When you stop something because you think you are done, it's a very different feeling from stopping because you know you're done. A painter daubs the last stroke on a painting and turns away, brush in one hand, a rag or a palette or nothing in the other, her back to the canvas. What's going on in her mind as she steps away? Will she retune in the morning, satisfied until she looks at the work in the morning light flooding through the skylight? Will she look at it with doubt and desire, the fingers of her painting hand twitching to hold a brush? There's some doubt, but she knows she's done. She smiles at it and thinks about her next work.
Will the poet, with a flourish only he can see punctuate what he hopes is the last word of the ultimate line of the final stanza of a verse he's labored over for years, returning to it again and again, a lover who can never satisfy him. It's been published twice but he keeps revising and rewriting. Does he feel somewhere, in the back of his brain, that maybe when he's done, he'll be done?
The same goes for me. Sometimes I'm done, sometimes I'm not sure, and sometimes I know I'm not.
This is only the first batch. These were taken on Avenue A outside the Sidewalk Cafe in the East Village of Manhattan. I was with a friend have ing a drink when these two women sat down nearby. Iasked the woman at the top if I could shoot her tattoos, and then her friend said "you want to shoot mine?" She hiked up her skirt to show me this one. Pretty damn serious. She was one a topless dancer in other cities and got interested when I told her that it is legal for a woman to go around topless in NYC (a special shout out to Holly van Voast for helping the police to acknowledge this.)