Saturday, October 9, 2021


The tree guys came early yesterday, and they stayed until it was late.  But they did little tree work.  They were on the ground pulling vines and trimming hedges and cutting back growth on the fence.  Shit work.  I thought they would be gone in half a day, but the fuckers worked slowly to not at all when the owner wasn't around.  And he wasn't around much.  He brought me lunch, a Malaysian/Indian dish of spicy beef, potatoes and rice, and a mixture of vegetables.  And by God, it was good.  

But then he was gone, and the boys lay around.  Lunch for them, too.  One can't complain.  

I was at first anxious, but as the day drew on, I became depressed.  Physically, I began to suffer.  I had planned to exercise.  I'd planned to move.  But I was trapped, and sitting was my poison.  Hour after hour, the day dribbled by.  

I sat at the computer and scanned some 4x5 color negatives I had developed the day before.  Each one was ruined by light leaks.  I'd spent an entire afternoon developing film, but everything was ruined.  Nothing turned out.  My body ached with defeat.  

My computer was a mess of files.  As I've scanned in pictures these past months, I've stored them on the desktop.  Now that desktop is overwhelmed.  I decided to clean it up.  My constant problem, however, is that I have little idea what is on my multitude of hard drives.  I mark them, but the labelling is vague and usually only partially accurate.  I have many 4TB drives that are half full.  And now that Apple has once again changed the external cabling, I have drawers full of adapters that must be mixed and matched to hard drives to get them to connect to the very inconvenient plugs in the BACK of the computer.  Fuck Apple.  

I spent a frustrating amount of time finding the right adapters and getting the hard drives read.  I settled on two semi-new drives, though neither of them have the contemporary connection for my new iMac.  But. . . drained and in need of drugs or drink or something, I finally had the drives a humming.  

Mere feet away, drug addicts pulled the vines I should have done myself.  

For those of you not familiar, Lightroom is a cataloging device.  It is a processing program for images, too, but it only stores the information about where the files are located.  If you move them on your hard drive rather than in Lightroom, Lightroom can no longer find them.  I've done it many times.  And one day, when I want to pull up the things I have imported, they are no longer there and I am in the Land of the Lost. 

So I tried to move files from my desktop to the hard drives.  I tried for a very long time, but for some reason, I couldn't remember how.  So I Googled it and tried again,  Maybe it is Covid brain, but I couldn't do it.  I tried for an hour until I said fuck it.  I closed Lightroom and just moved them from the desktop to the hard drives.  I did, but I did my usual shit job of organizing and labelling.  When I open a drive, I have folders within folders within folder, many labelled only with dates.  I have no idea what is in the folder.  The first folders might be labelled something like "Spring '17."  When I open that, there might be five to twenty folders labelled with download dates.  I'll open one, and there may be ten images I took inside my house.  The next one might be a hundred images I took one day at a farmer's market or some sort of festival.  Etc. Once I've looked through all the subfolders, I'll go back out and choose another file.  "Old Mac" it might be labelled.  Inside, another bunch of subfolders with obscure labels.  "Desktop" one might say.  I open it to just lots of random shit, flotsam and jetsam, often interesting, but time consuming.  

I chose a drive and transferred my desktop images to it.  And waited.  Then I copied them to another drive for backup.  But now Lightroom couldn't find them, so I deleted the files from Lightroom and re-imported from the new drives.  

Meanwhile, outside, the chainsaw motors roared.  

When I had cleaned my desktop and some other portions of my computer, I casually looked through some old files.  Holy shit!  Millions of images I've never touched.  There were some good ones.  Occasionally I'd open one and work on it.  What surprises.  Another, then another.  

Outside there was thunder, but the chainsaws and the chipper kept working.  The world was getting darker.  I was wasted from sitting all day.  It felt as if I were experiencing another Covid relapse.  

And then they were gone.  

I felt sick, that sort of sundowner disease that comes to the invalid.  More so, however, I knew that the day was going to cost me a heartbreaking amount of money.  I felt I'd been scammed.  

I needed food, but I was a mess.  I hadn't showered.  My shirt was stained.  I decided to get Popeye's chicken once again as I only had to do a drive through.  

On my way home, Mr. Tree called.  He was on his way to my house.  He was bringing me chicken soup.  

