Sunday, July 27, 2014

World-Hungry


Originally Posted Sunday, November 25, 2013


"The folk singer Woody Guthrie was prone to hyperbole. Whatever caught his attention, even briefly, became in his rendering the biggest, the best, the most, the greatest. His lyrics suggested a constant state of wonder, as if he saw every public utility project, rapid-churned river, dive bar or struggling worker through the eyes of a voracious, world-hungry child" (source).
 That  spirit is very well known to me.  It was the attitude of a generation.  Not mine, but my parents'.  You read it in Kerouac and Ginsberg, too, who got it from Walt Whitman.  It was O.K. to mythologize.  It was more than that.  It made life more than tolerable.  Somewhere there was a place with the world's best apple pie.  In the forests of the northwest, there were men like Paul Bunyan.  There was a fishing hole with the world's largest bass, an orchard with the world's sweetest pears.  Etc. 

This little travel article by Freda Moon really got me today.  She wrote the heck out of it.  If you've been to some of the places she mentions, you know you have to be a good writer of some mythic proportions to see what she sees.  You can't be easily bored. 

But I traveled across the country on my own many, many years ago, and it was like that still. Regionalism still existed, and crossing state lines was like going to another country.  The way people sounded changed.  The language changed.  The food you ate and the beers you could get all became new.  And I. . . I was a "world-hungry child." I would be so again. 

I saw this Mobil logo on a gas pump yesterday.  Are they on all of them?  I don't know.  But it caught my eye.  iPhone Hipstamatic.  They've really done a nice job with this app.  I used the iPhone camera in a restaurant last night to read the bill I couldn't see because I never take my glasses.  How freaking clever, eh?  I will invent an app for this and make a fortune.  I need to after reading the bill.  I've decided to eat before I go out for the rest of the year.  Or. . . I will eat in those cheap working class diners that Guthrie so loved where you could get the world's best cup of chili for a nickel.  They are around, I think, but not on the boulevard.  Hmm.  Perhaps I need to spend some time just driving around my own home state looking at things, mythologizing.  I might just be the man to do it, too.

Pity Party


Originally Posted Saturday, November 23, 2013

It is Friday night, and it is dark though it is not in the least bit late.  It is more difficult than it used to be. I am worn. 

The week was rough, full of emotional battles at the factory.  I am in a position where all I get are problems, or so it seems.  At least this week.  I have had at least five situations that needed much care and tending with me being benign and not the monster that I can be.  If I eat enough shit, so to speak, I can usually solve most employee problems. 

And so it goes. 

The tenant called this morning, too, and started in on the problems of our times.  The repairman came yesterday, she said, and boy was he pissed when he saw the new patio.  He was supposed to put that in, she said he said.  He said it was a shitty job and that it will flood.  Did you talk to him, she asked? 

Yes, I talked to him yesterday.  Everything is fine.  But he is expensive and he has just gotten divorced and will be paying child support and alimony, and he's losing his house, too, so he needs work and his prices, I am certain, have just gone up, but my income has not, and that makes for a bad set of circumstances.  Everybody wants something. 

Well, she said, I had asked him to put in another outlet behind the refrigerator.  Did he mention that, she asked?  Yes, I answered.  Why do you need another outlet?  Because, she said, we keep tripping over the refrigerator cord.  It needs to be moved.  You've lived there for seven years, I thought.  When did this problem arise?  But I said that I would come look at it instead. 

It was a rough week, but the boss is taking next week off, and he was leaving early today to get a massage.  I waited for his car to clear the parking lot, and I was out as well.  I hit the gym before the crowd and then walked a few miles in the mellow late afternoon air.  I need to get physical again, I thought, even if it's gentle.  I found that I was walking slower than normal and tried to pick up the pace, but each time I did, I settled back into my shuffling stride.  Uh-oh, I thought, but the afternoon was nice and I didn't want to think about the other thing. 

Back home after the gym and the walk, I thought that I would go somewhere and have a drink, but I showered and my back froze up and the pain would not leave me as the sun went down and suddenly I was thinking only of sitting and getting relief.  I tried cleaning up the house a bit and went through the hideous pile of mail, took the clothes that had been in the dryer out and put in a new load of laundry.  Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow. 

I poured a glass of wine and called my mother.  She had heard from the hillbilly relatives and they were having a full house, so mom and I decided that we would stay home and have our own turkey dinner.  It was O.K. I said.  She needed to relax.  That was a joke, of course, as she is long retired and has little that she has to do, but I. . . I could use some time. 

