Ben Orlansky

These are my eyes. This is my city. Welcome to New York.

Some of my photos lie. Or do they? I capture microseconds of humanity. Look at that old man laughing. It warms your heart and puts a smile on your face. Well, actually, he was just picking his teeth, but the results and effects of those little micromoments remain the same. I may lie through my photos, but those lies have affected me greatly, and I hope they do the same for you.

You heard about another atrocity on the news today, one of a particularly evil nature. You examine the face they show in the paper, searching for a sign of the damage inside. But he has no dead eyes, no terrible sneer, and even a hint of a smile. You can’t understand how such inward evil hasn’t reflected at all on his face. It scares you to realize that you’d never know it just by looking in his eyes. It disturbs you a little when you look in the mirror and your faces look almost the same. You remember the cliche about beauty and skin, apparently it also applies to sin. So you walk down the street and look past the faces and you see just how little their looks really matter. It saddens you to know that they always will.

It doesn’t matter how the story ends. It only matters that you know it does. What matters is the in between. You think everything is futile because nothing is forever. You think nothing’s worth your heart because everything will end. You forget that when it ends, your heart ends too. So stop guarding it like it’s going to last forever. Throw it to the wind. Break it into a hundred million pieces a hundred million times. Laugh when you die inside. Be nowhere else every time you kiss. Be nowhere else but there. How much more beautiful is a moment when that is all there is?