Monday, June 25, 2012
A Little Bit Epic
My longest blogging absence in the four years I've been here doesn't really have any excuse to warrant it. I just didn't feel like writing. And I was kind of busy, too.
Friday, June 15, provided me with a particular treat: a photo shoot.
"How much is that costing you?" my father asked derisively.
Thanks for that vote of confidence.
"Nothing," I answered. "The photographer needed a model and asked me if I'd do it. I'm helping him out."
"Good," my father answered. "Because you have $400 in rent on July 1."
Whether you have it or not was the unspoken accompaniment to that statement. Maybe the dumb bitch will choke it out of me.
Friday, in any case, was a lot of fun. It also was not my first photo shoot.
That came in January 2011, shortly after I recorded a demo song and a local photographer gave me complimentary professional-grade photos to send out with my music. I posted the pictures to Facebook, where a friend who saw them urged me to place them on a modeling website. I took her advice and started getting requests to do shoots almost right away. Oddly enough, I can see it.
"I'm not really attractive," I bantered with the photographer on Friday morning. "But I'm weird-looking."
To his surprised laugh I raised my hands.
"I'm not knocking myself, but you know what I mean," I said.
"Yeah," he acknowledged. "We would call it 'interesting' rather than 'weird,' but yeah. I think you'd be really good for commercial work. You ought to charge people."
I chortled and waved the suggestion away, but after seeing some of the final pieces I found myself almost agreeing. The real talent in this area, you see, lies far less with the models and far more with the photographers, whose vision is the sculptor's hands to the subjects' crude clay. Many people can be models, but few can bring the honesty and beauty of models to the fore. I, for example, walk around fucked up all the time and have been given a modicum of prettiness as well. No one had ever really captured that combination before, though.
"Wow," I said, gazing through the portfolio.
In some of the pictures I saw a smooth-skinned blonde, strangely childlike, his face alight at the joy of a flower in the woods. In others a haunted and depraved young man stared into the lens with eyes like endless pools of sadness. It was like I was looking at someone else.
There's art in that, and I had no doubt which of us was the artist.
I also had no doubt that I wouldn't be able to show the photos on my blog, though I have never been so tempted to break my faceless rule as I was last Friday afternoon. Maybe some will prove usable.
After that epic event it was time for something even more momentous: unannounced trips to both Starbucks and Chipotle.
"Surprise Number One, commence!" I yelled dramatically as I picked Thomas up from his driver's education course.
"A surprise?" he asked, looking in the backseat.
"It's not there," I answered.
His eyes narrowed.
"Where are you taking me, wizard?"
He was quite thrilled to receive a Starbucks frappuccino but a bit lost when I suddenly shouted "Surprise Number Two, initiate!" turned my car onto a highway moving away from Mountain Town.
"What's going on?" he asked. "Is this food?"
"Yes," I conceded.
His whole face lit up.
"Where are we eating?"
I smiled serenely.
"Not when, you idiot, where?"
He received Chipotle, which he'd never had before, quite well, and Powell later commended me on my actions.
"Dude, that's so cool that you did that for Thomas," my 22-year-old brother said.
"You're damn right it's cool," I answered. "Chipotle kicks ass."
I've seen rather a bit of Powell lately, as he lives with my grandmother in Native State and I've been visiting the two of them since Saturday, June 16. I don't usually stay so long but as my parents, Thomas, and Pie are off on vacation in Deep South State and I didn't see the point in returning to an empty house I decided to extend my time here.
It's been a week of crab balls and cheese cake, and yesterday we had one of the large gatherings for which the Normal Family is so celebrated.
Along with the usual antics (which included Aunt Crazy and Uncle Responsible affecting ghetto mannerisms and Cool Cousin diagnosing both of her parents with dementia) we had the privilege to meet Precocious Cousin, the twelve-year-old son of Liberal Cousin and her husband Tall Man, for the first time in years. This boy, the same age now as I was when he was born, is a clear-eyed, cheerful, bright, and well-adjusted young man. His combination of self-assurance and overall agreeableness is reminiscent of Rowdy Cousin (an eighteen-year-old boy who was also in attendance Sunday) and stands as yet another reminder of how superior the Normal Family system is to the perverse one adopted by Our Family.
Every time I see these people I'm happy to be related to them.
Meanwhile, I took my professional pursuits with me to Native State, and it was here that I completed my application for a year-long, paid internship with a prestigious political publication as my grandmother looked on and send up a prayer.
"You've been working hard," she assured me. "And you deserve this. You need a break."
Perhaps in part that I might continue my search for a career (as opposed to, say, flipping burgers) she told me last night that she was granting me access to one of my trust funds. There is not a terribly large amount of money in this account, but enough that finances won't be a serious concern for the immediate future. It's nice to have that breathing room. And if I can't find work by the time the fund would run out then maybe I'm just not meant to have a job.
Until then I'll keep hammering away. There's got to be something somewhere.