Wednesday, July 14, 2021

It Seems Unfair

The day is off to a poor start.  I woke last night at 2:30.  You know how that goes.  I didn't get much sleep. I lay and thought of many things in my life from the way back, those mid-years when I thought I was really something.  There, however, in the infernal and sleepless darkness, weird truths emerged.  I would doze a bit, toss and turn, think some more, dream-like things, check the clock, etc.  This went on interminably, it seems, but of course, exhausted, much too late, I had to force myself out of bed.  It was long after eight.  

My mother came in from talking to the neighbor whose daughter had made her some preserves.  She asked me how I was doing.  

"In terms of what?" I asked.  I could have simply said "fine," of course.  My voice was raspy and my head sounded more solid than it should have like an old dog barking.  

"You slept so late," she said.  

Yesterday should have been different.  I went to the gym early hoping to get in a walk after my workout, but the skies opened and the rains came.  Unpredicted.  When I left the gym, the a.m. rains had done what they do here, made the air a sauna.  A.M. rain here can be a killer, p.m. rains a lifesaver. 

Back from the gym, I needed to rush in order to eat and get showered.  I had to take my mother for her therapy appointment.  She likes her therapist, and so do I.  He is nice and he is gentle and he seems surprised at how strong and flexible my mother is at her age.  That makes a big difference to her, I know.  But I sit with my mother for the hour while "vintage" or "classic" rock plays too loud in the background.  A man my own age who was rehabbing a broken wrist looked at me and smiled.  

"They've been playing Led Zeppelin the whole time I've been here.  I'm not complaining."

He thought we were in league, I guess, thought we both enjoyed such music.

"Must be a lot of old people here," I said.  That could be the only explanation.  None of the therapist looked over thirty.  A Jimmy Hendrix song came on.  I looked around.  Sure.  They must be playing this for the clientele.  Hendrix was preferable to Led Zeppelin, but I didn't say anything to the fellow about it.  I didn't tell him I'd much prefer "Something Blue."  I just grinned and nodded.  

By the time I got my mother home, it was mid-afternoon.  I sat on the sofa in front of the t.v.  My mother sat in her recliner.  I turned the t.v. on.  YouTube.  It recommended a bunch of Greyhound Bus documentaries for me to view.  I picked a brief one from the nineteen forties.  I was trying to interest my mother.  She left the room, so I put on some camera porn.  I was bored.  I turned off the television and took a nap.  What else was there to do? 

As so often happens, when I woke from the nap on the couch, I felt lethargic.  My body was heavy and my thoughts were slow and muddled.  I needed to get to my house and look after the cat.  I needed to do some shopping for dinner.  I needed to run the printer.  I walked out to the garage where my mother sat in her swivel rocker looking out at the street.  Somehow, miraculously, the air had cleared and cooled.  The light was a perfect Hopper, sharp and bright, the shadows clear and deep.  I should be out making pictures, I thought, but the time was late and I had chores and duties.  As I drove away, I couldn't shake the sleep away.  It was as if something had invaded me.  

The cat was on the deck when I got home.  I tried to talk to her, but she is pissed at me.  I could see that the neighbor had fed her in the morning.  She gets food but no attention.  Even though she pretends to disdain it, she, like all things, requires it.  The angle of her eyes reveals her displeasure.  

I have not been printing images for a long, long time.  The black channel of the print head is about 30% clogged and I either need to make the $1,500 repair or buy a new printer.  I wanted to make some prints, though.  I tried, but truly, I have lost my skill.  Updates in software, changes in protocols. . . I don't know? But I kept making mistakes.  Big mistakes.  30x20 inch mistakes.  I just couldn't get the settings right, it seemed.  If you don't print, it is difficult to explain, but getting the colors of the print to match the colors on the computer monitor is difficult.  If the color cast is wrong, the print is worthless. Matching profiles to paper, deciding what algorithm will drive the color processor. . . yada, yada, yada.  And it takes a long time for the printer to make a 30x20 inch print. When I had the studio, I could do other things, but sitting in my garage listening to the printer's drone. . . . 

Making a print that large on good matte paper uses a lot of ink.  I mean. . . cha-thing!  You can suck up forty or fifty dollars worth in a couple mistakes.  It can be maddening.  

When I finally emerged from the garage, I had a reasonably satisfying print.  The sun was bright, the air cooler, the light wonderful.  The cat was still pouting.  

