Codependent Infatuation by now if I’d finished school there.  It is totally freaky to me that almost seven years have passed since this portrait was taken; that means all my cells have been regenerated and I’m a completely different person, right? When I look in my old eyes, I really feel what that means. I thought I would never have a relationship then, and that if I did find the one in a million girl who would love me I would hold onto her forever. While my cells were busy jitterbugging between that me and this one, I bounced between cities, friends and homes, found girls who loved me and let them go. I learned that love is more like a looking glass than a lottery game, if that makes sense. All in all, I’d say if you saw me now I would (hopefully) look a lot less confused.