Chapter 67 - September 11, 2012

Hey, check out the date above. I want to dedicate this blog to someone I knew in the Twin Towers. I won't go into details, but I will tell you, he was a cool guy. If I could, I'd raise a pint of ale to ya.

Hi everybody, you know every time September 11 comes around you see pictures of falling buildings, wrecked fire trucks, people covered in white ash, total death and destruction, but I have a good story.

September 11, 2001, I was out surfing in Montauk. It was a beautiful day. Just like today. There was a north wind, a Bermuda low, hurricane pushing up a great hurricane swell. It was ideal conditions for surfing big waves. You see, a lot of people from a certain agency in the Twin Towers called into work and said they wouldn't be there. They basically played hooky that day because of the waves. It's a good thing they did because their lives were saved because of the big waves.

That's enough about that. Let's go back to traumatic brain injury. You know, we go through life avoiding holes. I've fallen into a huge hole. I need lots of help getting out. It's a bit of a cliche, but I am in a big hole. First thing you have to do is save yourself, and then you need a point person to help you get up and start your climb out. Friends and family are so important.You know what I'm going to tell a few stories instead. I got side tracked and forgot what I was going to say. I started thinking about the above paragraph too much. Let's tell a few stories.They are going to be random stories.

The following story takes place in Paris. When I was living in Paris, I would often go to the movies by myself. The movies were often on the Champs Elysees. Anyway, I was walking to the movie. I turned around and saw a group of soccer hooligans, and I looked in front and there was another group of soccer hooligans, and then I looked to my right and there was some riot police in a van. One of the policemen was walking out with a riot shield and a baton. I said to him, "What's going on?" He looked at me, put down his plexiglass visor and he said, in a very thick french accent, "Get out of here. There's going to be trouble." I thought, Oh my God, I gotta get out of here.So I ducked into a cafe. It was a typical tourist cafe on the Champs Elysees. It had an outdoor cafe, but it was walled in with glass. I sat down and ordered coffee. The two groups met. The riot police came out. So I jumped up, ran to the bar, ordered a beer, sat down at my table and watched a full on riot occur. Very entertaining and better than any movie you could go see.

The following story took place during a photographic shoot in Santa Barbara, California, USA. The day before our shooting, there was a series of small earthquakes. Our location van driver wouldn't shut up about them. He kept going on and on about earthquakes. (A location van is where they do all the hair and makeup, catering, wardrobe. It's basically a mobile studio.) Anyway, on that morning we were shooting and he would go on and on about the earthquakes. Every time I'd go in to get a coffee, he'd be chatting about the earthquakes. I shot all morning. Worked hard. We had lunch and I had to listen to him talk about earthquakes. I was in my car trying to catch a few ZZZz and I couldn't sleep because I heard him talking about earthquakes. It was driving me nuts, so I got my assistants. We all stood on the back bumper and the back ladder. On the count of 3 we all jumped up and down on the bumper and the ladder. We really got the location van rocking and rolling. I threw down a few stands and lights to make it a little more dramatic. Well, the results were perfect. The van driver, the one who was going on and on about earthquakes, he screamed, "Oh, my God! an earthquake, everyone get out of the van quick, stay away from the building. Get into open space." Everyone, I mean everyone came piling out of the van. I was crying I was laughing so hard. One of the models even managed to call her boyfriend. She said, "We're right in the middle of an earthquake." It was very funny, but I never did get coffee for the rest of the day.

Let's talk about the mask. My friend here reminded me. We never did talk about the mask. (See a few blogs back.) When I was in Australia, I would often go to a certain store to buy primitive artwork. I used to collect primitive art, but I would always collect like baskets, books, kitchen stuff, you know everyday stuff.  But one day, I walked into this store and I saw a mask I really liked. Something about it really appealed to me. Well, anyway, I bought the mask, brought it home and hung it on the wall. The first night I had the mask my wife at the time and I went to bed. I was sleeping in a deep sleep when I had the most bizarre dream. I dreamed something was circling my apartment outside. Some energy that would go from window to window trying to get in, faster and faster. It was outside. Then it was inside and was making a noise like Whooosh whoosh. It would get closer and closer to me. It was very intense, and as it got closer to me I had a nightmare of slaughtered kangaroos. Everything was red. I woke up screaming. I looked over and my wife was screaming. She was having the same nightmare. How bizarre was that? Well, I went into the kitchen, got some tequila. I was looking at the mask when all of a sudden one of the pieces of the mask fell off. I thought, OK, that's it. I put the mask in the bag it came in and put it outside. The next morning I brought the mask back. The guy I bought it from said, "Yeah, no problem, I'll take it back. I understand." I said, "By the way, what was with this mask anyway?" He said, "The history of it was that when they brought it out once a year and they used it during a ceremony where they would slaughter animals and have a big party." I thought, "OK, thank you. Bye." I never went back there.

I've gotta go. A friend of mine is coming. She's a creative director. I 'm gonna give her some fake bugs to put on the art director's shoulder. I can't be there. I can't be a photographer, you know, do the fashion thing, but I can be there in spirit. See you next week. Oh, yeah, my friend here will include some drawings. By for now. See you next week.  Love, B. Nice