Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker


Recorded 8 January 2000 on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues. Thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, sunny. Broke a formality, again, of photographers: no hit and runs. Gotta stick around, get the story, get names, find out what’s happening. But I was late, and so snapped a few and took off. Obviously a photo shoot, but the subtext of a public performance. She, the queen, a slim, athletic man wearing nothing underneath the white fur but miniscule black briefs, razzed while I composed the shots. “Honey, your camera’s not working. There’s no flash. How do I look? Is this alright?” She’s standing in front of a Mercedes with its hood up and a spare tire leaning against the bumper. Some of the attitude she was giving me was good, too good to pass up, so their photographer took shots. A woman, part of the crew, ran a video camera over the scene and settled on me, weaving back and forth so that an interposed light pole would, apparently, give me the effect on film of dodging, or maybe trying to get a peek without being seen. There will be a showing somewhere, and they’ll laugh.

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Grant Barrett