Sunday

What would you do with a found photo?

Last night in front of an ATM machine I found a little photo. It must have fallen out of somebody's wallet. It was old and faded. The guys in the photo had big hair and those frilly old 70s tuxedos. This photo had been in somebody's possession a very long time. It had a pin hole in the top, so it must have been pinned somewhere a while, but most recently, it was in somebody's wallet...but now, here it was on the sidewalk in front of an ATM. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to keep it. It was such a great photo. It was like found art...or maybe my 'love' of it was only like the fondness one feels for a baseball card or a wacky action figure or something. I put back on the sidewalk exactly where I picked it up from. Maybe the person would come back for it. At the time, that was the best decision I could make. Maybe I should have kept it, celebrated it: posted it here maybe, maybe made some copies...Maybe I should have tried to slip it through the bank doors (and risked setting off the bank alarm and bringing about circumstances and sirens and questions it would be hard to address). Maybe it will be blown away by the leaf blower Monday morning. Maybe the next user of the ATM would face the same quandary. Maybe I should have picked up the photo and come back to the bank and given it to a teller so they could give it back if somebody came for it - I didn't think of that. That's what I should have done. Or maybe I could have mailed it to the bank. Would the banker really have taken the time to deal with this? What if the person was five minutes away, on his or her way back to pick it up...and then they were back on their way to New York or where ever...My gut feeling was to not remove it from where I found it. This seemed like the best option according to my instincts and quick decision making faculties (which were impaired). I'm thinking it and rethinking it now. I knew it was important. But I treated it differently from....an ATM card I found one day at that very ATM machine. That ATM card: I mailed it to the bank. But an ATM card really stick out, laying on a sidewalk...that one was obvious. That little picture, I barely noticed it. It was face down, it looked just like a blank piece of paper until I picked it up. I really had this strong inclination to put it right back where I found it. Maybe the person would have given up on it right then and there if they came back and saw it was gone. Maybe they wouldn't realize it is gone until...who knows when. What would you have done?

5 comments:

laura b. said...

That is quite the dilemma, Bobby. I'm pretty sure I'd dither about it too. In the end, I probably would have kept it and posted it here:

ifoundyourcamera.blogspot.com
or somewhere like that online, so I could at least feel I was making a little effort to reunite it with it's owner.

Ashley said...

That is a tough one. I'm not sure what I would have done but I think I would have left it too and tried to convince myself that it found its way back to where it belonged.

Billy said...

hmm maybe there's a message here. surely there's an identical picture on another sidewalk in another city in another time maybe.

YouFoundMe said...

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

You made a pretty strong connection to that photo you found.If I was in your situation, I'm sure I would of SMILED at the stranger in the photo b/c they must have been happy when they took the picture and I was sharing that moment in time with them. After that feeling passes,I would put the picture back where I found it and imagine what the stranger would be doing or feeling when they realized that their picture was gone missing.

Now with the finding of the physical ATM card, seeing that the bank was closed, I would have brought it back to the bank the following morning b/c if I had lost my card, I would go back to the bank's lost and found and pray to God that someone turned it in. If someone was mailing my card, I would have no way of knowing that the card was coming my direction and by that time,I would have cancelled and reordered a new one. I'm not trying to put you down, cause you did something nice, I'm just saying that is what I would have done.

Lastly, I too have a recent ATM story. I was lazy and went to the "drive thru atm" one afternoon and this 18 something yr old boy in a truck, who was in front of me left his card in the ATM machine. He didn't look like he was in a rush but he just forgot, I guess. Thankfully, my friend was in the passenger seat, so she hopped right out and returned the card to the bank for me.

YouFoundMe said...

oh btw, your blog is very interesting with your photos and thoughts. Men typically don't write in detail but you are very descriptive- I'm impressed.

I am currently getting sleepy but I am playing catch up on your page.