The darkness was now profound, and though the pain in my back and butt and hamstrings had subsided, I was all but worn out completely and knew that I would not even get dressed to go to the grocery store.  I looked in the cabinets and found a can of tuna and some pasta.  There was edamame in the freezer.  Dinner would be the same tonight as it was the night before.  Oh. . . the bar was already well-stocked.  It would be a quiet night home with books and magazines and maybe a movie on t.v.  I needed quiet, I thought, after the week I had had.  I'd had enough of people. 

The cat was nuzzled against my foot. 

I looked around the house.  It was a good house though it could use some sprucing, but the basic things were there.  Perhaps for Christmas, I thought, I'll buy myself some rugs and shutters and little things besides.  And maybe light.  The house was dim which was O.K. when I was young but such lighting was a little difficult now.  I needed flowers and candles and luxuries. 

Outside the world had gone still.  It was just past six o'clock.  I remembered long ago when I lived in another house next to the Country Club College.  I would be home on a Friday night drinking wine and reading books and waiting for "Miami Vice" to come on at nine.  And after that, I would walk out my front door and go to one of the most classic bars in the history of the world just a block and a half from my home.  Everyone would be there, or at least everyone who mattered.  It was not a place for the hoi-poloi.  It was more like a private club than a bar, and anything could happen.  You wouldn't want to miss it. 

There is no "Miami Vice" or an equivalent on Friday night any more, and there is no bar in town like that one.  Even if there were, I think I might have a difficult time staying awake.  No, no. . . I am sure that is not correct, but it is hard to know as there is nothing remotely similar now. 

The dryer rumbles and the dishwasher squeaks.  I pour another glass of wine.  No one gives me anything, I am thinking as I sip the sharp sweetness of the Chardonnay.  All they bring to me are problems.  I am tired of their stupid problems, tired of being their fucking savant.  I want someone to leave me a present, anything, something simple, a friendship bracelet that she made for me or a cachet.  Silly things. . . you know?  My world was filled with such beautiful wonders.  It seems I was always waiting just to see what would happen next. 

But the days of free drinks and second looks. . . .  No, that is not completely true.  Just tonight nursing the pain hangover, I will throw a little pity party for myself.  Of sorts.  With what I have at hand which is not enough, but it will do.  Tomorrow will be a better day.

Thinking About You


Originally Posted Friday, November 22, 2013

You can't help but wondering what the day will hold when you get up before dawn with an excruciating pain in your back and hips and hamstrings and you stumble to the bathroom where you forgot to replace the toilet paper, and moments later the coffee maker pours coffee all over the countertop for your pleasure and enjoyment.  Dawn barely breaks on a muggy, gray day.  You open the door for the cat who takes two steps and sees her nemesis sitting on the deck and turns tail back into the house even though said nemesis has run away in the opposite direction upon seeing you.  You look at the pile of mail that has accumulated on the floor for the last week right where it falls through the mail slot knowing you surely have some past due bills under all the flyers, but it hurts too much to bend down to get them.  Later, trying to drink the remaining coffee that is more grounds than fluid, you Google one of your favorite photographers who has dropped his blog and under "Images" you find many of your own, so of course you click on them to see why and you find that you have been collected on multiple sites you have never heard of.  You go to one to see what it is about and suddenly you can't control your mouse and the screen freezes as Apple's little pinwheel shows up and begins to spin, so you quickly restart your computer hoping you've prevented something bad from happening.  There are emails to write and pictures to make, but you'd rather not do any of it or anything else you can think of and you wonder if this is just a bug or an end of life experience.  You reach down to scratch your butt and it is soft.  You have not been to the gym for a week and have not run for a very long time because it hurts your back.  This is the way it goes, you think, even though everything you've done to destroy your back was done instead to prevent old age.  It is a game, you think, this aging, and you wonder if it is better to win or to lose as you think about the coming years, but you know that you don't want to be gone and let others decide what your life meant or whether it meant anything at all and knowing that people will begin to tell all the weirdness they knew about you in joking, conspiratorial tones until they just don't talk about you at all anymore.  But this is no way to think you know and not something to think about at all on such a crummy day but everything else seems to end the same way like the new patio you had laid between the house and the garage apartment that may be too low and may flood when it rains hard which will not be until the summer when it will be too late to call anybody back to complain.  And why is HBO so fucking stingy with their shows anymore, you wonder thinking they are cheating by only making nine or ten episodes in a series and not putting them "On Demand" the way they should.  Everything is disappearing that you were enjoying, you think, and you don't know where they are going or what is replacing them and you don't know who any of the celebrities are except people like Harrison Ford who somehow got so old, and you wonder if Gene Hackman is still alive.  You think about making a fresh pot of coffee but you are lazy and besides you will have to get ready for work in a little while and there will be no breakfast because you keep forgetting to buy eggs and you've eaten all the yogurt and you barely ate the night before and your stomach is empty and hollow and growling.  Once again you think you will quit drinking but it is Friday and maybe someone will want to have a cocktail and you wonder where some of the girls you were having fun with have gone and why you have not kept in touch with them and you think about staying home but you have already watched everything you have recorded and there is never anything good on a Friday night no matter how much money you are paying for cable.  You think a shower might help and you decide to go to work early for once.  Maybe, you think, I'll read a new book.  It seems like the only thing to do.

