Halloween night, 5:30 pm, I am in my jammies on the couch, eyes half mast from pure exhaustion and ready to head upstairs to bed... Then the realization hit me. I haven't taken my portrait yet today.
If you're wondering if I made a typo with the time, no. I did not. My air hostess wake-up call was at 4 am. East coast time. I had tossed and turned for the entire 4 hours I had dedicated to sleep. Maybe it was because of all the zombie movies and Walking Dead episodes that I had been watching earlier, or maybe my head was spinning with the tales from Nick of exhumations and corpses a few hours before.
Knowing what I had to do, and feeling like a zombie myself, I slowly dragged myself upstairs, got dressed, and threw my camera around my neck. As I was heading out the door, I saw that my roommate Amy was also leaving, so I tagged along with her & we wandered the streets of the Castro in hopes of observing the lovely weirdness that is the Castro on a day like today.
We ended up, as Amy & I typically do, at a bar. Our new favorite one called Dante with our new favorite bartender named Teddy. Amazingly enough, Teddy's costume was an airline pilot. Laughing with zombie eyes, we ordered a drink and shared the irony with him. I should have just kept my uniform on. Asking to snap a photo of him before I fell asleep on the barstool, Teddy started asking me about cameras and photography. This perked me up a bit, and I asked him what kinds of things he was interested in photographing. He just pulled out his phone and slid it in front of me. The home screen was a shot of a beautiful old classic car, blue with white trim, sitting in the streets of Cuba. "This. I want to go back home and photograph all the cars before the embargo is lifted and they go away." Photography is his way of not letting his home & his culture slip away, even though he is making his new life with us here in the Castro. And therein lies the greatest irony of all.