August arrives and I'm a year older to show for it. The death of summer and the slow swell toward winter, that's where my birth happened to fall. I feel appropriately older, like I've unlocked more of the secrets you're supposed to gain with age, the ones they tell you about when you're small. "You'll know when you're older." I've learned about personal responsibility and responsibility to the people. I think I know myself a little better, and I've come to better understand that lesbians are more than flannel shirts and pick-up trucks. Twenty-three came with opportunities lined the entire way, so much so that set backs can be ignored and the depression I suffered in my youth can just be attributed to a bittersweet lesson learned of a year older. I wish back then someone would have told me, 'when you step into adulthood, watch out for potholes.' But you live, you learn.
Thankfully, I can say I have lived. In a month alone, I've been from sea to shining sea and it seems like pretty people have lined the beaches. Cape Town was a trip into another culture and even North Carolina held people so different from California. Being away so long, when I first flipped on the lights to my LA studio, I expected them to flicker from disuse. They came on without any hesitation, because that's how easily I forget technology is simple and people are the complicated wonders of the modern age. There was dust on my equipment. And of those pretty people I'd met along way, it was only fitting the gem in the sand was the first led back to my art. Anyone can do candle light dinners and play the right music with the perfect wine, but a camera is something that takes the right hand. I'm a simple kind of guy and this was the gift I could think of. Capture a moment in photo and memory, I wanted her to remember the scent of the candles, the look on my face when I took her picture. Twenty years from now when she's showing these pictures to someone she cares about, she'd look at them and remember in perfect clarity what happened that night, down to the red on her cheeks when I whispered about her beauty under the light; that was my goal. There was no dust on my equipment that night.
I have a few prize moments of twenty-three--The L Word, my baby sister's first big movie, experiencing Africa, Justin Timberlake (in general)--but when I think of this year for me, I think of Sophia. She came into my life and settled here so quickly I wonder how we've only known each other since June. I would entertain the idea of reincarnation if someone would tell me with certainty we'd met in some other life. When I see her cry, the Leo in me rears back into this defensive position, I'd fight for her. When I see her smile, I'm tamed and I find the romantic in me wanting to come out. I've never been a rebel, unless you're still of the mind that tattoos are the marks of Satan, but I would pack a bag at moment's notice and travel the world with her. Home is where the heart is, and my heart travels well. I'd even bear a screaming kid on a plane for her, no matter how much her fake husband pays him for volume. I'm proud that she's on my arm when I go out, even if it's in a hot pink wig. To turn twenty-four with her was right where I wanted to be, and maybe even where I needed to be.
I can also say this year has brought the chance to discover new people. This year I learned that I've never been gayer than when I'm talking to Marla Sokoloff, and I've learned that if I ever need to dispose of a body, I'll call Ian Somerhalder, because he'll make a road trip out of it. Justin Timberlake can still make me dig out my Christmas album with 75% less shame to what manhood I have left after working with so many women.
It's August in LA, shooting for sweeps should start picking up again soon, I have a famous, beautiful girlfriend and I've just turned twenty-four. I'm willing and open for this year's batch of secrets.