Momma Says to Knock You Out


Originally Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013


A friend of mine sent me a link to this video in a message called "Black People Having Fun."  You've all seen it by now, a "game" where kids pick some unwitting victim and sucker punch him or her to see if they can knock him out.  It is fairly terrifying, but it is worse than that.  It is worth exploring. 

First, how can my friend call it "Black People Having Fun"?  There's a white kid in the video.  O.K.  He's just talking, and at least she didn't use the "N" word.  But in the news video, all the kids doing the punching are young and black, and all the people taking a dive are old and white.  There isn't much more terrifying to old white people than an image like this.  And it's true.  I mean the video is irrevocable proof that it happened.  Then there are all the black kids laughing and talking about it in a joking way.  It's just a game, they say.  It's just for fun.  Bad ju-ju, my friends.  It takes us back to native uprisings.  People of no morals and all that. 

And it might be true.  But I have to wonder.  I grew up with the worst kind of cracker rednecks in the world.  True.  And they used to target black people for just this sort of random behavior.  So I have to wonder. . . are only black kids doing this?  Is their a bias in the reporting?  Are there enough security cams in the ghetto?  I mean, if there were, would we see this game being played with black victims, too?  And of course, there is Boston.  Know what I'm sayin'? 

Then again, it was L.L Cool J who sang "Momma Says to Knock You Out."  But I think he made all his money off white kids, didn't he? 

I have a friend from the old steroid gym, a guy in his sixties, who got his ass kicked by a gang of fourteen and fifteen year olds in his own fenced in backyard.  I forgot to ask him if they were white or black, but nonetheless, it is terrifying to think.  Now that I am having trouble just getting out of bed or a chair, I feel vulnerable.  It happened so quickly, too.  Two years ago, I would have. . . .  Whatever.  Like everybody else who sees this, I have the natural outrage.  I want something done.  But I am different than most people in that I don't care much for putting people in prison.  The whole idea of prison doesn't make sense to me.  I don't know what holding someone in a prison for three to five years is supposed to do for them.  It doesn't make them better.  We all know that.  And putting these kids in juvie ain't gonna do shit. 

Nope.  I say you either kill them or put them in work camps doing America's Dirtiest Jobs.  We should be making money off their punk asses, not spending it. 

But of course I can't be serious.  These are just kids for God's sake.  Of course we can rehabilitate them.  We have a chance to do something good and right. 

I have these two cartoon characters sitting on opposite shoulders whispering in my ears.  Manichean.  Dichotomous.  Binomial.  X's and O's. 

Dare I say. . . Black and White. 

I'll be talking about this with my Negro Friends today.  I know, I am awful.  But this has made me realize that my black friends aren't really "black," and my white friends aren't really "white."  The more I think about it, my gay friends are really "gay" and my straight friends are really "straight."  Etc.  I live in that cool, middle world.

But Jesus Christ, when Birmingham, Alabama meets North St. Louis, it makes for dangerous living. 

I don't have the answer, of course, but I like to raise the question.  Mostly, I think I am just wondering about this little tidbit of "journalism." 


*     *     *     *     *     

Holy smokes, just after I published this, I remembered the Mike Tyson/Spike Lee thing on HBO.  I fell asleep, as I reported, but I remember early on Mike talking about what a bad kid he was.  He was doing just this very sort of thing.  He told with joking remorse about stabbing a kid with a knife and getting in trouble.  He was a bad kid, he said jovially, and the audience all laughed along with him.  The message seems to be that it really isn't that serious.  I mean, you can go on to rape women, bite people's ears off, and then get your own HBO special.  It does all work out in the end.  Watch the things and see.  I didn't get to the end, so maybe it all turns around and there is remorse in both Mike and the audience.  I'll have to see it through to the end now.  

