4/17/17

I'LL ALWAYS BE ANTHONY


DURING THE SUMMER OF- CIRCA 1993-
 I WAS DRIVING DOWN WILTON AVE IN MY 1967 MERCURY COUGAR. 
I SPOTTED THIS BOY WALKING DOWN THE STREET THAT GAVE ME A DOUBLE TAKE. 
HE WAS TALL AND LEAN SPORTING A SHAG STYLE HAIRCUT. 
TOTALLY OUT OF FASHION, BUT SOMEHOW HIP. 
HE HAD THE SWEETEST FACE-  LOOKING LIKE AN ANGELIC STREET URCHIN. 

FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS I'D BEEN TRAIPSING UP & DOWN SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD PICKING UP STREET HUSTLERS AND PHOTOGRAPHING THEM. 
 THIS HAD BECOME MY REGULAR ROUTINE, SO IT WAS TYPICAL OF ME TO EYE SOMEONE ON THE STREET.
THESE PHOTOS EVENTUALLY BECAME MY BOOK- 13 YEARS OF BONDAGE.

SO I SAW THIS BOY AND MADE A U- TURN. 
I PULLED UP TO HIM, ROLLED DOWN THE WINDOW AND SAID, 
"HELLO. I KNOW THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LINE, BUT WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED TO MODEL FOR ME?"
THE BOY LOOKED AT ME WIDE EYED AND JUST LAUGHED.  
THIS BROKE THE ICE. WE STARTED TO CHAT. 

HIS NAME WAS TONY LITTMANN. 
HE WAS FROM WISCONSIN AND HAD JUST MOVED TO LOS ANGELES THE MONTH BEFORE. AT FIRST HE THOUGHT I WAS JOKING ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHY, 
BUT WHEN I TOLD HIM I WAS SERIOUS HE GAVE ME HIS PHONE#. 
THIS WAS PRE-INTERNET./CELL PHONE ERA.
WE MADE A PLAN TO DO A SHOOT THE FOLLOWING WEEK.
WHEN I SHOWED UP TO HIS APARTMENT ON WILTON AVE, (APPARENTLY HE WAS WALKING CLOSE TO HIS ADDRESS THE DAY WE MET) HE OPENED THE DOOR WITH TREPIDATION. I SHOWED HIM A FEW PHOTOS I'D TAKEN AND MY PHOTO BOOK ENTITLED "CASTRO". HE LIKE WHAT HE SAW AND AGREED TO MODEL FOR ME, BUT SAID HE WOULD NOT DO NUDES. ALL THE WHILE HE KEPT THE FRONT DOOR OPEN. MAYBE HE THOUGHT I WAS A SERIAL KILLER?  

EVENTUALLY HE CLOSED THE DOOR.
I PHOTOGRAPHED TONY IN HIS POOL. THE PHOTO CAME OUT GREAT. HE WAS VERY PHOTOGENIC. I KNEW HE WOULD BE. 
WE HIT IT OFF AND CHATTED ALL DAY LONG. 
AT ONE POINT HE ASKED ME IF I HAD A GIRLFRIEND. WHEN I TOLD TONY I WAS GAY HE REPLIED, " REALLY? WOW! YOU'RE THE FIRST GAY PERSON I'VE EVER MET!" 
TONY WAS VERY INNOCENT. 

ABOUT A WEEK LATER I GOT A CALL FROM TONY. HE TOLD ME HE WAS HAVING ROOMMATE ISSUES AND ASKED IF HE COULD MOVE IN WITH ME.
FROM THEN ON WE WERE FRIENDS. I ALWAYS CALLED HIM ANTHONY.
 IT SOUNDED BETTER TO ME, AND HE LOOKED LIKE AN ANTHONY. HE LIKE THE FORMAL TONE AND BEGAN TO INTRODUCE HIMSELF AS ANTHONY.  
ANTHONY LIVED WITH ME FOR APPROX 2 YEARS. WE HAD MANY EXPERIENCES TOGETHER. I BEGAN TO SEE HIM AS MY SON OR YOUNGER BROTHER. SOMEONE  I LOOKED OUT FOR.  I WAS SOMEONE HE COULD TURN TO WHEN NEEDING A GUIDING LIGHT, A FRIENDLY EAR.

WHEN ANTHONY MOVED OUT WE LOST TOUCH FOR AWHILE, THEN RECONNECTED ON FACEBOOK.
 HE MOVED TO BERKELEY.  I VISITED HIM ONCE AND WE HAD A NICE TIME.  
OUR FRIENDSHIP WAS SOLID.  IT HAD PAST THE TEST OF TIME. 
YEARS LATER ANTHONY GOT MARRIED, ( TO A WOMAN)  AND HAD A BABY.  
HE ALSO GOT FAT! WHICH WAS  A REAL SURPRISE BECAUSE HE WAS ALWAYS THIN AS A RAIL.  HE TOLD ME, " I WANTED TO SEE HOW FAT I COULD GET SO I JUST KEPT EATING.” 
ANTHONY WAS A PERSON WHO FOLLOWED HIS OWN PATH. 

DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS ANTHONY WOULD TAKE TRIPS DOWN TO LA SPECIFICALLY TO MEET WITH ME. WE WOULD GO ON DAY TRIPS. WE BOTH LOVED TO HIKE. SPEND TIME IN NATURE, GET AWAY FROM THE HARSH REALITY OF THE REAL WORLD CALLED LIFE. THE ENTIRE TIME WE WOULD CHAT- TALK ABOUT THE OLD DAYS, THE NEW DAYS, OUR HOPES , DREAMS AND FEARS. 
NEVER ONCE DID WE HE TALK ABOUT HIS DEPRESSION. I DID HOWEVER TELL HIM ABOUT MINE. 
ANTHONY WOULD LISTEN AND NOD HIS HEAD.

ON MARCH  15TH, 2017- ANTHONY LITTMANN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE. HE TOLD HIS WIFE HE WAS GOING FOR A WALK, TOOK A SUBWAY TO BAKER BEACH AND SHOT HIMSELF. HIS BODY WAS FOUND THE FOLLOWING MORNING BY A JOGGER. 
I'M STILL IN SHOCK. 

ANTHONY IS SURVIVED BY HIS LOVING WIFE AND 3 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHOM I NEVER MET. HE SENT ME A XMAS CARD OF HER LAST DECEMBER. SHE’S CUTE AS A BUTTON. SHE HAS HIS SPARKLY EYES.

I DON'T KNOW HOW TO RATIONALIZE HIS SUICIDE SO I WON'T TRY.
 I WILL ONLY STATE- ANTHONY LITTMANN LOVED NATURE AND WAS HAPPY TO LIVE IN CALIFORNIA AFTER THE HIDEOUS CHILDHOOD HE SPENT IN WISCONSIN- WHICH LEFT DEEP WOUNDS.  
HE WAS A SWEET SOUL, A KIND PERSON.  A LOYAL FRIEND, A LOVING HUSBAND AND FATHER. 
 ANTHONY WAS A BEAUTIFUL BOY WHO GOT FAT ON PURPOSE.
RIP- MY LITTLE SON.




2 comments:

  1. Oh wow, I remember him, I am so sorry to hear this tragic news. May he now be out of his agony and pain, and may God heal his family of his loss***

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  2. Thank you for sharing this fabulous sad story...... Really makes me think about depression and how can we see it..... before it is too late! Thank you again for sharing this beautiful soul with us!

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