“We met on the street a couple of times and had spontaneous dates. This is our first real ‘I’m going to take you out’ date.”

"I’ve been sober 30 years."

“In my Positive Psychology class, we often debate a formula that states happiness is 50 percent genetic, 10 percent circumstances, and 40 percent personal choice. I try to remember the 40 percent part whenever I am faced with social pressures telling me that I should have the rest of my life planned out. I know I want to be a teacher, but I have more than one interest, and I want to keep my options open. If I become a teacher, then I want to be more than that. I want to be happy—a happy middle-school English teacher who tries to create an environment in which children can also find happiness and inner peace.”

“I think I’ve come to a point in my life when things have to be getting better because I met my soul mate.”
“So you’ve fallen in love.”
“I’ve been in love. I was in love with her when we were friends. We were in love with each other when she was with someone else. I used to go up to her boyfriend and ask, ‘Can I make out with your girlfriend?’ Now there is no obstacle but ourselves. In the past, we were not monogamous, and we were not firm believers in love. We were super-jaded people.”
“So you both used to be in a lot of relationships?”
“I wouldn’t call them relationships. I just had a lot of sex. We didn’t take anything as seriously as we take each other now. But now we take each other too seriously. She also has a nerve disorder and she is in a lot of pain. So we have a lot of sex because it’s the second best thing to help her forget about her pain.”
“What’s the other thing?”
“Ecstasy, I think.”
“You’re very straightforward.”
“We’re both very blunt. I always express exactly how I feel. People are people. We all have our little deviant behaviors. Who are we to judge anyone else’s deviant behavior? If you’re judging me, who cares? I’m just like, ‘Yeah, something for you to think about. Maybe you’ll write a book about it.’”

“When I got out of college, there wasn’t a lot of work, so I had to improvise a little bit and do things that were below my expectations. I felt like I had been sold the idea that going to college and getting a degree would lead to great things. Instead, I spent four years waiting on tables and painting houses and doing all kinds of things. It sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I worked my way through college doing the same stuff. I figured that you graduate and then move on. I guess you struggle, and then you continue to struggle. Eventually, you get used to it and you’re just living.”

“If he doesn’t get enough attention, he pouts.”

“I came to the United States when I was 13 years old. For a long time, I didn’t have my immigration papers as they were being processed from 1995 until 2005. Many times, I walked down this street completely despondent and wondering what would become of me and what would happen. I walked around not feeling any connection because most people don’t get it—they don’t understand how hard it is.
I finally got my papers and graduated from this university behind me. Now I work as a software engineer. And I’m feeling a real sense of pride. I am here. I made it despite all the struggles. I guess that’s my story: I made it.”

“These are my new dancing shoes. Somebody walked up to me yesterday and said, ‘You want a new pair of sneakers?’ I said, ‘Yeah!’ Took them right out of the box! Just like that. The old ones smelled so bad it wasn’t even funny. Now I’m good. I’ve got my matching clothes, my hat on in reverse, and I’m jamming. I may be homeless, but I try to look good. I dress to impress—myself and the ladies.”

“It’s a long story. There’s so much to say that I don’t know where to begin. There are many aspects to my story, from my birth and right to the present day. I’m actually a very famous person—in Brazil. I was an extremely wealthy man. And then I lost everything. Overnight. Bing! Just like that. Then I went to Brazil and I was taken advantage of. Not that I’m stupid; I’m a highly intelligent man. Not that I’m complimenting myself because self-praise is no praise. On the other hand, there’s a stupid side to me. Many people there took advantage of me. Despite that, I love Brazil. It’s a marvelous country. The people are marvelous people. They know how to live. They have a zest for life. They can have 50 cents in their pocket, and they are happy as a pig in shit.”

“She is my only one. I lost six babies before God gave me a child and made me happy.”

I’ve found that it’s usually best to let the subject decide how to pose.

“We met online.”
“And then we went for a date.”
“It was a good first date, but she had a secret she wasn’t telling me.” 
“Two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. When we met, I didn’t have a lot of hair and I was wearing a wig.”
“I complimented her hair because it was so perfect, and she didn’t tell me it was a wig. She told me a couple of dates later.”

“I gave him a hard time in the beginning.”
“She gave me a really hard time. It took me two years to get her phone number.”

“Anything with wheels—mountain biking, trick biking, scootering, skateboarding, longboarding, riding a RipStik.”