Met with the photographer this morning in the southern parts of the city beyond Wilshire. I had little idea of what I’d see. I needed new headshots for the rolling season.
His house was like a western Buddhist temple, a fresh hut with all its summer windows open and the air sweeping in like 9 AM heaven. The floors were a fresh wood too but it still felt worn and lived-in. He tells me that this world is rough but “with the swagger I see in you kid, it can be pretty, and you can trust that God will work it out alright.
“Yea,” he continued, “I see you as a Sal Mineo sort of reckless youth, who’s about to take his last shot of bourbon before jumping into the great oblivion.” Then he guffawed and slapped me on the back warmly.
“Well that is what the doctors told my mother,” I said. “When I came out the womb.”
He went on as if not hearing me “…like a Heath Ledger type!” and I wanted to bow my head as I remembered the great hero. Then I told him how I kind of wanted to look like Bruce Springsteen when he started.
“Springbean casserole.” The air from outside which was so cool continued to glide in through the open living room windows.
“Do you play guitar?” he asked. “Are you in a band? Cause you know there is this thing out at the Formosa on Santa Monica that has a pretty solid music scene and I think you might wanna check it out over there. I shot some photos for a buddy o’ mine who runs it. It was cool man, I think you’d really like it.”
I remembered then my agent telling me how the weather was about to turn extremely hot and that she wouldn’t mind waiting on the new shots if I didn’t mind, and that it wasn’t absolutely necessary to rush these things if it meant an uncomfortable shoot and possible bad crop of pictures, and so wasted money for me. “Ya know you wanna make sure that you’re comfortable,” she said. I mentioned it to the photographer who was sitting king-like in his arm chair as he spoke.
“It is unseasonably hot right now and ten degrees higher than last year, but that is really all around the world. Everywhere man, did you hear? Did you hear of the massive heat waves and mass exodus in Africa?
“Biggest drought in years and many people have just given up on it, heading toward the Middle East.”
“I didn’t hear.”
“Cause you’re like me and everyone else all caught up in the London olympics and not paying attention to anything else. People want something else. They don’t wanna hear about the world’s problems anymore. So watchu gonna do about it Bogie?”
“Bogart. Humphrey Bogart. Casablanca. You never heard that expression, ‘whatchu gonna do Bogart?'”
I laughed. “No.”
He gave me a forget-about-it look as if it wasn’t worth explaining, before he went ahead and explained it. “It’s what you tell a guy after you give him a great speil of problems that may or may not concern him, that get him wondering if he wants to, and if he even should, get involved. Like Bogart in Casablanca. Good ol’ Rick.”
“Oh. Got it.”
“Yea. But anyway ’bout the weather, it all really depends. You sweat easily?”
“I don’t know, I don’t think so.”
“Usually it’s the big guys, who have that problem. This one guy, man, I think he’s the guy your agent is thinking of cause, yea, I think he was signed with her, but this one guy was sweating like a pig. BIG guy! But you…you shouldn’t be too bad. Scrawny guy like you and I mean that in a good way.”
“Hahaha! Hey, you said Springsteen!”
I smiled “Yea, yea I know I did.”