I’d been fascinated with Rand since I’d written a story in the New York Times magazine about a competitive championship tournament bridge player who was also an active objectivist and Rand devotee. I had read half of Atlas Shrugged before I got the gist of my role. I really enjoyed the book because of its absurdly reductive philosophy that inadvertently plays on adolescent male narcissism like a jazz saxophone — to draw a connection to the famous Randian saxophonist and economist Alan Greenspan — but it also spoke directly to the adolescent male fantasy of “I’m the only smart one. Everyone is leeching off of me and I’d rather destroy my work than compromise my integrity by being nice to others.” Her moral severity came as a tonic to my cultural relativist upbringing.

The dress in which John Hodgman impersonated Ayn Rand, one of the many magnificent garment-related tales in Emily Spivack’s Worn Stories.

Tell us your stories! Transformations is our upcoming exhibition and we are looking to YOU to share a dramatic and inspiring experience that reshaped your life. If your story is selected, you will work with the curator of the exhibition, and will choose works from our collection, to create a visual representation of your emotional state, both before and after the transformative event.Five stories total will be chosen. For more details on how to enter, click here.

12th & girard smells like a graveyard nowadays.

But even so, I still wonder what would it be like
if the pavement wasn’t made of skeleton bones.
If the air didn’t taste of blood and childhood memories,
would it still be my home away from home?
Would I still want to be an artist if I didn’t see their chalk outlines?

I swear,
if an apartment complex could have a heart beat—
they were that. They were the sitcom in an episode of laughter.

…Now they’re nothing more than…

Some nights, if I close my eyes tight enough,
I can see myself as a boy standing against a balcony railing.
High enough in the air to spin the sun on my finger
and count the craters in a Full Moon.
With eyes like an assassin staring down at my
grandmother and sister sitting on a weathered
park bench that chips away cleanly like hope does from life.

They both look like they haven’t aged a day.
My sister’s wrapping her hair into a ponytail
and my grandmother smiles at a two pigeons
fighting over a piece of bread. Shortly after,
they get up and walks towards the gates exit
like its a entrance into heaven.
And maybe it is.

They always stop and whisper something
to each other; then laugh hysterically.
I try my hardest to hear them or even say something, but
their voices are too low and my tongue feels like it weighs a ton.
Eventually they leave and I wait around patiently for days.
The same way a boy does when his mother promises
him ice cream if he’s quiet in the doctor’s office.
But they never come back.
And the truth is, they never will.
—  Invisible Tattoos™: I See Dead People

What I will show is the boy reaching an understanding of the girl, and the process of the girl’s heart opening up to the boy.

In the end the girl may say to the boy, ‘I love you, Ashitaka. But I can’t forgive human beings.’

The boy will smile and say, ‘That’s alright. Won’t you live together with me?’

This is the kind of film I want to make.