While I waited, I ate some of the Popeyes.  A few minutes later, he showed up.  Again, homemade.  I poured the broth over the noodles and chicken and vegetables and spices.  Oh, man, it was really good.  

I watched three YouTube clips about the three volumes of William Eggleston's new publication, "Outland."  Then I watched another by Alec Soth talking about the books of Eggleston.  I noticed some things about his photography I had never noticed before.  

I went back to the computer and worked on a few more images.  But working on images IS work, and it is long and often tedious.  It is exciting to see the images transform, but it is a slow motion transformation with much backtracking and re-doing, and I had really had enough of computers for the day.  My eyes were blurry from staring at screens for so long.  

It was early, but I was achey and tired and knew I needed bed.  A handful of pills I wish I didn't need, and off to Slumberland.  

This morning, those images from yesterday still thrill me, images that have not seen the light of day for twenty-plus years.  I am rich.  

Today I must try one again to get on the road to Wellville.  Light exercise.  A little walk.  Better food.  A redirecting of mood.  It has been long enough now that I should no longer be contagious.  Fifteen days.  I've had a lot of being alone.  

Tonight is the Fury/Wilder Heavyweight Title Fight.  It is the third fight in a trilogy.  Pay per View is around $70.  I've bought fights before.  I would buy this one, but I don't think I can comfortably stay up late enough.  They won't fight until eleven or so, and I don't care at all to watch the prelims.  Fury is the heavy favorite, but I can't figure out why.  I predict a Wilder win by decision.  I would rather see the fat Gypsy King win.  He is colorful, a real gypsy raised in a caravan.  Wilder says he cheated in the second fight, that he somehow drugged him.  Of course he did.  He probably had a Gypsy Curse cast on him, too. It appeals to me.  But I think Wilder will dash my hopes of a fat Gypsy King Champion of the World.  

I used to box in gyms.  I know a little about the Sweet Science.  My father was a Pacific Fleet Champion in WWII, or so he said, and he trained fighters for my uncle who was a boxing promoter (and Recap Tire King) in Dayton, Ohio.  My father taught me to box and told me not to.  When you fight, you have a strategy.  You try to hit the other guy and keep him from hitting you.  I was pretty good at that, but when I got hit, I didn't like it very much.  In the gym, we fought with big gloves with thick padding, so it didn't really hurt you that much when you got hit.  Sometimes, though, we'd strap on twelve ounce gloves.  These hurt a lot more.  If you get hit in the right place, it is funny how your knees will buckle.  I would fall down early on, but I learned to fight the instinct to fall and to stay on my feet.  It is no good to keep getting knocked down in front of the fellows.  But you'd go home with some puffiness and a headache often enough.  

Tonight, these guys will be wearing ten ounce gloves, probably.  Their hands will be taped so that the bones can't move.  They will be like stones.  The ten ounce glove is really protection against breaking their knuckles when they punch.  Getting hit with one of those. .  well, I can't even imagine.  They are 6'7" and 6'9", 245 and 275 pounds.  The punches they will take tonight would break a big man's facial bones, break his nose and jaw, would split the skin of his face open like a plum.  And surely, it would scatter his brain.  These boxers soak their faces in brine to toughen the skin.  They chew special gum to strengthen their jaws.  They've been hit thousands of times.  Their knees will hardly buckle.  But if one of them takes a punch to the temple or to the forehead, an electrical impulse will shoot through their brain, and for some seconds, it will get no oxygen, and the fighter will go down involuntarily.  In many fights, that never happens, but that is what the paying customers want to see.  Everybody hopes for a knockout.  Everybody wants blood.  

They will each be paid millions of dollars tonight to do this.  People will be watching from all around the globe.  And in drunken bars, men will fight one another for free.  Punches will be thrown.  If it doesn't get broken up (which it probably won't) someone will get hurt.  Shirts will be torn, noses broken, teeth loosened, eyes bloodied.  Nobody will get paid a dime.  

That is Toxic Masculinity.  Women complain about it.  But I've had my nose broken, my jaw cracked, and my teeth chipped.  I think somebody owes me something, too.  It isn't any fun.  

I'd rather take pictures.  Look at that!  I find it thrilling.  

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