I love North Carolina - the mountains, the beach, the fact that so many people I know live here. But if I could change one thing about the land in which I reside, it would be the insufferable heat and humidity that sucks the very breath from my lungs each summer. I know, I know, I’m tilting at windmills here - but the supercharged heat molecules currently suffocating my native state are making it hard to focus on anything else. And I focus for a living - a tricky feat when the viewfinder before you is a shimmering curtain of falling forehead water. Perhaps I’d feel differently if I earned my paycheck inside, scribbling figures or pushing units while ensconced in the splendor of modern-day air conditioning. But that, dear readers, simply ain’t the case. I, like many others, venture out into the sweltering thicket on a daily basis, often leaving puddles of photog sweat in my wake. For irrefutable evidence, refer back to that picture of me and the lion. Then remember, I’m a lot better looking in my mind’s eye. Hey, who ain’t?
But I didn’t log in to mine the depths of my own vanity, I came to bitch about the heat! Let’s get started, shall we? I grew up in Eastern North Carolina, a region known for it’s scrub pines, lack of hills and triple digit temps come summertime. Funny thing, though - I don’t ever remember succumbing to the scorching conditions as a kid. Guess I was too busy reading, daydreaming or being ostracized by my peers to ever notice. Boy has that changed (the noticing, not the ostracizing). These days I can soak through the finest in cabana wear just by thinking about the heat. By the time I actually step outside, I’m sweatin’ like an escaped convict at a prison guard convention. And that’s before I even get out the parking lot! Maybe I’m just getting old, that or my interior thermometer is stuck on perma-sweat. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’m a furry mammal pushing forty who still slings an oversized fancy-cam in an ugly shirt. Mom was right... I should’ve tried harder in school.
Oh well, too late for that now. The best I can do is slather on the deodorant and keep an eye on the calendar. Pretty soon, the seasons will change and I’ll find myself huddling with others in shiny logo-wear as the crime tape flutters in the clutch of a delightful Autumn breeze. I’m pretty sure I’ll find something to whine about then, but it damn sure won’t be the weather. Not that my brethren will mind. You see, those of us who squint for a living are intimate with unease - bouncing along in a cramped police car cockpits, jockeying for shots in a swirling press-pack, backpedaling down stairs with twenty five pounds on your shoulder and one eye glued to a tiny screen. It can be a blast, but it’s not without it’s bumps, bruises and unfortunate pit-stains. All of which should serve as a warning to those considering my career path. Unless you’re a restless gadget-freak with attention-deficit disorder, a student of the moving image who‘s not afraid to get smelly, and a well-balanced contortionist with an elevated threshold for discomfort, you might wanna reconsider taking up the lens.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hafta go towel off...