Tuesday, July 7, 2015

No Country for Old Men



Where'd it all slip away?  A man alone must contemplate.  I didn't quite hit this shot.  The focus is just off, the framing, too.  Too fast, not enough practice.  The photo isn't iconic, but the man is.  I chose this for today's picture after reading the news.  It goes something like this. 



Watch this  Tour de France video.  I can't figure out how to embed it here. 

Man shoots off firework from top of his head, dies instantly


How many things do you see here that are wrong?  My friend loves watching the bartender's reaction.  

“I just don’t get why people are getting all mad about it,” said Corey Doyle, 19.  It all seemed perplexing to Cain Jackson, a 22-year-old graduate, who is white.   “I don’t see how it’s racist to anybody,” he said.
"About 95 percent of the 2,437 elected state and local prosecutors across the country in 2014 were white, and 79 percent were white men"

There are NO transgender prosecutors. 

Experts and analysts say the vote sprang from a deep historical strain of defiance in apparently hopeless situations, honed over centuries.

Roger Clinton: “I don’t have a choice of being first brother,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s not like I’ve been given the option of doing it and I could turn it down. There are times when it’s hard.”


Yea, man. . . makes you wanna think.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Everybody Smiles



Here are the musicians I photographed on the street in Santa Fe that I said then that I should have taken my time and made a better picture.  I should have gotten closer, taken more than two, made a connection. C'est la vie.  I was better at it in 1975, but I think that people didn't smile as much then.  We are a nation of smilers now.  Smiley motherfuckers.  It used to be only the Homecoming King and Queen and their entire court, but now it is everyone with Instagram or Twitter or Facebook.  No one loves a frowny face no more. 

Maybe its just white people (and their ilk). 

I watched the end of the Diva Cup last night.  O.K.  O.K.  I thought that was funny.  But I watched jingoistically as the USA beat Japan.  We won because we are Americans.  That's what makes us better.  You could see the superiority in every way. 

U-S-A, U-S-A. . . .

It's amazing the amount of money athletics pumps into the American economy.  The country would collapse financially without it.  Think of all the jobs related to it.  It is the Beast. 

I have a hard time watching sports now.  They just bore the shit out of me.  I've lost that lovin' feelin', I guess.  Maybe it is just because I can't compete any longer.  I am no longer the strongest, prettiest boy in the room.  I'll give you an example. 

It was my friend's birthday this weekend.  I went to dinner with her and her father and mother and two of her sisters and one of the sister's husband.  Before dinner, I was sitting with her and the sister/husband couple having a cocktail.  The husband/wife are somewhere near thirty and very pretty, indeed, as is my friend.  As we drank, I saw this cowboy looking over.  He is the kind I admire--thick arms and shoulders and fingers that look like they could break walnuts, one of those kind you can never tell if they lift weights or if they just pick up cows and the back end of trucks all day.  He had one of those rugged faces that you don't want to fuck with, the kind that once said "manly" but which is no longer in vogue.  He was with his heavyish wife who was probably once pretty, too, and still was but she was about as thick as he.  They were probably in their mid-forties.  I saw him looking and kept thinking to myself, whoa, how am I going to handle this.  And then he walked over and put his big hand on the pretty husband's shoulder and said, "If they was running a contest for the prettiest couple here, you two would place second behind me and my wife."  He had a big assed grin.  I had one of those uncertain smiles wondering what was going to happen next.  The wife then came over and ran her fingers through my hair and said, "If my husband had hair, it would be just like yours."  I assumed she meant longish.  I held the smile and nodded uncertainly.  A little more banter, then they were gone. 

The husband/wife team took it all as their due.  They had just come from vacationing in Key West and told tales of people buying them drinks, etc.  It was implied that this was because they were beautiful.  I used to have people buy me drinks in Key West, too, I wanted to tell them.  When I was your age, I didn't even know you were supposed to pay for drinks. 

But I didn't. 

Rather, I just assumed they were wondering why her pretty sister was dating an old guy as ugly as I. 

They really are a pretty couple, but I have something else.  Smiley emojie here. 

The women's soccer team was very pretty and handsome, too.  They all deserve money to promote things. 

I just want to photograph them.  I wouldn't let them smile. 

It is hard not being the prettiest woman in the room any more, but as I say, I have always had a Plan B.  Let me assure you who are pretty and young, you need a Plan B. 

Just remember to keep that orthodontic smile :)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Relentless




Seems ridiculous to post a picture like this after posting Robert Frank.  I guess it is ridiculous. 

