Senior Love Triangle

Senior Love Triangle

Jeanie, age 81, and Will, age 84, kiss on the street in Los Angeles.

Jeanie, age 81; Will, 84; and Adina, 90 are bound by their relationship. “The Three: Senior Love Triangle” is a long-term photo documentary that shadows three aged individuals in a romantic conflict. They view their connection as a shield from the loneliness of aging. Even though Jeanie, Will and Adina’s relationship began at a senior care facility in Los Angeles, California, the outside world is more like home. For them, the care center is a reminder of solitude. Attempting to find solace within themselves, they seek escape with each other. In describing their bond, Will shares, “We live above the law. Not outside the law, but above the law. We are not outlaws.”

Through their relationship, Jean, Will and Adina challenge socio-cultural norms projected about the elderly. Jeanie, reflecting on her life, confides, “I do not wish to assume all the garments of maturity.” Jeanie seeks empowerment, reiterating, “I want to be free.” For these individuals, aging is paradoxically a form of both loss and liberation. Attempting to find solace within themselves, they seek escape with each other. When I am part of the lives of Jeanie, Will and Adina, I feel I am engaging in questionable activity, in something different. Each day we searched for a new “adventure,” a purpose. I felt the comfort of being part of the group. But the thrill revealed sadness. I, too, experienced the remoteness that one can feel even when part of the group, or pair. I felt the ache that dwelled just below the surface of their romanticism.

I met Jeanie, Will and Adina at a retirement home in East Hollywood where I was documenting a woman who lived on the 4th floor. One night, I watched Jeanie, Will and Adina walk through the gates; Will had his arm around Adina as Jeanie walked behind them. I related to Jeanie’s separation from them. I identified with the sense that the balance between them could not be achieved. As Jeanie used to say, “To share Will is a thorn in your side. A relationship between a man and a woman is private. It is a couple. Not a trio.”

With Adina to the left, Jeanie talks to Will as they sit on a bus bench.

Will looks at Jeanie who looks at Adina during lunch at a coffee shop. Jeanie struggles with memory loss and is surprised to hear that Will is living at a veteran's shelter.

Jeanie gets ready in her apartment to meet Will.

William and Jeanie embrace in the street as Adina waits inside the gates.

Adina talks to Will during lunch at the coffee shop.

Jeanie kisses Will on the bed.

Adina, age 90, holds Jeanie's hand as Jeanie interacts with Will.

Jeanie sits separate from Will and Adina at the ice cream shop. "I think it is over," she says.

Jeanie, Will, and Adina walk through the park on a Sunday.

Will and Adina approach an apartment door while Jeanie walks behind them up the stairs.

Jeanie places her head on Will's crotch as they recline on his bed.

During a conflict, Jeanie tells Will that she thinks their relationship should end.

Will grips his face in frustration as Jeanie and Adina stare at him.

Jeanie lies on the floor of Will's studio apartment while holding onto his thigh.

Standing behind a glass door, Jeanie and Adina discuss Will's distance from them.

Jeanie walks alone in the street after a fight with Will.

Jeanie, Will and Adina at the coffee shop.

Will screams at Jeanie inside his apartment.

After a fight, Will looks down at Jeanie as she decides whether she will return to the retirement home where she resides.

Will drops Adina off at the retirement home where she resides.

Jeanie puts her head on the wall of the retirement home hallway when she realizes that Will has moved from the retirement home and she does not know where he went.

With Jeanie in the foreground, Will, who bruised his face upon a fall, lies down on the floor of his studio apartment.

Jeanie and Will stare at each other while they meet outside her retirement home at night.

Adina stands with Will on the street as Jeanie stands beside them.

Will reclines on the floor of his apartment and Jeanie sits beside him at night.

Jeanie looks up at Will, as Adina stands to the left.