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  • I wore pigtails yesterday in a fit of whimsy to overcome a giant pain-in-the-ass aching in my upper jaw's gums inflicted with robotic precision by one stoic dental specialist. My head is still an unbalanced load of fickle ballast.

    So when a client contacted me this morning with urgency to ask for prints from her engagement party, and in particular any that featured the Best Man, so that she can give it to his family...because he killed himself...because they were the last ones ever taken of him...probably...you can be sure I felt the sutures.

    I remember him vividly. Actually, I remember more with each hour that has passed since the news of this morning. I've sent off the pictures per client's request, but the story of that morning continues to surface in my memory like sea foam. Rather like the foam in the jacuzzi tub at Gold's; or like frothy skin or concrete snow cones.

    I took the train to this job. I biked from the station to the client's home. I passed an historic mission ripe with decay and a quiet stream breaking through plush foliage. It was sightseeing at its best. A California dream complete with a white mini-van. Tambourines were present at party's end.

    The Best Man arrived just as I pulled up on my bike. Smiling. Protective. Slightly nervous in energy output, but I couldn't be bothered. Yet. Though, I felt him. Almost instantly. I posted most scenic pictures from the ride on Instagram along the way, stopping to punch in the hashatag and catch my breath, except for one; the one of the hawk. The hawk went up on social networks much later... when I was already on the train riding back to Los Angeles central station. I tried it in color, but eventually settled on black and white. Something about it seemed more appropriate.

    And so I remember him from the evening as someone I couldn't ignore. At first I was weary of his passes, but I knew better than to diss his meek attempts. I knew he wanted my attention, and something begged inside me to give it in fair doses. In looking back I realize that I took more photos of him than any other guest. We spoke at length about him wanting to visit downtown. I wanted to know more about the time he came to visit almost twenty years ago, but then he insisted to take our picture. With his camera. Of us. So he asked someone else. And someone else took it. And so it's still somewhere, wherever he put it.

    And I'm not sure if it's fair to ask someone to find them. After all, he'll never see the ones I took of him.
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