The weekend falls away on its own taking no notice of what happens or doesn't, time never to be recovered.  No record, no story, just the irretrievable flow of time. 

A trip to the beach followed by a trip home, a late night stop for ribs that weren't, a frozen pizza and piss-water beer on the couch watching "The Queen of Versailles," one of Laura Greenfield's paeans to greed and ugliness.  One must wonder how they were snookered into participating in that film, imagining Greenfield wetting herself every time they turned on the cameras.  Her head must have been spinning.  And then the economic crash and the unexpected storyline.  Some people are blessed. 

The last day of a long weekend.  I have done nothing of what I intended, attempted nothing, produced nothing.  Only the long, low hummmmmmmmmm. 

And so. . . the mantra. 

"It is better than so many other things. . . ohmmmmmmm."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

4th



Famous Frank.  The 4th of July.  Old Glory.  Edward Weston was the one who got me interested.  Robert Frank was the one made me go. Crazy different influences.  Today the New York Times has a feature on Frank. 

Sixty years ago, at the height of his powers, Frank left New York in a secondhand Ford and began the epic yearlong road trip that would become ‘‘The Americans,’’ a photographic survey of the inner life of the country that Peter Schjeldahl, art critic at The New Yorker, considers ‘‘one of the basic American masterpieces of any medium.

I drove down Highway 1 yesterday for a brief stretch, a section full of old motels and buildings that are much as they were fifty years ago.  Even an original Dairy Queen still stands.  "I want to just take a week to travel along here and talk to people and take pictures," I said to my friend.  Saying it out loud made it sound silly, I think.  I could feel the hanging question:  Why?  Why on earth would someone spend his time doing that?  "There is a story here," I answered the unspoken question.  "A million stories, a million narratives, and someone has to give the evidence of the fact at least that they exist." 

Frank hoped to express the emotional rhythms of the United States, to portray underlying realities and misgivings — how it felt to be wealthy, to be poor, to be in love, to be alone, to be young or old, to be black or white, to live along a country road or to walk a crowded sidewalk, to be overworked or sleeping in parks, to be a swaggering Southern couple or to be young and gay in New York, to be politicking or at prayer.

Of course, there is the other thing, too.  It is disruptive, dissident. 

‘‘My mother asked me, ‘Why do you always take pictures of poor people?’ It wasn’t true, but my sympathies were with people who struggled. There was also my mistrust of people who made the rules.’’

It is a familiar question, a familiar answer.  It is the 4th.  I want to make pictures but probably won't.  It is the difference. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thunder Moon



Another name for last night's full moon is the Thunder Moon.  It lived up to its name.  After a dinner of homemade Thai coconut soup, my friend and I walked to the lake to see the moon rise.  Nothing but clouds, but the wind was blowing the light above the clouds made the sky lovely.  And then the lightening and thunder.  We heard a voice a little ways down say, "Everybody off the dock," and the kids began to scatter.  "They will always remember that," I said, "their father telling them to get off the dock in the lightening storm."  We heeded his advice as well. 

Neither of us has been feeling well, so it was comfortable to sink into the couch and watch a movie while the thunder roared around us.  Full Thunder Moon. 

I am off for four days.  I have a birthday to celebrate--not mine.  I am not any better at birthdays than I am other holidays.  I don't celebrate well on demand.  A day at the spa is my gift.  Mimosas in the morning.  Lame?  Maybe, but it is something. 

I'm giving up my desire for another expensive camera.  I am going to buy a bunch of attachments for my iPhone.  There are a ton of cool ones.  All sorts of cases and lenses and editing apps.  I love taking pictures with my phone. 

But I love the little Leica, too, and will use it this weekend, I hope.  I want to photograph the celebration and maybe the hatching of turtle eggs at the beach, too.  But this is boring talk, and I am boring now, so I will leave and try to come back with something of a tale.  Perhaps and maybe. 


Saw these women on the Santa Fe square taking selfies.  I asked if I could take their picture.  They said sure.  Crazy ladies.  It's alright with me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Full Buck Moon



I skipped the gym yesterday and went to the hospital to see a friend who just had a knee replacement. It felt good to break with routine, good to walk across an unknown parking lot in the late afternoon.  Good until I got inside.  Hospitals are scary places.  I walked by rooms that reminded me of the future.  Mine, I mean.  It was disheartening, and I had horrible dreams last night all night long.  But my friend will be free of pain now.  It is an unbelievable surgery, I think, that is well done.  I've known a number of people who have undergone double knee replacements and they are very, very happy.  I just wish that the Republicans would step down and let us do some stem cell stuff.  New organs, etc. 

