Here's one of the Grit City pictures I took a couple days ago. It is not in focus. Rather, the focus is on the palm fronds and not the "H" in hardware. I don't know if it is the camera or me, but I think it is the camera. I'm going to have to get someone to check it.
That trip to Grit City was good for me. Better than that. Indeed, I had "a realization." I was out taking pictures without needing to explain to anyone what I was doing or why? I've never gotten support for making pictures when in relationships. I've gotten just the opposite, actually. Ili hated my taking pictures for some reason I could never understand. But that day in Grit City, I needn't explain to anyone, and suddenly I felt for the first time the positive side of not being in a relationship. I mean I felt it for the first time in a year and a half. In the past, I've known it. But in the Time of Covid, I've only felt the isolation and ensuing loneliness.
"A man alone ain't got a bloody f---ing chance," Hemingway says in "To Have and To Have Not," but at least he can do as he pleases. If it's not everything, it's something.
There are more safaris to come.
I had lunch with an old colleague yesterday. She's not old, I am, but you get my drift. We sat outside on a covered patio and ate some fancy fare, though the inside of the place is truly classic. Oh, I wanted to sit in those beautiful environs so badly, but I live in the Covid Capital right now, and neither of us wanted to chance it. You can't make people get vaccinated. I understand that. But there is something you can do to incentivize them. Insurers can say that they will not pay any medical bills for unvaccinated people whose condition is caused by the disease. You get sick, you go to the hospital, you test positive, and you show your vaccine card. . . or you don't. If you don't, you get to pay your own hospital bill. Boom! Easy.
No matter. We ate outside. And since my colleague loves me and cares for me, she asked me about my life, asked if I heard from Ili, then proceeded to tell me things I didn't ask for. Not that I'm a sissy about it. It was o.k.
I thought. But last night's "sleep" was a train wreck. I couldn't find a purpose no matter how I tried. I just kept falling deeper into that dark, bottomless well.
I got up and turned a light on in the other room and left my door open. I needed a light for the night. At home, my bedroom is never dead dark. I leave lights on in other parts of the house so that my room is dim rather than black. When I wake in the night, I know where I am. Everything is there. I am there. I can lie with my eyes open and stare into the pale darkness and think until I am asleep again. It is not like death, that darkness. It is the drowsy twilight of a pleasant narcosis. If needed, I can put on some soft, low music. Soothes both the savage breast and beast.
Lunch was long, and when we left the restaurant, all secrets between us intact, the sun was beating down like a twenty pound sledge. I went back to my house suddenly exhausted. I lay down for a minute just to rest.
Two hours later, I forced myself up. It was time to get groceries and make dinner for mother.
Such torpor is better done earlier, I think. It is no good to wake up so late in the day.
When I got to my mother's, however, neither of us felt hungry, and with great relief we decided on lentil soup and avocado for dinner with a little cold chicken that was in the fridge. I poured a great scotch and we sat for awhile observing the day's end. Later, drinks drunk, we went inside and turned on the news. Oh, boy. . . suddenly EVERYONE is an Afghanistan expert. EVERYBODY knows what we SHOULD have done. Yup. THEY could have gotten everyone out safely.
It is beyond the pale, as they say. Or is it pail?
We still need to get everyone out of Afghanistan. EVERYONE. They all need to live in the U.S. No problem.
I decided to colorize the photo. I didn't take much time with it, though, as it is not a great photo. Still, It seems more of the past this way, doesn't it? Shoot--if only I had hit focus.
I won't get much done today. I take my mother to therapy at noon and will have dinner ready by six. I may just have time to develop some film in between. And I'm going to learn to use this camera. I have some surprises, I think, some pretty plans.