Oh, yea. . . and the Mayor of Toronto. . . . 

That Old Bitch Time


Originally Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I've gotten some emails from a model I shot with maybe a year or so ago.  She was one of those Disney kids.  Not literally, but an African-American girl who listened to top forty music.  After we shot, I sent her the images we made, and she asked me not to post some of them.  O.K. I said, and then I heard from her no more.  Imagine my surprise the first time she wrote to ask me how I was doing. 

"Remember me?" she asked.  "I'll be coming home next month.  Do you want to shoot?"

"Do you remember me?" I wrote back.  "Do you remember what I do?" 

Last night she wrote again, told me she was in Los Angeles going to school.  She included a photo of herself there on the streets of L.A. looking as pretty as ever still smiling like a Disney Kid.  It just brightens my waking and sleeping hours. 

Which sometimes get dark.  Sometimes I feel like the Smokey Mountains, those gentle, rolling low "mountains" that were once like the Himalayas, tall and sharp and hard.  Now moss grows on those Smokeys.  They are still attractive, just not so amazing or dangerous.  Its a place to take the kids. 

"C'mon kids, we're going camping in the Smokey Mountains.  We'll go fishing and see the Ruby Mines."

"Yaaaay!" 

The onward rush of time. 

I fell asleep on the couch last night watching the Mike Tyson special on HBO.  I didn't even eat dinner.  I just had a bowl of edamame and then didn't have the energy for cooking.   I had been up late the night before.  No big deal.  I just don't enjoy it any more.  I like the way I feel when I am rested.  I love the way it feels when you are fully in the present sucking the life out of the day.  The night, as Hemingway said, is another thing.  I like the Hemingway lifestyle, up early working, down early sleeping.  What comes between is ferocious and without compromise.  More than anything, I think, this is what separated him from Fitzgerald.  Poor old Fitzgerald as Hem called him.  People think it was the drinking that did Hemingway in, but it wasn't.  It was two airplane crashes back to back.  Damaged his liver.  After that, the drinking didn't help.  But take two airplane crashes back to back in less than twenty-four hours and see how you feel.  It was the drinking that ruined Fitzgerald, the world that broke Hemingway. 

Either way, they were both like the Smokeys.  Life will wear you down.  It is in no hurry, as Hem said, too.  But you can count on it. 

Anyway. . . the Disney Kid wants to go camping and maybe to the Ruby Mines, and there is that. Thank God Apple Radio has a top forty station.  I need to catch up on the culture.

Normal


Originally Published Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The problem with photographing in America today is that people don't look like this any more.  Everybody is pretty or disgustingly normal.  They weren't always, though.  There used to be "character."  You can search for this face now and never find it, though I remember them from my childhood.  The south used to look like "Deliverance."  I went to school with people who that looked like that.  For a while.  They disappeared for the most part by high school.  What happened to them? 

Television, I guess. 

If you look a little off now, I guess, you become a goth or a hipster. 

But the fellow on "Girls" looks great.  He's a character.  I'm sure it is just the makeup team, though, and he looks handsome in the street.

I met a girl last night with a story to tell.  Jesus. . . it was horrible and went on and on and on.  I didn't get to bed until almost two.  I'm beat with it now.  Today will be a low-grade misery.  I'll tell her story sometime, but not today.  I couldn't stand it today. 

You don't want to be young.  I can't believe I am saying such a thing, but even they know it.  They tell me.  They are poor and dependent and when they can't be dependent any more, they starve.  If you are young today, you'd better hope your parents can help you.  I know some of them, too, the ones with parents who can help, parents who are doctors or attorneys or brokers.  They go to my Y.  Even them, though. . . you can see something askew in their eyes. 

But they look good.  Holy shit, they do.  They are smarter and better looking than ever, but they are dumber, too.  It is hard to figure out. 

One thing is true, though.   You can't find one who looks like the fellow above.  They all went the way of "The Andy Griffith Show."

The Best Camera Is The One You Use


Originally Posted Monday, November 18, 2013

The best camera is the one you use, right?  I bought a new digital camera for walking around. . . the Nikon 1 V1.  It is a beaut. 


