I took this photo of a telephone pole in Santa Barbara near a beautiful earthy hippie beach. I like to think that these men are metaphysical aficionados and that this collection of images was somehow placed cosmically here for me to discover, only me, like I’m some dummy character in Lost and it’s a clue regarding universal theory or how to get off the island.
Are they missing conceptually from something larger?
I emailed my friend Kate Purdy to see what her thoughts might be on this mysterious trio. This is what she said:
The younger man looks so angry and challenging – like he’s challenging the world to a fight, and the two older men look washed out – literally and figuratively – like they’ve lost too many of those fights, and are now more content to make friends instead of enemies. It reminds me of a story I heard on a Science podcast that, in communities of apes, actually older male apes sire more of the children than the young macho, chest-beating apes, who are fighting for alpha status, because the older male apes make friends with the young females. They talk to them, and bring them gifts, and ask them how they’re feeling. They are kind, and in return the female apes have babies with them. I’m not saying I want to have babies with the two older, sad, washed out men, but if I had to chose who I would rather have lunch with – it would be the old, sad ones because I feel like they would listen when I talked. Also, I’m not saying I’m some hot, young ape whose affections deserve to be won, or that I want to have a baby with anyone. I’m just saying, I like when people are nice to me. I like nice people.