He went into the secondhand shop looking for nothing. The place had a distinct, unpleasant smell. Like the homes of the elderly; where lifetimes are kept in boxes and cupboards, bundled and waiting for their judgement day. Ushman had no interest in the clothes or the handbags, the jewelry or the housewares. He had come in only as a distraction- a way to pass twenty minutes before an appointment. But there was one set of shelves that caught his eye. With buttons and money clips, baseball cards and cassette tapes, it looked as though a couple dozen people had simply walked by and emptied their pockets and purses. Ushman worked his way through these bits and pieces, imagining what they might have meant to people. Now just junk in a store on 10th Avenue, these things meant something once. Never the important things, never the things anybody truly needed, but the objects that lodged in a child's memory about their parent or reminded a person of a friend from long ago. The camera was sitting haphazardly between a cigarette lighter and a bag of ceramic marbles. It was an instant camera like one that a school friend of his had brought back from a holiday in Morocco. For ten dollars, Ushman bought the little black box and a handful of cassette tapes marked with the year of his birth, 1964. Then, he began to photograph his life.