It looks exactly like this.  I got it from eBay for a pittance.  I've carried it with me everywhere for the last few days, and as far as I can tell, it is a wonderful little camera.  I've been documenting my life.  I shoot myself in the mirror.  That's no good!  Oy. . . I look like shit.  It is probably too late to do anything about it.  Maybe surgery.  But the camera--I use it all the time.  There is a picture of old four eyed Bella shot by putting the lens on the bottom glass pane of the kitchen door.  Apparently, the bevelled glass got her eyes.  Cool. The camera doesn't weigh much at all and can be tucked away in anything.  It is quiet and stealthy.  I can use it in any arena.  Except for the fact that it is white.  Still, I think it look much more amateurish and less intimidating.  People will want to have their pictures taken by it. 

I've just been snapping away at everything.  And when I look at the downloaded pictures, I know I must change everything that I'm doing which is mostly not paying attention. I can see that I will be arrested and charged with "home evasion." 

Go on eBay and get one.  They are fun.  You won't be sorry.  And if you are, you can always sell it back. 

I've cooked dinner for mother and it is done.  The dishes are cleaned and my mother is safely home.  I am too tired for television tonight, so it will be an early bed and ebook.  Morning and work will be here soon. 

I took the garbage can to the curb and looked up to see the sky.  It is what made me pick up the camera.  It takes wonderful pictures of the full Beaver Moon.  I turned and looked at my house. 


I realized you will be inundated with pictures like these. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another Saturday Night


Originally Posted Sunday, November 17, 2013


My astrologer friend has jumped the gun once again.  Tonight's sky will  reveal the Full Frosty Moon (link).  O.K.  It's the Beaver Moon, but it can be the other, too (if I call it the Full Beaver Moon, I'll have to post a photo I don't want to post here any longer).  Don't let the fucker near your palm, either.  He doesn't know a life line from a love line.  He's mean with a pack of Tarot cards, as they say, but he makes it all up out of his head.  He's worse than Madame Sosostris. 

I took my mother to breakfast yesterday to the little diner I like.  I thought we would have to wait for a table, but my mother saw two seats at the counter and said, "let's get those."  So we sat like two truck drivers next to that notorious gangster, Blacky, who I met there about a year ago.  I wrote a good long piece on it, but I never index things, so I can't link back to it easily. 

I reached over and offered my hand.  "You're Blacky, right?  I met you in here a while back.  How's it going?"  He took my hand in that old gangster handshake, the last two fingers of his hand curled into his palm.  It prevents someone from being able to grip your hand in a crushing way and makes it easy to slip out if someone tries to pull.  That's what I think, but it could have been merely arthritis. 

"Hey, mom, that's Blacky.  Remember, I told you about him.  He's a famous gangster.  He was a really tough and scary character." 

My mother looked over unimpressed. 

Later that day, she came back to the house.  The little boy I used to photograph was having a birthday party next door.  He turned fourteen, no longer a little boy.  She hadn't seen him for a few years, and his mom had called to invite her.  I was leaving the house for the gym when she arrived. 

"I'll go over for a minute to see him.  I got him a card and some money." 

When I got home, she was still there.  She was there when I got out of the shower.  She was there when I got back from the liquor and fried chicken store.  Well. . . two stores, actually, though I think a liquor and fried chicken store might really make a fortune.  It had been three hours when she knocked on my door.  She sat down and rolled her eyes.  I didn't want to hear about it. 

She watched me eat the fried chicken.  I told her my buddy had called and was stopping by for a drink. I had to buy some sixteen year old Glen Moray because I had finished off the bottle he had left.  When he showed up, I asked her if she wanted a drink.

"I'd better not," she said.  "I had some wine already."

"Give her a taste of the Glen Moray," my buddy said.  "She has to taste this.  Just give her a little."

I handed my mother a short shot with an ice cube.  I knew she wouldn't like it.  She tasted it and shook her head.

"You really have to want to drink to drink this," she proclaimed. 

"Scotch is great for settling your stomach.  In Italy, they won't serve it to you until after the meal.  It is considered a digestif."

"Yea, mom, tell that to the cop when you get pulled over on your way home.  Tell him your age and then tell him your stomach was upset from eating shitty food at a kid's birthday party.  Tell him all about it.  Here, let me get you another."

Of course I was kidding her, but she sat around with us for awhile and chatted.  After a bit, she got up and said she had to go.  I could tell she didn't really want to, but she thought it was the right thing.

