On Sharing Small Moments with No One

The camgirl says she’s writing a novel. “It’s going to be incredible,” she says into the camera. “It’s so hard to explain what it’s going to be about though, condensing all these thoughts down into speech. that’s why it needs to be an entire book, I guess.” Someone tips her five dollars. There’s a poster hanging on the wall behind her, a reminder of humanity. “Imagine a love story between two planets orbiting on opposite sides of a distant star. Imagine a car breaking down in the middle of the highway in the desert when there are no other cars on the road and just leaving it there, and it being okay. Imagine the way the sky gets lighter towards the top and darker towards the edges.” Her eyes are the same color as a shell a young girl dug up in the garden once, thousands of miles from the sea. “This camera is an act of ritual,” she says. “A sacrifice on the digital altar of sex and money and time. I give time, but I also receive an equivalent amount of your time from you, so this is not a sacrifice, it’s an equal transaction. You give money, but I provide a service, so this too is a transaction. But it is still a sacrifice, for you will always want more then I am able or willing to provide.” She’s talking to no one now. The chatroom is empty. It’s two in the morning, in the room in the building in the city where she lives. “Sometimes it’s nice to talk to an empty room through a closed door. You don’t actually want someone to be listening, but you want there to be the possibility of it. It feels better to talk to the idea of a potential person than an actual person sometimes.” A car passes on the street outside her house and the headlights play through the blinds and across the ceiling. She watches it drip down the walls before draining back out again through the glass. “Sometimes you find a moment,” she says, “and it’s not perfect, but it’s enough. And you think to yourself; this is nice. I’d like to stay here for awhile.”