Another of my failures with which I've become enamored. I find a hideous decadence in it. It has the shape of my nightly dreams, the substance and color of them, the murky mystery and foreboding. What am I doing there and why? I am horrible for posting it. Now it might haunt you, too.
I wrote the following post this morning. Don't bother reading it. It is as I predicted. I am on my mother's computer and not my own, and for some reason although they are exactly the same, it is different. It has thrown me off. What follows is a diary entry, a log of events without wit or charm or imagery. It is a dull recounting of a dull day told in an unsuccessful way. It happens. All we can do is wait for the next best thing.
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I left my laptop at my house once again yesterday, so I am on the laptop I bought my mother when I bought mine. They are exactly the same. Still, it bothers me not to have my own. Everything seems alien. It shouldn't effect my writing, but I am sure it does.
But never mind that.
Yesterday was another failure of my photographic genius. I had big plans for the day. Nothing came of them. I am lazy, I must admit. Since retiring and moving into squalid solitude, I manage to do less and less with every hour. It is exactly like the old joke.
How many retirees does it take to change a lightbulb?
One, but it takes all day.
After the gym, I went to my house to shower. I wanted to process some of my medium format color film, but both cameras still had a few shots left on them, so I decided to drive toward the photo store where I needed to buy some 4x5 negative sleeves and perhaps finish the rolls of film while wandering around the streets a bit. Rather, on my way there, I stopped at a restaurant to get a bite to eat. It was one of those "bowls" places. I had never been there before, but it was the last place I stopped before getting run over on my Vespa. I remember thinking that it looked good and that I would eat there sometime.
The time had come. I parked and got out of the car and looked around the lot to see if there might be something interesting to photograph, but of course there wasn't. So I just got lunch. It was a good lunch, too, a big bowl of rice and Buffalo chicken with a variety of vegetables. Healthy me, I drank it with bubbly water. By the time I had finished, it had begun to rain. What to do? My intentions were to return a loaned lens to the fellow at the photo store who had given it to me to try out, but I still hadn't finished the roll of film. Silly me. When I got to the store, I realized all I had to do was change the lens. Duh.
When I got home, I decided to finish the roll of film in the camera so I could develop it and see what the images with the borrowed Petzval-like lens looked like.
When I opened the camera, there was no film.
How many retirees does it take to load film into a camera?
You finish the joke.
My lunch bowl had filled my belly, and it was raining. I was sleepy. There was only one remedy for that. I decided to take a brief nap. I love to nap, and naps are healthy. So I lay atop the cool silk comforter in the guest bedroom and listened to the rain.
And when I awoke, it was late afternoon. The nap was none too brief. I was expecting two packages, one an electronic gram scale like the drug dealers use, and the other a batch of chemicals that I will mix to develop the dry plates I had planned to shoot. Only the drug scale had arrived.
I decided to load film holders for the 4x5 cameras. As I have learned, loading film is an important step in making analog photographs. Hands in the dark tent, I fumbled around blind until they were all full. I still hadn't gotten the chemicals, so I practiced loading a film holder for the developing tank, a twelve negative holder I find impossible to use. I spent at least half an hour with my hands in the tent trying to load old negatives, but try as I might, something always went wrong. But I was getting better.
And still the chemicals didn't arrive. My mother was not feeling well and said she didn't want dinner, and after the big lunch, I didn't want much either. The day was moving toward dusk, so I packed up my things (less my laptop) and headed back to mothers.
We sat in our usual places in the open garage as I drank the evening's first scotch and smoked a little cheroot. Then I made a simple dinner of avocado and tomato topped with chopped garlic, salt, and red pepper, followed by a bowl of lentil soup.
We watched the news while I ate. But then what? I turned the t.v. over to my mother so she could watch episodes of commercial t.v. and decided to go back to my house to pick up my package. I didn't want to leave them out on the porch in the rain all night.
When I got back to her house, she was lying on the couch. She didn't feel well. I had been fuzzy all day as well. I told her we surely had breakthrough Covid. Probably.
I turned off commercial t.v. and turned to Amazon. They recommended this (link), a documentary by David Maysles who made "Grey Gardens," one of my favorite documentaries ever, and this (link) which I HIGHLY recommend. I thought my mother would like watching a documentary about someone her own age who had become rather successful, but she had little interest in it at all. And truly, it was an unsatisfying work. I wouldn't recommend watching it. Maysles at 88 isn't the filmmaker of his youth.
When that was done, it was off to bed for another miserable night. The bitter end to a perfectly nothing day.
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