Walking to his room, I saw this:



I showed it to him when I went into his room.  "I don't think this place is very sterile," I said. 

After the visit, it was really too late to go to the gym, and with all I had just seen, I had a better idea, anyway. 


I hadn't had a good cocktail for awhile.  Ginger in the Rye.  Two of them. 

But today I'll repent.  I read an article in the N.Y. Times that people who exercise are much younger than their chronological ages.  Maybe I'll at least stay even.

Tonight we sleep under the Full Buck Moon.  Makes me think of an old joke. 

The National Poetry Contest had come down to two semifinalists: a Yale graduate and a redneck from Wyoming. They were given a word, then allowed two minutes to study the word and come up with a poem that contained the word. The word they were given was "Timbuktu".

First to recite his poem was the Yale graduate. He stepped to the microphone and said:

Slowly across the desert sand

Trekked a lonely caravan.

Men on camels, two by two

Destination---Timbuktu.

The crowd went crazy! No way could the redneck top that, they thought. The redneck calmly made his way to the microphone and recited:

Me and Tim a-huntin went,

Met three whores in a pop up tent.

They was three, and we was two,

So I bucked one, and Timbuktu.

The redneck won hands down!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No Getting Back



O.K.  I think my mania for the digital Leica has passed.  I am very impressionable.  I read this review today and now I want this instead.  I don't know what I was thinking before. 

The world's a jumble.  I'm a mess. 

A long weekend lies ahead.  I am off Thursday through Sunday--four days.  It makes me anxious and then depressed.  I have nothing planned.  I need to buy a birthday gift and haven't a clue what to get.  I am a terrible gift-giver.  It is not that I don't like to give them, I just never know what I should buy.  It shouldn't be so hard, but the expectations are high, I assume.  These would be great, but I can't afford to give them.  I love them, though.  So. . . then what?  A toaster?  A juicer?  And what do I do to make the day special?  Sea World?  Disney?  I'm an idiot at these things. 

And then there is the 4th and all the patriotic gore.  I hate that day, too.  I dislike fireworks and planned mass celebrations.  Except for Christmas (even though it brings me deep depression).  I would avoid every group holiday if I could.  The 4th is always sticky and hot here.  And I'm not a fan of patriotic bunting.  Nor flags.  Jesus. . . I should have planned to get away. 

In actuality, I tried.  It looked for a moment like a stay in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina.  Before that, it would have been a weekend in a secluded fishing village on the Gulf.  Oh, well.  There is no one to watch the cat, anyway. 

The Full Buck Moon is just ahead, too, and summer full moons usually drive me mad.  Oh, is there never any rest?  I want an easy plateau. . . etc. 

Q called in the middle of this.  There is no getting back to it now.  And so. . . the end.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weird Times Call for Good Reading



Did I shoot this from the hip?  I must have, but the horizon is too straight.  I don't remember taking this photograph at all.  Perhaps I was holding the camera to my eye when they walked by.  Maybe I was getting bold. 

I was not feeling well yesterday and lay down for a couple hours in the afternoon.  I was being babied and rubbed the entire time, and all I thought/dreamed about was. . . Leica digital cameras.  I want one, but not quite as they are and not at the price.  I thought to rent one to see if I would like it, but the rental is $325 for five days.  I have decided that I really don't mind digital, but my film Leica is smaller and cooler.  The extra thickness of the digital Ms is a complete turnoff to me.  They are much heavier, too. 

And still, in the cool, air conditioned air of a hot summer day. . . .

I read somewhere that ten million gay immigrants are illegally crossing the U.S. borders.  They want Social Security and Obamacare. 

I was surprised to learn that Puerto Rico can't pay its ten trillion dollar debt.  They are asking everyone to help share the pain.  Shocked. 

The SpaceEx rocket blew up.  Where did all the toxic materials go?  Nobody is reporting on that.  Why?  They are made up of horrible, terrible things.  The damn thing blew into a kajillion pieces in the atmosphere.  People living around there. . . well. . . Florida is the weirdest state as we all know.  There must be a reason. 

The Donald is a popular choice for president.  He is absolutely the only person who can stop The Hillary. 

The new "True Detective" series sucks. 

