Last month, I did author visits in Abu Dhabi, and on my day off, I visited a sumptuous golden palace that has a machine in its lobby that dispenses gold. (The amount one pays for an ounce of gold is updated every 60 seconds.)
Dignitaries from all over the region stay in some of the more elegant rooms, and we got to poke our plebian heads in and imagine what it would be like to be a guest. Fresh flowers are arranged each day just in case someone does check in to the room–and their sad, wilted selves are taken out, unseen except by whomever did the arranging, most days. No one loved their brief beauty. No one knew they were there.
Our fellow visitor on the tour was from Kuwait. She was eager to have her picture taken everywhere. I got so fascinated with all this that I wanted to take pictures of her having her picture taken.
Is it one of the reasons we write? Does something in us long to say I WAS HERE?