Howdy! I've been sending all these "naive" pitches to one of the Viceland blog editors and she keeps shooting them down. Apparently I'm "extroverted and well-intentioned yet oblivious to the extent of, well, my naivete." WTF? I went drinking with my girlfriend and one of her girlfriends (Now, let me clarify that the second girlfriend mention is in the platonic, gal pal sense). We went to some place called the Trophy Bar. There we washed back whiskey shots with Bud heavies (that's what we call 'em in Iowa) and took pictures of ourselves.
I deftly captured my friends—and some creepy dweeb—and then I turned the camera toward the dance party.
Woo-hoo! Talk about a babe fest.
Look! Another girl is smiling at me! People love getting their pictures taken. See that ghetto lesbian with the striped shirt? I wondered what her neck tattoo says. I was trying to zoom in for a head-to-Nike Uptown profile shot when this chick in the group came up and blocked my viewfinder. She really wanted to talk to me.
Oh hi, editor! What're you doing here?
She said really quickly she was there for her friend's birthday party and why the hell was I taking pictures of strangers. "Put the fucking camera down right now," she ordered. To myself I was like, "Geez, editor, chill out." I told her I liked her girlfriend's get-up and that I wanted to—
"You should actually address the person you're referring to as 'he,'" she said. She burned hate-bolts into my eyes before disappearing for the rest of the night. I mean, holy shit, right? What the fuck is up with lesbians?
Monday I asked my editor if we could talk about what happened over coffee.
"So, um, uh... About the pictures…" I stammered.
"OK. So why were you taking pictures, and who did you think you were taking pictures of?"
This is a trick question, of course. I responded, "People at a party."
"OK, I was taking pictures of lesbians, but so what?" I said. "I didn't even see you!"
We turned the corner. My editor went on about how "new" I am to the city.
"Look, I mean, yeah, I'm new. I spent my formative years on a horse farm in nowhere Iowa, but believe you me I got called 'faggot' all the time," I said. [So? -Ed.] "What's more, I've also lived in Hawai'i [he turned in copy with a fucking apostrophe in Hawaii. -Ed.], Spain, Mexico, and even San Francisco. Do you know how close the Lower Haight is to the Castro District? I was swimming in gay people! I've been an ethnic and sexual minority, okay? And I speak Spanish!"
She smiled. Finally.
"You really don't get it," she said. "I like you, but you just don't comprehend how naive you are. You know what? I kinda want to give you a column and let you run around and ask people stuff and work this shit out."
I needed clarification: So you're saying, basically, you want to let all the readers out there glimpse all these strange, new (NEW YORK CITY!) characters through my big brown bumpkin eyes?
"Great," she said. "I want your first post to be about lesbians! And how you photographed them like zoo animals."
You mean like this?