Oh. . . I saw that Lawrence Osborne has published a new novel, "Hunters in the Dark" (review).  He has become my favorite contemporary writer, so I was excited to order the book as quickly as I could.  I tried downloading it to my iPad, but Amazon said it wouldn't be available until January, so I tried to order the book.  First Amazon said I could buy a used one, then it told me I couldn't.  Seems it won't be published here until next year.  So I went on Amazon UK and tried to download it.  I got a message telling me I was a naughty boy.  Finally, I was able to order a hardback copy from The Guardian bookstore in London.  It should be here in--what--a week or so?  It is sure to send my life off in the wrong direction again.  But oh that fucking Osborne can write. 

From the review:  "For Osborne, the mysteriousness of these non-western cultures is not an excuse to satisfy anew the jaded occidental appetite for exoticism. Instead, he seems to be engaged in turning inside out, in startling ways, that old Jamesian theme of the confrontation of old and new worlds, of innocence versus experience, except that the new world here is the European one, “dying on its feet of torpor and smugness and debt”, from which Osborne’s protagonists are in full flight."

That's just like all the stuff I cut my adventure teeth on.  He and me--we love the other.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Just to Remember



The summer afternoon storms come, the air becoming cooler and drier and, some say, even beautiful.  Sometimes, on a half-cloudy day, when the breeze begins to kick up, the days are pretty, too.  Yesterday was such a day.  I strolled upon a half-abandoned Boulevard in the southern summer heat that was not horrible but just heat, and a small breeze rippled the leaves on the trees in the park across from the sparsely populated sidewalks and shops.  Stopping into a favorite restaurant to sit at the bar alone.  The folding sidewalk glass doors closed, the cold air trapped within.  A waterfall over the large wall mirror behind the bottles of expensive liquor which I eschewed in favor of cranberry juice and soda.  A wahoo reuben sandwich.  A couple to my left, the woman exquisite in every way, beautifully appointed, a summery print dress, smooth olive skin, perfectly painted red nails, the most tasteful jewelry, full lips and thighs. . . and a husband with whom she seemed to be very happy.  I ate and drank in silence then walked the Boulevard a bit.  In the late afternoon, I met a friend at home.  The house was clean and fresh from the work of the cleaning crew, and we lay on the couch and finished watching Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" which we had started the night before.  Drinking various teas with rock sugar and bits of fruit in them until we were hungry.  Early, we went to a tapas restaurant and ate at the bar drinking sangria and ordering bacon wrapped stuffed dates and gazpacho and some exotic flaming cheese.  "We're just playing," I told the barman.  "We are not serious at all."  Stopping at Fresh Market on the way home to get cardamon and clove and nutmeg for making boiled milk that night, me trying hard to cut down on my consumption of liquor.  Another movie and kava tea and half a Xanax and then a scotch, just one, and then the sweet spiced milk until we could not keep our eyes open any longer. 

I had to write it just to remember. 

We watched a really dumb movie about the real life crime of three body builders in Miami, and I began to tell my friend about the real life crimes of the body builders I worked out with every day for years and years and years in America's Oldest Gym, and telling it, I began to feel an amazement myself and realized how difficult it would be to believe having been away from it now for so long, having so much distance and not rubbing up against it every single day.  Jesus, she said, what a thing.  Yes, it was.  Quite.  And for the zillionth time I heard someone say, "You should write that," and for the zillionth time, I agreed.  And I think I should, but for some reason every time I try it seems too difficult for the stories are too big and too large and just too over-the-top.  There are robberies and murders and drug trafficking and prisons and more murders and corrupt cops and drug busts that turn one friend on another and biker wars and steroids and people you would know.  For a long time I didn't write it because I was afraid I would get killed.  At least that is what I told myself.  But now most of them are dead or ravaged and I doubt that I would get killed.  I want to tell the stories.  Maybe I'll try.  Maybe.  But someplace else where I tell the truth and not here where I am like Batman hiding behind a cape and a mask and cannot explain to you why it was really such a strange life for me. 

It is a challenge, and I am dull.  Now that the pictures have changed and maybe what I write as well, the blog's readership has dried up, or maybe only the visitors for apparently many were not reading but simply looking. . . I don't know.  It could be many things, but I do feel dull and dissolute and apologetic but I keep doing this because as I said I just don't want to forget. 

