Something strange happened to me when I turned 60. I’ve always been what you’d call a straight guy – very attracted to good looking women – but as I got to see women grow up, and followed them through from the point where one day they were playing with their mother’s nail polish – to when they went to their first dance – and their bodies went through the early changes – and they reached middle age and again the bodies went through changes – and soon their looks were gone – and the whole process continued until unfortunately I attended a funeral or two of women I had known as a child…
Well that whole thing of what it must be like to be a woman on a daily basis and go through all these changes – it made me wonder just what it would be like. And so as a pretty girl walked by me, and I could help but turn my head – and then a few seconds later an old lady came by and I wondered what she had looked like 30 years back or more – it began to be intriguing. Guys simply get older. Except for that one change when your voice changes and all the hormones are running crazy – but it’s just an entirely different thing.
And I was reading the Agatha Christie biography where she addressed all these changes in her life. What she was like as a little girl, and how she was now as an old lady. She actually says that she felt the time was right to do her autobiography exactly because she didn’t expect anymore big changes in her life.
And so I mentioned to my sister that in my next life (which of course I don’t really believe in) I would like to come back as a woman. She laughed. Anyone that knows me – would advise strongly against it. She just quoted the line from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: “You just keep thinkin’ Butch. That’s what you’re good at.” Then she said, you wouldn’t last long as a girl.
But it does explain some projects that have been whirling around in my head for years such as being able to do a photographic project about a woman’s hair salon or whatever they’re called now. Or even better, to be allowed to shoot in one of the Korean nail places which sprang up all over the east side. Anyway – just something that I think about when I go past these secret places where women decorate themselves. And what would it be like if you had a scar – or you weren’t very pretty. Or what it would be like to be stared at all day because you did fit into the pretty mold; and one day you noticed that men stopped looking at you.