Friday, July 16, 2021

Freakish Heartland Sideshow

What are these for?

Things went well for awhile with the Twinsville Twins Days staff.  They were quick with their responses.  I wrote them a vision statement, of sorts, in which I explained I was on my quest for Americana, that Twins Days was part of a larger personal project, that the festival represented a celebration of diversity set in the great American heartland.  

If I was not on assignment from a news outlet, they wanted $1,200.00.  They were quick with that response.  And clear.  

Do you think I can find a reputable news outlet that would like to give me the assignment?  They need to be willing to explain how they are going to use the images.  

I want to write back, on letterhead, that I would be there to document the sort of freakish sideshow that is the American Heartland.  But I won't.  Rather, I'd like to request a look at their books to find out where the money they raise really goes.  I've decided it is just a funnel for illegal funds that line someone's private coffers.  

Oh, I am a bitter, bitter man.  I had visions of becoming the next Diane Arbus or Garry Winogrand.  Such tasks are more difficult than they used to be.  

Suddenly my vision is cloudy, my limbs heavy, my mind mundane.  I don't want to walk the neighborhood making photos of mailboxes any more.  Why do we even have mailboxes now?  They are simply a corporate tool for passing advertisements and bills.  That is all I get, anyway.  Perhaps your mailbox is full of personal letters.  I don't even get birthday cards any more.  

That is not entirely true.  I got two, one from a car dealership and the other from a bar in Palm Beach offering me a free drink.  

I'm tired of photographing houses and cars and driveways, but I have lost my chutzpah.  It is not my fault. People have gotten so very paranoid and mean.  I don't want to deal with their anger any more.  

I know what I would like to photograph, but to even whisper it would set off alarms.  If only I were younger.  

Have you heard?  Covid's back.  Affluent America can't convince its conservative base to take a free vaccine that less affluent countries can't even get.  I've decided it's o.k.  I think I liked lockdown and separation after all.  Somehow, it makes everyone equal.  You either follow protocol or something bad will happen.  The new variants are even more democratic.  They are attacking younger people, and those it doesn't kill suffer from long term effects.  My impulse is evil, of course.  I want everyone to be as miserable as I am.  If I'm not happy, no one gets to be.  I learned that from Crabby Appleton.  

Maybe I should move to Hong Kong.  

I may make one desperate try to get credentials for the Twins Days committee.  I have to decide today.  Asking for them, though, makes me feel a little sad and creepy like the coach of the female gymnastic team asking to put "security" cameras in the girl's locker room.  For "protection."  

I've been living at my mother's house for three weeks now.  I am a settled itinerant.  I'm living out of a cardboard box.  Nothing is my own.  But I have become a neighborhood favorite.  I am storyteller of endless tales.  People think I'm funny.  

I've found my audience.  

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