On Tuesday morning I picked up a rental car in Anaheim and drove for almost four hours to Fresno, where I did a photo shoot with Rick Horowitz which I hope will be the first of several I do for my nude photo project. I then stayed the night at his home, where I shared a delicious dinner and hours of lovely conversation with him and his wife. The next morning I set out for the long drive back to Los Angeles (specifically, Long Beach Airport) for my flight back to Seattle, and as I was leaving Rick said, “That was a really long way to drive for photos.” I replied, “I could’ve gotten the photos in Seattle; I drove here for the experience.”
I’ll be reaching the half-century mark pretty soon, and I’ve met a lot of people in that time. I’ve talked with them, argued with them, loved them, and fought with them. I’ve hired them to do jobs and been hired by them; I’ve fucked them, been fucked over by them, played with them and feared them. I’ve learned from them, taught them, helped and been helped by them, ignored them, missed them and avoided them and done many other things far too numerous to list. And for the majority of my adult life, I’ve made my living by interacting directly with them on a one-on-one basis. And as time has gone by, I’ve grown to realize that the most enjoyable, rewarding and memorable moments of my life have always involved other people. Nor do I mean exciting, cinematic adventures in which I happened to have companions; I just mean conversations, shared meals and other simple one-on-one interactions. As I sit here writing I can open the vault of memory and find a wealth of experiences from months, years and decades in the past; I can see their faces, hear their voices and even tell you where we were and what we talked about. Some of the people with whom I had these treasured interactions are still dear friends, and some I haven’t seen in many years; many of them were with people I met only once, and whose names I have long forgotten. And many others fall somewhere between those two extremes.
I’ve said many times that the most rewarding part of my book tour in 2014 was the human interaction; just to present one single example, I spent last weekend at the home of a friend I made on that tour. And though the past year has been very difficult for me, the one thing that has helped me through it most was the support of my friends. I look forward to shared meals like some people do to rock concerts and enjoy conversations like some people do Hollywood blockbusters. You know how some people think it’s perfectly reasonable to wait for days in line to see a movie, concert or parade, or to be among the first in the door at a sale? Well, I think it’s reasonable to travel long distances to visit friends. And that has only become more true as I’ve grown older.