I need to tell it, though.  It has been a larger life than I had imagined. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Uncourtly Jester


vs

I don't think I'm allowed to say anything.  I don't think I'm allowed to make fun.  Of course I can ridicule Scalia who is the fun bag of the Supreme Court.  I can make fun of the conservative republican hopefuls who are forced into political harakiri by "the base."  I can even make fun of Puff Daddy Q who has many opinions on the subject of marriage as you can read daily on his blog.  But I can't jest about the other which drives me crazy for I love to jest.  I am a jester if nothing else.  An uncourtly one, I'll admit.  And I'll admit, too, that I could never compete with Scalia, nor maybe the Court Mime, Thomas, either.  

I wonder if it is fun to be on the Supreme Court.  It seems as if it might be.  You have a houseful of clerks to do the research, to offer suggestions, all bright lawyers, all capable of great and wonderful things.  Then you get to piece together and choose the best of it as you see fit, the best opinions and rulings.  No doubt it is a lot of work, but you get to put your name on the final product.  

I want some clerks to help me with my blog.  They could research every morning what is out there, bring it to me so that I may choose.  They could offer me language and phrasing and could read the final product before I took it public.  

I read the Constitution last night.  My friend had it in her purse.  You think I kid?  I was challenging her to know something we all should know but don't.  The Bill of Rights.  And so we read it over a lovely outdoors dinner of steak and potatoes and asparagus and wine.  Everybody knows the first two amendments, of course.  But then. . . memory becomes vague.  Suddenly some of the Seven Deadly Sins seem to be in there and maybe even a Commandment or two.  Read the Bill of Rights if you need to refresh your memory.  I want to know if you are over- or under-whelmed.  My favorite amendment is the one that says that the government can't force you to put up soldiers in your home.  No siree.  Can't.  Unconstitutional.  Nobody ever challenges that one.  Some of the others, though, are like See No Evil, Hear None, Speak None.  Of course I am thinking of the Right to Privacy.  It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is, or rather "Evil."  

I didn't read further than the Bill of Rights last night.  Is Title Nine an amendment?  I don't think I am allowed to jest about that one, either.  My team is weird about that.  There is a fine line to walk on that side.  It is because we are not a team at all, really, just an association of left outs and misfits.  Just look at the transgender, transsexual, lesbian, feminist argument.  Oh, those girls can't agree.  

Oops.  

There are many things to celebrate this week.  I am in favor of them.  I just have a difficult time with sacred cows.  They always make the best hamburger, you know. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Grumpy Pants



I am not waking up cheery.  Grumpy Pants somebody said.  It is true.  I'm a Grumpy Pants man.  I don't see an immediate remedy, an immediate end, to it, though.  Keeping quiet is the best way for me to survive it without pissing everybody off.  Silent Old Grumpy Pants.  I can be silent, but my visage will not change.  There is no hiding that. 

Saying that I am grumpy is not the same as complaining, right?  I began to complain in this second paragraph and then deleted it.  Details are the hallmark of good writing, but not all details are good.  Q and I were talking about Peter Matthiessen's writing the other day.  He is a good example of someone who liked to be detailed in his writing, sometimes overly, I think.  His writing was often like the "Cetology" chapter in Melville's "Moby Dick."  One is well advised just to skip that chapter.  It adds nothing to the novel.  But by god, there is a lot of detail in it. 

Impressionism in writing, like Hemingway's, gives just the idea of a detail, enough for the reader to create his or her own hazy picture of the thing.  Symbolic detail--that will do. 

Who's your favorite nature writer?  There are a number of good ones.  Matthiessen was one.  I don't mean to disparage his work. 

But I met him on several occasions, and he was a Grumpy Pants. 

I'm not thinking well, so I will turn to silence for the time being.  Maybe I will go to the beach today and bathe my spirit in ocean water.  A bright direction there.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

It Could be Said. . . .



I don't want to talk about the things that are on my mind.  And I won't.  But I haven't anything else to say, so I will simply post a series of quotes from last night's reading.  Sally Mann.  "Hold Still." 

It’s an odd endeavor, and the remarkable thing is that my models are willing to let me try.

There are nimble justifications for making potentially injurious imagery, some grounded in expediency and others cloaked with the familiar Faulknerian conceit: “If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of old ladies."

An asshole who makes great art is an asshole who makes great art; but an asshole who makes lousy art is just an asshole.

[T]he fact remains that many, I daresay even most, good pictures of people come to one degree or another at the expense of the subject.

Photography is always invasive, but these experiences are consensual and, in the best hours, transcendent.

