once upon a time, in the frozen tundra of the north, a man – a bastard, to be sure – was discarded into the hands of a neighboring tribe as he could not be borne by the one he was born into. with the passage of time he was further discarded into an ever-changing panoply of new hands, shuffled on again (and again) before warmth ever suffused with sempiternal rapidity. dispirited and ornery at his perpetual displacement, he shed his many names for a numeral. surely a numeral would not fade, and warp, and change, he thought; this because he knew that, like a point on a plane, a numeral simply was and that was all he wanted: to be.

abandoning the admonition of the many tribes which he had been captive to, he decided to simply go against the grain of what was natural. instead of obeying the nebulous whims of disinterested vultures, he would write, and he would draw, and he would take photographs: this so that the approval of the world, whether it waxed or waned, would not compromise his approval of himself. so that when he died in poverty and disrepute and he gazed upon his life, he would smile and love himself even if no one else did. and that was 72.

the beginning