Someone stole my warm winter gloves–tossed behind me onto a snowbank–right as I was taking this picture and talking to this woman, an artist from Berlin. A cabbie saw a guy pocket them and flee. The street was empty by the time I turned around, not two minutes later. Fuck ’em. At least I got a picture.
I just put up a selection of my park bench pictures–a series that has come together by chance. When I’m out taking pictures, I look for ones that require no set up, where people are already posed, in a sense: standing in a doorway, leaning against a wall, hanging out on a stoop, sitting on a park bench. “Can I take your picture?” I say. Then all I have to do is “click.”
If you see a man in a top hat walking down the street, you have to take his picture.
Most of my writing has dealt in one way or the other with medical history and the human body. I don’t exactly know why or how to explain this. I don’t come from a family of doctors or scientists, for instance. But from an early age, I had a keen interest in the body. This has not changed. Sometimes I think I’m still in that stage you see babies in where they are endlessly fascinated with their own limbs. I am over 50 now, so I don’t see myself growing out of it. I look at the human body as an amazing machine and try to figure out how things work.
If I had excelled in the sciences in school, I might have gone on to become a doctor. But frankly, I didn’t even do well—I barely passed high school biology—whereas writing came easily. I followed that path instead.