SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 31: Introducing Dr. D

Hawaii flight on ground and legs back on Los Angeles soil, I take the Flyaway bus to Van Nuys. My usual airport strategy for getting home quickly… or so it usually goes.

As tonight has it, I wait 1 1/2 hours at the airport (suck), am rejected by all the people I approach, and share a 30 minutes bus excursion with equally interested people. “No worries, go with the flow,” I tell myself. “The right person will emerge at the right time.”

They say timing is everything and tonight proves the theory true. I’ve arrived at the bus terminal, a little late, but finally home. My wife and daughter pull up to grab me. I tell them I have not yet photographed my 365 friend. Off goes the car, and I’m firmly instructed to do something about it. Got to love a supportive family. We’ll see how they feel at 60 days, but I’ll count my blessings while I have them.

Here I am, Ucayali bearing dad (the gift I bought for my daughter) under arm, toting more equipment cases than a touring rock star. There is no way for me to get my gear to the car on my own. And now on my own (thank to the smiling harassment of my (now driving around the pick up zone) family, I enlist the aid of skycap Dartanian.

As I strike a conversation with him, I do notice his polite attitude and work ethic, but think not of approaching him. One of my rules is to not bother people at work, and it’s seems he is on shift.

I thank him for his service, tip the usual tip, $10 (2.50 per bag), hope you use the same math, and as he turns to walk away, off goes the 365 voice saying, “photograph him!” I self argue it, “he’s working, buses are still coming in, let him do his job.” But as the voice get louder, I submit to its influence.

I lay out the project, without hesitation he is in, his shift just ending. No joke, I did not question his schedule. It’s weird, after unsuccessfully approaching people all through this evening, in the blink of a second I’m in the right place with the right person. Somehow the voice knew he was ending his work day.

Looking back on all my 365 rejections today, even a harsh out of my face, straight forward “NO!” on the bus, I can identify with the feeling of those moments. All were lacking the 365 voice that I am experiencing now. It’ a super subtle prompting, and one that I am still working to understand.

Dartanian is very comfortable in front of the camera and we quickly get a few great portraits. My family is now settled in the car, and although completely behind the project, they are fading fast. Both Dartainal and I realize we are loosing them, as my wife’s heavy eyes begin to drop as she and my daughter wait patiently in the car.

I am impressed with his concern and ask what is he studying. He tells me, “I’m in my senior year, studying psychology at Cal State Northridge;” and that he plans to go into family counseling.” Perhaps we are a case study for him. He also tells me, “he is minoring in women’s anatomy.” Hey, give him a break, he’s a senior in college after all.

At 12pm, we sit for a few final questions. His message:

Life is good! Man! we keep hearing this, don’t we?

Tomorrow, I’m back at home. We’ll see who we meet.

Later Gators!