There was a night, near the end, when I had plucked one last wilted beer from the leaking old ice chest, and wandered over to a lone picnic table. It was in the Eastern Oregon desert and we had decided to spend the night sleeping under the fiery starlight, in a field that felt like an ancient ritual ground, if you overlooked the RV park that had tastefully settled on it’s perimeter.
The sky was lavender and silver, all streaked out to-gether, those two, and O this ungodly warm wind was blowing the sun away, wrapping itself all over our road-seasoned skin, it felt holy in the strangest sense. I felt like my soul was going to shrapnel itself out of it’s shell, so I left the boys at the fire and made my way through the brown grass to this Table. It looked exactly like an altar, to me. I laid down on it and let the previous two weeks fill up my casing, really let them flood the space, and as I did this I looked up and there was the moon, hanging a few inches from my nose, had appeared as though summoned. It was the most benevolent moon I’d ever lain under, it felt like all the strong and true parts of life in one moonrise. It shepherded me through my processing of topics like being in love with all 3 of my motley-crew camping troupe members, reflecting on the baby coyote voice that was pealing in and out in the smoky air, wondering if I ever actually needed to put on a clean pair of jeans again, these smelled liked campfire and gas station coffee and boys and the ocean, and teenage hearts at the river in Nampa. This, along with the warm stout I had half-finished, inspired a song (undoubtedly a feat of composition) which I decided to perform for my all-loving moon. She did not judge, as to be expected, and I swung my heels happily the whole time. That night I dreamed of a world-sized water park, where each of us had our own tidal wave and the wave never broke.
We finished our expedition the next day and it fractured each of our hearts, just a few cracks each, nothing deadly but we felt it like kittens when the milk runs out. For a few weeks we were buoyant souls, free to point on a map and just GO, no rules except never run out of whiskey and maybe have something in mind for dinner before you get there. Beautiful kids making out in parking lots and wandering on dirt roads in the middle of nowhere became our answer to everything, our living examples of perfection, a league of adolescent Buddhas, and we followed them for hours with our eyes and feet, feeling grateful and like we wanted to learn everything we could from them before they went home to their invisible parents.
This was the Niall O’Brien-led road expedition into the great small-town American young-wonderlands. Alexander McQueen had hired Niall to shoot their collection as he saw fit, in this setting, (my job was to communicate with the teenagers) and so we rode in this pickup truck for days and days and we found ourselves falling into a very beautiful crevice in which time stops, all light is gold-hued and bees buzz extra loud. The picnic table was my resting place so many times, and thank god somehow this characteristically strange truth worked it’s way into the photo-tale.
Niall leaves melted minds and hearts in his wake, his reverence for his subject is unrivaled, his hands and heart are blessed and gilded and we’ll only see more and more of his blessing, in our collective human future, and for this we can rest gratefully.
By Ryann Bosetti
Youre So Cool (True Romance)