I have had men, complete strangers, trust me enough to offer up physical characteristics about which they were sensitive—missing digits, scabby, eczema-ridden backs, surgical scars—with no prompting and no embarrassment in the quiet afternoon light of my studio deck. We don’t speak much, but we both give, and take, something. At the most basic level, making these images is exploitive, reductive, and fraught. But at a higher level, which portraiture at its best can achieve, the results can also be transformative expressions of love, affirmation, and hope. If transgression is at the very heart...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"You Don't Seem Yourself Today"



I'm a little lost lately.  Everything is familiar in a routinized sense, but strange in every other way.  I haven't been able to sleep the night through this past week waking around four every morning, and I am cognizant that my dreams are boring.  More like thinking than dreaming, really.  Last night it was just about cameras.  I watched a bunch of video reviews of the new Leica Q and liked almost everything.  But the thing I don't like is a killer--the focal length of the fixed lens.  So I thought again about buying the Leica M--either the 240 or the Monochrom or the new 246.  I don't need them, of course.  They are a symptom, not a cure.  After getting up and using the bathroom, I put on music and lay back down.  The music took me away.  I slept, but the dreaming was about people I used to know. . . just remembering.  Work is a dull drag but pays the bills in a way I am enjoying.  Still, the money leaks away on a.c. repairs and mulch.  I found that the wall in my shower has rotted and is soft and must be repaired.  Big job.  I have monstrous trees that need trimming at a monstrous price.  Everything hints at disaster. 

I need to get away from this place again.  Summe's are always this way.  I can't sleep.  The heat and humidity foster a paranoid insanity.  Read your Faulkner.  He was a reporter as much as an artist.  It is in those vast southern summers that the atrocities are worst.  Yes, I must get away from the summer atrocity. . . but what about the cat?  Seriously, you will find it stupid, but she keeps my foot nailed to the floor.  I want to go away every weekend, but there is that. 

When I think about my life, I wonder how I was once so alive and able to do so much with such aplomb.  History is an anchor that we drag from place to place.  If this had happened instead of that. . . .  I avoid that thinking, of course, but it is there when I "sleep" if sleep it can be called.  There is that and the insanity of the culture in which I live and the increasing population, the growth of technology. . . oh, I will become a Catholic, enter the priesthood, live in rectum or whatever they are called. . . a rectory, I think. 

Street portraits are so awfully telling about the human condition.  People rarely look happy.  Nine out of ten images make you feel that everyone is suffering from the same internal sadness and doubt, the same sort of madness as you.  That is what I like about them, the candid shot in which the person is unprepared and stripped of the momentary artifice of a moment.

I want to block others from my consciousness for awhile and concentrate on what I am thinking, feeling, doing.  I will, too.  Gone will be that silly smile we think is a sign of happiness.  People will worry.  "What's wrong," they will say.  "You don't seem yourself."  Oh no, I will say, I am totally myself today.  It is awful, ain't it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Knock on the Door



Yesterday morning, I was startled by a hard knocking on my front door.  I was in a t-shirt and boxers, but I cracked the door open to see.  It was a woman from the sheriff's department.  What the fuck had I done now, I wondered? 

"Are you Henry Buschbaum?"

"Nope." 

"Does Mr. Henry Bushbaum live her?"

"Nope." 

"How long have you lived in this house?"

"Since about 1996, I think." 

She looked through her papers for a minute and looked puzzled. 

"Has he ever lived here?"

"Nope." 

"I have a subpoena for him.  He is supposed to be in court tomorrow." 

I'd been getting mail from the state for a company that this man owned or was involved with, and I had sent a few of them back with "addressee unknown" written on the front.  A couple.  One, maybe. The rest. . . ?  I don't know.  I may still have them. 

The server looked puzzled and left.  How do these things happen?  Somehow, though, I don't think I've heard the last about this.  Hard knocks on the front door make me uneasy.  People with "Sheriff's Department" on their shirt do, too.  Imagine living in a country like Mexico or Peru or worse, anywhere in the Middle East.  I'd be shitting myself all the time. 

But this Henry Buschbaum character--why is he using my address?  How has this happened?  It is a little tiny bit like living in a Kafka novel.  At least it presents the opportunity for such.  Strange how little things like this can effect you and make you paranoid. 

The two fellows on the bench were talking animatedly to a fellow on the bench across from them.  They looked interesting while in motion.  I sat down next to the fellow they were talking to and told them so. 

"You two look like interesting fellows."  I took a couple pictures. 

Funny, though, how they don't look as interesting here at home.