According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the most common reason for travel—among tourists who contract cholera—is a visit with the relatives. Although spared this ailment, I am not immune to that desire to claim kinship.
I don’t mean that Cliff and I were estranged; we just haven’t spent as much time together as we might’ve liked. He moved to Los Angeles in 1987, the year I left. Since then, we’ve managed a series of approximately annual reunions, but rarely for more than a day or two. Through phone calls and emails, we’ve kept up a relaxed sort of connection, in which I can recognize the names of his good and loyal friends, and piece together a rough chronology of his meandering career.
He worked in an art gallery that favored Dali and Miro, turned his eye to fashion at Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue, then eventually became the men’s buyer at Maxfield. Along the way, he freelanced as a stylist, costume designer, interior decorater, landscaper. (I also recall that he appeared as an extra in Ridley Scott’s Black Rain, an action movie starring Michael Douglas that bears little relation with the novel of the same name mentioned in my first post).
He must have met Sandy while working for Maxfield, at fashion week in Milan or Paris.