leave your wife. travel solo to Paris. lose yourself. find yourself. get intimate with Annie Frame.
This past October, I left behind an eight-year marriage and traveled alone to Paris. In the beginning, I barely spoke to anyone unless I had to; I listened to one song over and over, wallowing in my sadness by masochistically revisiting the places we’d spent together two years before. The little studio we stayed in; the blue market that sold perfect peaches; the spot by the canal—life felt like a strange dream.
Nights were restless, drunkenly walking back to my rented apartment, weeping and sucking down cigarettes while recognizing the nicotine stains on my fingers. Eventually, I stopped crying and started grinning - I was beginning to enjoy the feeling of being lost, because it meant I was alive. It was then that I decided to ground myself; that for the rest of my trip, I was going to be vulnerable—even if it terrified me.
I took in as much art as I could, met wonderful strangers I’ll never forget, and was fortunate enough to run into an acquaintance from back home. Alli and I immediately became partners in crime. Trolling our final days in Paris looking for debauchery and sharing good conversation. The Parisians adored her as much as I did.
Our final morning, I hugged her goodbye, Alli still wearing the same clothes from the night before, her ice blue eyes beaming out from her usual black beanie. “See you back in Brooklyn.” She turned the corner into the most beautiful ray of light.
Two weeks after returning home, my co-worker informed me of the attacks in Paris. So close to where I was staying. It took me two more days just to look at the news. I decided instead to write to all of the people I’d just met. Claire was safe and wrote me back first: “We must enjoy the life in our friends’ eyes.” I then asked her what she’d be doing for the rest of the day. “Looking up at the ceiling, and eating Nutella.” I enjoyed imagining this. More email responses came in throughout the day, the weight feeling heavier still, for a city that took me in and nourished my heart.
Annie Frame is a NY-based photographer and visual artist interested in capturing moments on sensuality, gender fluidity, and still oddity. Her recent work combines drawings and text alongside imagery to evoke tension between personal history and identity. The zine, titled "A PART," was printed by Conveyor Arts and sold out at the NY Art Book Fair 2015. Frame is an alumni of the International Center of Photography (GS '15). She continues to photograph weirdos and artists in her studio in Bushwick. Her work has appeared in Brooklyn Magazine, Fader, Dazed, Under the Radar, and The Awl, as well as women's apparel for American Eagle.