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?
Posted by Bobby at 7:35 AM