"You don't have to go," I said.  "You can sit around and tell dirty stories with us." 

I walked her to the car and told her I was cooking the next night, the night of the full moon. 

My buddy lit up a cigarette, so we sat with our scotches on the deck in the dark.  He began telling me his tales of romantic woe.  But there was a bartender at the "ballet," he said, that he got along with.  He was going up to see her and wanted me to come along. 

"No, man, I'm not going up.  I'm in for the night."  I looked at the clock.  It was almost 8:30. 

"C'mon, we'll be home by ten." 

"No we won't." 

With an involuntary shudder, I thought about sitting in a smoky bar while girls named "Brandy" and "Ginger" danced around poles wearing thongs and nipple tape while he chatted up the bartender. 

"Maybe if they let me do a photo essay in there, I'd go.  I'd love to do that." 

"Well come up and talk to them about it.  Hell, they might let you." 

"Yea, I bet nobody ever asked them if they could do that before."  But I was thinking that maybe no one had.  "You want to go to brunch tomorrow?" 

And then it was done.  Alone at 8:30 on a Saturday night.  The party next door was still going on.  The cat came out from behind the couch.  The house was clean and beautiful.  There was something I'd recorded that I really wanted to see.

Porn Star in a Red Dress


Originally Posted Saturday, November 16, 2013


I wanted to title this something really offensive in reference to the old, antebellum south and wanted to use the words "colored girls" but changed my mind, sort of, as I seem to have used the words but not in a title.  It would have had the word "cotillion" in it, too.  It would have been really wrong as opposed to this paragraph which is just a report of something that almost happened that would have been really wrong.  I told the model what I wanted to title the series.  She laughed. 

"I've heard a lot worse than that," she said.  I'll bet she's heard much better, too. 

"I'm the worst photographer in the world," I said.  "I have a porn star in front of my camera and I only take pictures of her in a dress." 

It was true.  I looked her up when I got home.  She had told me this with a sort of surprised/miffed tone.  I guess she thought I would have known who she was. 

"I don't like porn, really," I said. 

She looked at me like the RCA dog looking at the gramophone.  "What?!  Why?"

"I'm a romantic," I said.  "Porn is all mechanics." 

She looked at me and made a porn star face.  "Like that?"

"Yea, like that." 

"It's fun," she said.  "It's so dramatic." 

"Mmm-hmm."  Then I told her, "I do like all the pictures every girl with a cellphone and a mirror takes, though.  I love those.  I think that is the cultural history of our time.  It tells the story of the early 21st century by and large, all those happy girls saying 'Look at me, look at me.'  And now boys are doing it too.  That's really a change.  Yep.  It tells the tale of a shifting morality."

She was looking at me like Nipper again. 

"You know what I mean." 

She wasn't much impressed with amateurs, she said.  She was a P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L. 

"What's the difference between a hooker and a porn star," I asked? 

"Hookers don't get to be stars," she said.  "You can be a porn star, but have you ever heard of a star hooker?" 

I didn't know. 

"Can I ask you a personal question?" 

"Sure." 

"Do you like dick?" 

"What?"  She doubled over and laughed and repeated the question.  I already knew the answer. 

"I'm a lesbian if that's what you mean.  I have a girlfriend." 

"Is she white or black or hispanic or other?" 

"She's white.  Why?" 

"I would have guessed.  You're kind of like a white girl--like the black girls on the Disney Channel."

"Yea, I guess." 

"Totally Raven." 

Good god, the conversation was just so wrong, but what could I do?  I wanted to know. 

She had to leave by 5:30.  That's when her daughter came home from school.  She had her when she was fifteen, she said.  I didn't think to ask if she had gotten pregnant at fourteen.

"When you go on the road to make porn movies, how long are you gone?"

"Ten days or so.  But I call my daughter every night and we do face chats, so she sees me all the time." 

We talked about me photographing her daughter.  She needed Christmas pictures.  It was the least I could do, I said.  She got her phone and showed me pictures of her girl and her girlfriend.  The girlfriend was in another state.  The porn star and her daughter were living with her mother. 

In the end, what can you say about it all.  I'm the weird one, I think.  I have a girl who makes a living being naked and I photograph her in an early 20th century dress.  She was cute.  She was funny.  I was curious, but only about her, her stories.  I wanted more time, not to photograph her, but to talk.  We will, she says.  We will sit down and talk.  I will take her to dinner.  I will photograph her there.  I will probe.  She is something.  She is a story.