Friday, March 20, 2015

You Could Lose Your Mind



I love this picture, love the big momma belly, the bold confidence of the pose.  Maybe I have started to grow up here at retirement age.  Things that never fascinated me before fascinate me now.  Perhaps it has simply been a string of remarkable things that has happened to me in this past tumultuous year. 

Nah.  I haven't grown up.  I've spent the past week chasing the same shiny coin I chased in college.  I am worn out with it.  Tired.  Weak.  Dissolute. 

It is wondrous. 

I went to a birthday party for one of the circle of friends at the factory after work yesterday.  I sat at the bar and drank without eating.  I had eaten only a bowl of soup at a Vietnamese restaurant that day, but I thought to eat at the next bar where I was supposed to meet a buddy.  As I was ready to go, though, an old friend walked in.  My college roommate.  He is married for a few years now to a new wife.  His life is very different from mine.  It needn't be.  It just is.  I could be him or he me.  It is just a matter of choice and chance, I think.  I asked him when was the last time he dropped acid.  Oh, he said, years.  You used to keep some in the freezer, I said.  Do you still have it?  He looked around the bar a bit then said no.  What happened to it, I asked.  I must have taken it, he said.  Why, he asked, are you wanting to drop some?  I don't know, I said.  What's the worst that could happen at this age?  You could lose your mind, he laughed.  I suspected that he meant that I already had. 

I stayed too long at the bar and had to bag the second one where I was supposed to meet a friend who was having drinks with another of his friends.  I hated not showing up, but I had to get downtown to meet a twenty year old film student who I was told liked my photography.  She wanted to meet me the fellow who used to work for me said.  Sorry old guys, I thought, I've got a date with destiny. 

Downtown was deserted at seven o'clock on a Thursday night.  The bar was renowned for its cocktails and was usually packed, I'd heard.  I had never been.  I walked in.  It was empty but for the boy and the girl I was there to see and photography crew who were taking pictures of cocktails.  Cocktails and no food.  I was charming, I think.  I have no idea, really.  I didn't feel so very cool, really, but later, after I got home with a bucket of Popeye's fried chicken, the boy texted to tell me she was ready for "round two." 

I have more people wanting to shoot with me than I could possibly shoot.  Women are making eyes at me.  I am drained. 

This week there is an art festival in my own home town.  Traveling from place to place will be impossible.  Perhaps I will take my camera into the crowd.  Or, perhaps, I'll work on the overwhelming backlog of pictures and sleep.  My nerves are jangled with the lack of it.  I am afraid that nothing I have said has really happened, that I have simply been hallucinating. 

"What's the worst that could happen at my age?"

"You could lose your mind." 

If only.

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