May 7, 2005

I’m sure by now everybody has seen PostSecret, the “ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard,” but on the off chance that you haven’t, go there immediately.

This is my latest favorite:

What must it be like to be freed of all the bonds that have held you your whole life?

What must it be like to have all the ties that have supported you severed?

What must it be like to owe this to a terrorist attack on the country?

What could motivate you not to tell anyone you were still alive?

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16 Responses to I’m sure by now everybody

  1. Jess says:

    I find that rather disturbing.

  2. Mike says:

    I wonder whether it’s true?

  3. Jess: Me, too.

    Mike: Oooh! I didn’t even consider the possibility that it might not be.

  4. i. bendito says:

    For me, it’s hard not start to point the finger and accuse them of cowardice and selfishness. (I guess that this reveals more about me than about them….)

    Are there any valid reasons to do it?

    Not sure.

    Protecting yourself or your child from an abusive relationship?

  5. birdfarm says:

    i.bendito perhaps assumes that the person had friends/family who would care that s/he was dead. Not everyone does.

    i tend to think it’s not true, but it’s intriguing anyway. and who knows?

  6. Lauren says:

    “…because they think I was one of the hijackers….”

  7. adrienne says:

    Maybe we’re underestimating the pull of that kind of freedom. Imagine it – starting over, becoming whoever you wanted. If not for a handful of people, I would do the same.

  8. Jenna says:

    Adrienne: My feelings exactly. I think for me the reason it’s so disturbing is that I also find it quite appealing.

  9. Jeff says:

    I’ve had a thought like this scrawled in a notebook for years, waiting for a spark that would help me explore it: what would you do if you could just disappear?

  10. birdfarm says:

    there’s a whole book on how to “just disappear” so that not even a private investigator or the FBI could find you. I can’t remember the title but you can find it if you want to, I’m sure.

  11. Sin says:

    God, I can think of at least 15 over-retailed homosexuals in the greater DC Metro area who’d jump on the opportunity to do that if it meant that they could get a new credit history.

  12. Kevin says:

    I wonder if it’s a sort of disdainful hyperbole. Relatives from back home in the Midwest: “So whatever happened to Johnny?”—”I don’t know. Say, wasn’t he in New York when the towers fell?”—”You know, I think you’re right. I wonder if he’s dead… let’s call him. Johnny?! Are you dead?!”

  13. Paul says:

    In 2002, playwright Neil Labute wrote “The Mercy Seat,” which deals with this exact question. The two characters in the play are despicable people, but if certainly does make you think… what if?

  14. elswhere says:

    I saw this one too, and it has haunted me and fascinated me.

    It would be so lonely, though.

  15. Matt says:

    Fascinating project! I hadn’t heard of it ’till now. Thanks! As for this particular ‘secret’, oy! A therapist’s wet dream perhaps…

  16. Carrie says:

    When I saw that one, it made me think back to the conversation I had with my father on 9/11, which is my birthday.

    My mom handed the phone to him and he said, “You know, if it were me, and I got out safely, I think I’d just drop my wallet and walk away. Just not deal with the aftermath.”

    When I told my mother about this PostSecret entry and said I also thought it was a good idea, she shrieked, “What the hell is wrong with you?! You would TORTURE every single person you know without any REASON?”

    I didn’t tell her what Dad said.


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