I went inside and picked up one of my photo books and brought it out to the deck.  It was a book of Frank Horvat's photography.  I much admired his fashion photography from the '50s and 60s.  He was a pioneer in the manner of photographer William Klein.  Klein became more famous, but much of Horvat's work I find better.  Back when I was cranking out my own work, I used to write to photographers whose work I admired.  I wrote to Horvat, and for a brief while, we corresponded.  He was a very nice man in letters.  

I thumbed through the pages looking at the color photographs he made later in life, street photography on trips to NYC, and reading portions of his journal.  I came across this. 

Ah, shit.  And so it goes.  

It was time to move.  I went into the house and placed the book back on the shelf.  I grabbed the cat food and filled the cat's bowl.  I grabbed my keys, locked the house, and walked to the car.  The cat walked forward toward me.  She did not want, I understood, for me to go.  She takes comfort from my sitting with her on the deck.  I talked with her long enough that she turned away and approached her food.  I looked back at the house, the light falling hard upon the wooden siding and thought again that I should be out making pictures.  I grabbed a camera out of the camera bag, one of the Leicas with a 90mm lens on it.  I framed up the shot and gently depressed the shutter.  I looked at the image on the digital screen.  Oh, my. . . yes. . . I should be out taking photographs.  

This morning when I downloaded the picture, I was completely unimpressed.  Sadly so.  But I must post it anyway.  That is the way the day begins, late with a lingering malaise, a hangover from the night before.  

Perhaps today, I will begin to concentrate on my diet.  I have grown fat.  I disgust myself.  But calories are all I have right now, my only pleasure.  I had decided that I would indulge myself.  What did it matter?  Food and drink.  But we all know how that works out.  I must begin to pay attention.  

I feel like Faurer, I'm afraid.  

"It seems unfair."

1 comment:

  1. There's something sorta funny about you.

    Ok. I've had an exhausting week and it is what - Thursday? Tomorrow is Friday?

    Sometimes, I forget I work at a Factory when I come here. It feels so - easy, difficult, confessional, not, tricksey, fun, dismal.

    I have needed someone to talk too about what is going on there (factory).

    It's unbelievable...... is all I can come up with at the moment. It's a fucking great movie.

    We've an influx of new employees. Including "The Most Interesting Man in the World."

    We've been an office of all comfortably female gendered humans. Am I allowed to say that? Whatever.

    There are suddenly two "Boys Club" types on staff (stories upon stories in that one line and it has been less than 5 days since they joined the staff).

    I went into the bathroom and the seat was up.

    I took a photo. It shook us.

    Okay sorry - off track:

    I have needed someone to talk too about what is going on there (factory)

    My mother, while still sharp, she reads up to 8 paperback books a week. That is another reason I'm at the thrift - keeping her in books. I can't buy them at the same place I donate them.

    Oh, she called me in a few weeks ago to tell me of "the new book system." She's putting her initials inside so that when I'm shopping if I see her initials she'll know I've read that book already.

    I said "Sure." But I will definitely fail and get in trouble.

    And she's convinced Instacart is purposely substituting her choices to get her to spend more money.

    "Stop bringing me English Books. I do not like books written by the British. They use words that I don't know."

    "You could learn what they mean."

    Insert something sort like:

    * a big puff of Aries smoke - like a dragon coming out of her mouth *.

    "don't insult me, I'm 90 years old and if I don't want to learn what the British people use for words - I'm not going to and can't you just listen and be nice to me for once."

    or something similar. or even something completely different. it's the same, somehow.

    We are exact opposites on the zodiac wheel.

    My cousin, who just spent the week, is worried about me. She said "I don't know how you do it alone. Do you sometimes want to ring her neck?"

    It's stupid and egoist but it is comforting to hear someone say that. Well. For me.

    Mostly, the part about doing it alone - I don't lose my temper with her much anymore. She's 90. Sometimes, I can but I always apologize if I've been mean. Mean is not a trait that carries the light.

    OH. So I really needed to talk to someone about what is going on at the factory. I used to perform one person playing multiple part plays for T. Last night, I gave my son the stories for over an hour. Sitting outside. I got bit alive under the arbor.

    Where the FUCK was I. I definitely just screwed up the CommCycle. Even though I'm only talking to myself right now.

    It's discordant tonight. Lacks harmony this but sometimes.

    Okies. I'll finish the story tomorrow. I needed some therapy. I also signed up to do a 7/7 at the poetry site. wTf. I think I'm a writer? I'm doing a series Spells.

    I better go write sumphin.