“Every February 14th for the last few years, the radical book publishers Verso has thrown a party - the annual Red Party. Red for communism and red for "we know it's Valentine's Day, take a joke." And each year before the party, beloved New York photographer Victor Jeffreys II (although it's impossible to think there could be any more than one of Victor Jeffreys) takes author headshots. This is a Victor picture. Victor is the sort of media scene icon that the mere outline of his vast afro, thick-rimmed glasses and mustache are recognized in emoji form. Victor took this picture at the 2015 Red Party. I don't wear red, or most anything aside from black and grey, but I'm wearing (borrowed) red here. Not that you can tell. I think I've kept it as my profile picture and professional headshot for so long because in it I recognize myself as how I like to see myself, which I could put into words but I don't want to. This is not the sort of photo I'll get bored of, but I may, one day, given the vagaries of time and skin, age out of it. Then I'll ask Victor for a new one. This picture wasn't the only thing I've kept from that Red night. That was also the first night I took home my current partner, with whom forever feels like a wonderful prospect. "As if there could possibly be true stories; things happen one way and we tell about them in the opposite sense," as Sartre's protagonist reflects in his 1937 novel Nausea. "You seem to start at the beginning: 'It was a fine autumn evening in 1922. I was a notary's clerk in Marommes.' And in reality you have started at the end. It was there, invisible and present, it is the one which gives to words the pomp and value of a beginning." And so it is with this photo, I only talk about it as a beginning because I'm starting at the end (the present) and the state of this present, the only possible terminus of my story, gives the moment of this photo meaning as a beginning, as something that feels worth recounting at all - something now imbued with value. So, to crib from Sartre, knowing that I'm starting at the end (where else?),  "It was a cold winter evening in 2015, I was wearing borrowed red in a publishers' loft high above the Manhattan Bridge's Brooklyn end. Victor took my picture, and later that night I made a very good choice indeed.”