we need to talk is never a good thing to hear.
someone’s breaking up with you.
someone’s offended by something you said or did.
someone’s watch has gone missing.
this was from National Geographic – this email. I could only assume it was about me splashing the big ‘as seen on National Geographic’ logo everywhere since my first article, and assumed this was the one conversation I’d have before being contacted by their legal department.
as I emailed back, I wanted to tell them look, sorry, but how often does a wannabe travel writer end up in The House With The Golden Border? and how could they blame me? if your band opens up for The Killers, then you engrave ‘as seen on tour with The Killers’ on every t-shirt and album printed, right?
a lot was said in that phone call, none of which alluded to me milking their logo.
and a lot of it I can’t talk about.
but when the phone call was over, I sat on that balcony in Buenos Aires wondering if it had actually been them, or an ex-girlfriend who knew exactly how to crush my very soul.
it took a few months to understand what was going on.
and it took a lot of contracts and phone calls and shared documents to make me believe it was actually happening.
but it was.
and it is.
and – in one week, I take a train to D.C. where I’ll spend a few days being pre-briefed in the Golden Offices.
and then – a few days later, I’ll be getting in a car they paid for.
going coast-to-coast with a video camera, a microphone, a regular camera and a pen.
because in 10 days, I go from being one of National Geographic’s siphon-ers…
to being one of their Travelers.
as soon as I’m done throwing up.