Saturday, July 11, 2015

Leicas and Horseflies, Caves and Springs

Holy shit!  I bid on a Leica M a few days ago on eBay.  It is a low bid and I was sure someone would have outbid me by now.  I just checked, and there is only one day left.  I don't have the money to spend on this camera now.  If I win, it is a really good, low price, and I will have gotten a sweet deal, though.  I am tortured for there is no winning either way now.  I want it and I don't.  I have nightmares about both winning and losing.  Screwed myself completely this time. 

This photo was taken with a little Nikon V1.  I bought the camera on eBay because it was very small and amateurish looking in white.  It makes decent pictures and I can make them even better in Photoshop as you see here.  I used it yesterday (the picture here was taken this winter) in the downtown other than my own.  It is fun and easy to travel with, but I have found that the shutter is a bit slow set on auto and the pictures shot on the fly are a bit blurry with motion.  Still, it cost 1/30th of what I will be spending on a very good deal on the Leica.  I will have to sell some cameras and other things on eBay if I win. 

I thought I was a being inconspicuous yesterday taking a picture of a woman on the street, but she either had very good ears and heard the shutter sound or was simply very intuitive.  As I walked on she was yelling at me to delete that picture.  I just kept walking, of course.  I was with a friend, so it was a bit embarrassing.  This, I said, is why I have to photograph alone.  I get yelled at once in awhile.  I always ignore the complainer, but if s/he continues to harass me, I tell them I that I am in a public place and can take any photograph I want.  S/he, however, needs to quit verbally harassing me or I will call the police.  It is s/he, not I, who is breaking the law.  Then I begin taking pictures of their ranting. 

It is awful of me, I know.  One day, there will be a law against taking pictures.  C'est la vie

All that will be left is taking selfies.  There were a bunch of them on my camera yesterday when my friend was looking through the pictures at lunch. 

"What are you, nine?" 

I've always taken selfies, long before they were called that.  I don't look good in photographs.  I look hideous.  When I take them, however, I look o.k.  I take them to see what I look like.  Then I take them in order to not look like that.  I want to leave a pretty record when I'm gone. 

We went to one of the many beautiful natural springs in my own home state yesterday.  I was terribly, awfully hung over to the point where it was impossible to talk.  The chilling spring water felt good after the initial shock.  My friend had bought a blow up tube at Target on the way, and we both drifted down the run, she on the tube, me holding onto her from behind.  It was a spring I nearly died in back in my last days of high school or first days of college--I can't remember which.  My friend and I had decided to become scuba divers (we'd been watching Jacques Cousteau), and we took classes with a famous cave diver, so of course that is what we did.  The cave of this springs is at the bottom of a long, slanting chimney that opens into the cave around ninety feet underwater.  It is dark and the big room plunges on down to one hundred and fifty feet.  We were stupid, of course, and came with cheap rented lights and no rope.  When we got to the silent boil where the water comes shooting out, we were knocked ass over tea kettle, our masks coming off.  After we had gotten them back on and cleared, we both signaled with our thumbs to surface.  Trouble was, we didn't know how to get out of the cave.  We took blind chimney after blind chimney that ended in nothing, each time breathing faster and harder, the panic beginning to take hold.  Somehow out of pure luck, we found the right one and surfaced, our tanks nearly empty.  This was long before the springs had been bought by the state and turned into a park.  We lay alone on the narrow banks of the steep rocky slopes unable to move for a long, long time, only the water and the trees and the horseflies and us. 

Yesterday, the horseflies were still with us.  I killed many that landed on me after I was nailed by the first one.  Painful, painful shit. 

The park was packed with rednecks and immigrants, a strange, almost toxic, mix of people.  There were families and the usual packs of teenagers horsing around.  I hadn't taken a camera.  What a shame.  But I probably would have been beaten then arrested if I had.  There were so many beautiful and terrible things to see. 

Today we will go to the beach.  It is summer, after all.  It is what people do.  We will ride bikes and have fish sandwiches with piss-water beers and then watch a movie, perhaps "Garden State" as neither of us have seen it in a long, long time.  We were listening to The Shins yesterday and thought of it.  What wonderful goofy music they made in their first two albums.  I was always ashamed that I liked them so much, but listening to them now, they seem to hold up.

And so I am off to be a kid--hopefully with a camera.  And tomorrow I will know what happens in my bid for the Leica.  Oy. 

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