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September 21st, 2010

One Man Named Jay

Pennsylvania, Date Unrecorded

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I was wandering around the offices at TIME Magazine. I didn’t really have a reason to at this point, the task I was there for was complete. I just liked being there. I walked down that hall of the photo editor’s offices, looking for reasons to say hello. I made my way down the hall and back again looking at the framed photographs on the wall, wishing one of mine would someday be there. Everyone was, of course, busy and I didn’t want to interrupt them, so I headed towards the elevators. As I walked by one door, I heard a “Hello Jonathan,” after I had passed. I stepped back and entered. I don’t remember what led to it, but before long I was sitting on a small couch, looking north up towards the other buildings of mid-town with a box of black and white panoramic prints on my lap. I had not seen this man’s photographs before today. He went back to work on his computer and I sat quietly looking through this box. Every so often, I would stop and ask a question, this man turned and answered, then went back to working on his computer. I looked at every single photograph in the box, handed him the box back and thanked him for sharing. I felt I had met him all over again.

I was at LaGuardia airport years later, waiting for my luggage. I had just returned from a journey and I was grumpy and crestfallen, just wanting to go home to my #1RN there in the city. Sitting on the edge of the luggage belt not looking anywhere in particular, I heard a, “Hello Jonathan.” It was again this man, he had just returned from a journey of his own making photographs in a far off, exotic sounding place. He was positively beaming.

This was the last time I ever saw him.