Portraits Of Boston: 'I Want Things To Be True'

“If I’m going through a very hard time, and people are trying to bring me out of it, I prefer to stay in that state of suffering until it’s over.”

“Is it because you want to fully experience every human emotion, including sadness?”

“I want things to be true. I also find that if I go with the flow, it works out much better. When I go through a very strong negative emotion and it’s over, I feel much better than I did before it started. When the strong emotion ends and you reach a stage of neutrality or ‘no emotion,’ it feels like a strong opposite emotion. Let’s say you feel extreme sadness. Once it ends and you’re back to normal, it feels like extreme happiness.”

“You’re very young. What have you already been through?”

“I live with my father, but he’s not really there for me. He’s there to set the rules of the house, but that’s about it. I think that has something to do with how I feel sometimes.”

“And your mom?”

“She comes to visit once a month, and I sometimes go to New York to see her.”

“Why are you not close with your father?”

“When I was younger, I was a little mischievous, and I stole money from him and my sister. I don’t think he ever got over it.”

“Why did you do it?”

“I wanted to buy some things, and I didn’t know how to get money any other way. I was too young to work. But now I have no use for money and things. Obviously, I need some clothes, and I want to buy a computer one day, but not much else. I have a couple of two-dollar bills in my wallet in case I get really hungry when I’m out, but I never use them because having a couple of two-dollar bills always seems more important than getting something to eat.”

“Do you have friends?”

“Not really. I am an introvert; I usually prefer to be alone. I think not being close to my parents has forced me to spend a lot of time thinking and has made me wiser. I often say that I’m older than my age. But I also really enjoy conversations like this one. And when I say that I think a lot, I don’t mean thinking about everyday things. I’ve actually experimented with various thought processes and patterns such as anxiety and paranoia. One time I was able to bring myself into a state of paranoia for two hours.”

“How did you come up with this idea?”

"I was reading a lot, and I read a book about how crazy people are actually normal, and we are the ones who are crazy, so I wanted to experience different states of mind.”

Portraits of Boston is a project of independent photographer Ivan Velinov. He is regularly sharing some of his favorite portraits with WBUR. Visit his website to see the hundreds of portraits he has taken on the streets of Boston.


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