So, I’m sitting here at my computer desk. I haven’t showered in nine days. I reek. I mean, man! I stink! I can’t really smell it right now — nor throughout most of the day — but, when I stand up after sitting in my desk chair for a long period of time and I disturb the putrescent molecules of deep-funk… DAMN! It smells like a combination of old, hot ass and the foulest, most remote recesses of a metal fish-market dumpster that hasn’t been cleaned in a decade or more.
It’s not a good time for me. I would shower… but, it seems like such an insurmountable chore at this point. So, instead, I sit here sucking incessantly on a vaporizer and widdling away the days ’till death by browsing around the internet looking for things which might educate or entertain. Ho-hum.
Oh, yeah. Did I tell you that I’m using a vaporizer now? Well, I am. You know what I’m talking about, right? One of those electronic cigarette deals. You’ve seen them, right? Yeah. It’s pretty good. I like it. It’s cheap as hell and it’s pretty much — more or less — just like smoking. I mean, it really is. You’d be surprised. And, hey! It’s costing me about $25.00 per week to smoke with it. When I was on real cigarettes, $25.00 would get me through about two days. I can’t say I’m really craving real cigarettes since switching to the vaporizer all that much. I still feel a bit of a tug to have a real cigarette first thing in the morning — with coffee, you know. And, after a good meal. But, I’m not CRAVING it craving it. If you know what I mean.
So, anyway… back to the matter at hand: I’m sitting here in my own putrid stench, and my phone suddenly rings. It’s a call from a model that I worked with two years ago. She wants to arrange a shoot. Now get this: I worked with her on a shoot two years ago. It went well. Really well, in fact. And, about ten months later I was in the planning stages of putting together another shoot when she just happened to call me out of the blue to ask if I had anything coming up that she might be a fit for. I hadn’t yet cast the shoot I then was planning, so I offered it to her. She accepted.
I gave her the task of going to get fitted for wardrobe. She never did. I kept pestering her: “We’re ready to go ahead with the shoot. We just need to get your wardrobe straightened out. Have you been to see the costumer yet?” She always had some excuse and she, over and over again, promised that she would definitely be getting around to it in a another day or so. She never did. I should have re-cast, but I’m kind of stupid and I kept giving her more time. This was partly due, however, to the fact that I did get somewhat sidetracked with other projects. But, because this was an outdoor shoot, and time got away from me, it wasn’t long before the cold autumn months rolled around and I ended up having to cancel the thing entirely. It ended up being a total waste of time for me, another model which who I also cast, and my wardrobe coordinator.
So, autumn comes as goes, as does the winter, spring returns, the weather gets nice again. I call her and ask if she wants to try and get that shoot rolling again. She seems incredibly excited to do so and agrees. At this time, I happened to have another shoot in the works — a very risqué one. It required the model to be entirely nude in a very open, accessible, and very public place. Finding models to participate in such projects isn’t the easiest of tasks — especially at the rates I pay. And, I knew that this model was unusually uninhibited when it came to such things. So, sort of in passing, I informed her as to the details of this other shoot and let it be known that if she was interested, I’d hire her for that shoot as well. Again, she seemed overly excited at the idea and agreed to do it — nay! She absolutely JUMPED at the chance to do it.
I arranged for her to get wardrobe straightened out for the first shoot and, since there was no preparation involved for the model for the second shoot — it was just a show up, drop your clothes and strike a pose, sort of deal — I scheduled a date and time for that shoot, to which she agreed.
I arrived early at the location in order to take some light-readings. But, as the time the shoot was scheduled to begin closely approached I began to get nervous. I feared she would not show up. I had my assistant with me, along with someone I’d called in a favor with to act as a look-out while the photo session was going down — You know, in order to minimize the chances of getting slapped with a public indecency charge. So, I had these two other people waiting there with me, and I’d feel like a complete ass if the model didn’t show and these people ended up wasting their time. I wasn’t paying them, after all. They were simply doing a kindness for me.
I attempted to call her a couple of times but I always got her voice mail. Less than ten minutes before the agreed upon start time, however, my phone rang. It was her, with apologies because she was in the middle of an appointment at a beauty salon and it had gone longer than expected. She assured me that she was now on her way, but it would take her until around half an hour after the scheduled start time before she’d be arriving.
I wasn’t happy about it, but what could I do? The three of us waited. And, we waited. The half-hour came and went. I called her again — voice mail. Another half-hour came and went, and again I called her. And, again, I got her voice mail. A short while after that, however, a text message came through to me: “Sorry for late. Having trouble finding place. Directions?” I texted her back and asked where she was. She was nowhere near where we were. She had been driving in the wrong direction for well over half an hour. I told her how to get to the shoot location from where she was, but we were quickly running out of light. She assured me she would make it before we lost the light. So, the three of us waited, and waited. She didn’t make it. I waited until the very last minute hoping she’d show, but I finally had to text her and tell her that I had no choice but to call off the shoot on account of the light. She apologized three ways from Sunday and beyond. She told me that if I wanted to reschedule she would make sure that she was at least three hours early the next time.
I spent a bit of time looking around for another model to do that second shoot, but I couldn’t find one. All of my go-to models were out of town, or booked up solid, or what have you. And, it’s not the type of photo-shoot you can just throw out there and expect to get replies from interested models you’ve never worked with before. I mean, you’re asking someone to risk getting in trouble with the law. There’s a certain amount of prior-familiarity that needs to be in place for that type of thing. So, after it was apparent that another model would not be forthcoming any time soon, I called her to offer a rescheduling of the shoot… and, to see how it was coming with wardrobe for that first shoot — seeing as my wardrobe girl had informed me that she had not heard from the model. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get through to her. Her number was no longer in service.
I went to her Facebook page. It wasn’t there anymore. I sent her an e-mail. I received no reply. Very odd. She seemed to have disappeared. That was about five months ago. I don’t know what happened to her — why her phone number changed, why her Facebook page disappeared, why e-mails sent to her went unanswered. I don’t know. It’s a mystery. But, she just called me — just now. I didn’t talk to her, though. I let it go to voice-mail. This was the message she left:
Hey! It’s [name] from the [shoot we did together two years ago] shoot. I was wondering if you had any shoots coming up that you needed a model for? Give me a call if you do. My number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Be well!
What a freakin’ bimbo. Models, man! They’re something, alright. So, now I’m sitting here in my own stink, having not showered in almost a week and a half, and she wants a job. And, you know what? I’ll probably offer her one. And, it’ll probably never end up taking place. But, that’s ok, I guess, because at least I’ve seen her naked. Yeah, that shoot we did two years ago? Totally nude shoot. And, it must be said, for all of her apparent character deficiencies, she is quite the vision of physical beauty without her clothes on. So, there is that. At least there is that. I have my rotten, foul, eye-watering body odor, and I have the pleasant memory of her in her beautiful nakedness stretched out before me, as I commanded her movements this way and that, and captured the vision of her glorious form and with it made wonderful works of art.
This is the life of a professional artistic photographer: The foul, bodily odors brought forth by deep depression and the treasured memories of the unequaled magnificence of feminine beauty. What a wonderfully terrible dissonance it is, to be sure.