Funny story. Maybe. I had a buddy who had friends in Italy that he used to visit. I'd met them here. Rich and crazy except around family. Then they were very formal, painfully so. The boys were going to start a leather company making handbags. I'd heard that in dinner conversation one night.
Red had an entrepreneurial boyfriend who she stayed with in France. They would travel across Europe on business trips. Her boy met some Italians who were starting a leather company. Somehow they became intertwined. The boyfriend had the Italians ship a bunch of bags to Red here in the states to do some promotional work with. She asked me if I would make some photos of her with the bags. When she explained things to me, I said I didn't do commercial work, but sure, if she wanted me to make some pictures, I would try.
"But a shoot like this takes a lot of people," I said, "stylists, make up people, art directors. . . I'm just a guy."
She showed up one night with a huge box of bags. I mean huge. And it turned out to be from the guys who were friends with my buddy.
"What are the chances of that?"
No stylist, no make up person, no nothing, just me and my strobes and an empty stage without props and Red doing everything else. It was amateur hour on my part but Red was lovely.
It was such fun, though, playing in the studio. We drank and laughed and pretended.
I don't know if the bag company ever launched. Somehow, eventually, Red lost the boyfriend.
* * *
I spent two days in a funk at home. I've been staying up way later than I normally do going through my old photo files. It's the music, I think, that drives me. Such good music. I lose myself and all sense of time. "Just one more." "Just one more."
So I didn't know how yesterday would go. After I wrote the blog piece, I was hungry. I decided to eat a hot dog. Bun, catsup, relish. Damn. . . I don't do such things. It was delicious. . . so much so, I made another. A two hot dog breakfast. I felt great.
And that was the start to a very good day.
But I stayed up too late again last night. I have a gazillion digital images I have never touched. I choose one, work on it, get excited. It's hard to stop.
The coat sleeve, the wrinkles in the jacket. . . you can't do it all, you know. It is easier to shoot people without clothes on. No wrinkles except the one's nature gave us. If my fashion friend sees these, she will cringe. "Cringe worthy" she would say. "But. . ." I would say. She would just shake her head. I should be embarrassed. . . but. . . . .
Today is the Farewell Pub Crawl. As I've said, the old gang is breaking up. Sure. The world is dynamic. My best friends are all over the place, scattered by the four winds. It is not as if we live in an old Italian village. I will catch them at one of the stops along the way. It will be sad for me, though. I will try not to weep.
Red says I should come on an adventure with her. Then she sends me videos of her and her friends partying on huge Miami yachts. It scares the shit out of me. I can't hang. I'm a homeboy. I live a quiet but richly textured life. The girls in her videos move too quickly and seem crazy like those vampire brides in Dracula's castle (link).
"But I would like to photograph them."
People get the wrong impression about me, I think, far too often, They don't realize how shy I really am. People scare me. Every time I leave the house, it is an act of bravery. You can never overestimate the dangers you are likely to face. Treachery abounds.
And that, my friends, is why I wear the mask. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of men?