Livia Caligor | Silver Gelatin Prints


Last spring, I took the 6 train from the periphery of Spanish Harlem to my office in Soho every day. I remember the way I’d limp up the hill at the cross section of 110th Street, peering into the backlit shadow of the subway stop at the end of the street, blasting Bowie classics to cancel out the whisper of catcalls around me. My blouse clung to the small of my back as I entered the station, which was already cramped and humid before dawn. I embarked the vehicle each morning with a leather knapsack, a ziploc bag of grapes for the road, and a pair of kitten heels I’d change into at my second to last stop. 

Passengers would come and go as the subway raced and paused between stops. Ninety-sixth. Seventy-seventh.

XYLYLS | The Privilege of Loss

I try to catalogue everything that happens, maybe to the brink of obsession. To that point, I have three pillars on which I rely to retell what is effectively my story: my Google calendar, a five-year Hobonichi, and my bullet journal. I’m obnoxiously type A with my calendar—I record any deviation from schedule, MCAT studying, impromptu kickbacks with friends, working out, journaling, etc. To supplement that, I start every morning by journaling in my Hobonichi. This particular 2019 – 2023 design reserves one spread for each calendar date, five divided rows for each year.

OH, FISH | The Girl Who Cried Fish Bone

A nurse, dressed completely in navy-blue and gripping a clipboard, sprints down the hallway––in my direction, I assume. But my optimism proves short-lived, as she passes by my bed just as fast as I had gotten my hopes up. I roll my head back, eye the clock and then my dad, and let myself fall back onto the hospital cot. I should have kept my mouth shut. It’d been almost three hours since we arrived at the urgent care center, and I was more than ready to forget my incident and head home “untreated.” My parents, however, were far too determinedly overprotective and accustomed to long wait times to give in so easily, so we waited and waited among the others, weary and waiting, too.

ON MY MIND | I Don’t Feel Like Smiling

There’s an old chain email/Facebook adage that goes something like: “It takes 37 muscles to frown but only 22 muscles to smile. So smile. It conserves energy.”

I’ll tell you right now that I googled this saying to see if it had any scientific merit, but the first three links I tried were all inconclusive or confusing so I gave up. I give up on a lot of things, so it’s not really a big deal. Anyway, I only looked it up in the first place because I wanted to let you know that smiling is too hard and consequently I’ve decided to stop until further notice.

ON MY MIND | International Leaf-Toucher’s Anthem

So. I’ve developed a habit where I try to pluck a fistful of leaves – or a solitary leaf – off as many low-hanging branches on as many passing trees as I can while walking home on pretty-good Saturday nights (weather permitting). I might do it on weekdays too, or even during daylight hours if the urge has really got a grip on these twitchy digits. It’s powerful, when it hits.