Intense, quiet. Friendly but serious. I found myself putting the camera down so I could just try to chat with him.
I was surprised to learn that he’s 23: he felt much more mature than that. I asked what 23 was like for him. “Frustrating” was his response. I asked how it was frustrating, expecting him to say something about finding work, getting a job. Instead, he said “I’m old enough to give young people advice, and young enough to know they won’t take it.”
He’s married and has two young sons. His family lives in a small apartment in the Tenderloin in SF. He’s worked in construction but lately has been taking odd jobs to make ends meet. Like posing nude for me.
I found myself telling him things about myself. For example, that for a brief period in my youth I’d longed to have a son. “You can always adopt,” he responded. Both of his parents, he told me, had been heroin addicts. His aunt had taken him and raised him. “She saved my life.”
Pony and I often compare notes after a shoot, discussing how we’d reacted to the model. As it turns out, we’d both felt enormous almost inexplicable lust for this young father. Pony said “I’m in love.” I agreed. “I thought my heart was going to burst.”
– PAUL MORRIS