Team magazine’s Editor-in-Chief (and my good friend), Paolo Lorenzana, told me a few months ago that the sixth issue of Team magazine would be about travel. He wanted a travel story, a gay perspective on traveling, and if I had any story that I wanted to share, I should send him something.
I had been working on a piece about meeting someone when I was in Lisbon two years ago. I wrote it on TextEdit and it wasn’t quite a poem and it wasn’t quite an essay and the truth of the matter was that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it or where I wanted it to go.
It was called I Met a Stranger in Barrio Alto.
Well, the moment Paolo told me he wanted traveling stories for Team, I new immediately what to give him, so I went through my old files, dug up the old TextEdit document and began rewriting it. I had shown it to my friend, Apa, an equally brilliant writer and also a contributor to Team, and he had given me his comments and asked me questions so that I had a better handle about where I wanted to go with the piece.
I sent a draft to Paolo and after a week, he sent it back for me to look at and I began to make my final edit. I have a tendency to draw out my prose and Paolo has an amazing way of cutting out the fat and keeping the piece lean. I can understand because there are other articles to put in the magazine, not just mine, and there’s artwork and design elements to consider.
I am thinking of putting out the original version at some point, maybe in a collection of essays. I think it also works if I add it to The Thin Man (of which I have two new essays so the book is still growing).
But the essay is now published and can be read in the latest issue of Team magazine, which is available in bookstores. Grab a copy. Our cover is the inspiring Congresswoman Geraldine Roman. It’s awesome.