I made it out of the house yesterday as almost promised. I took my film cameras out and finished every roll walking for miles amidst the flotsam and jetsam along the dirty highway that serves as a central artery in our fair city. I just snapped away. Who knows? There might be something interesting there. I doubt it, but the exercise brought me back to the fact that the only way to take pictures is to go out with your cameras and try to see something. I saw many things, not all of them photographable. Photography and exploring go hand in hand. How often have you driven by a place and thought, "I should come back and take a picture"? Of course, you never go back, or if you do, you wonder why. If you see something, it won't be there when you go back, or if it is, it won't inspire the same wonder. That is not a dictum, though, just a general observation. I mean, the Grand Canyon or Arches National Monument will still be there and will still be magnificent surely. But. . . you know what I mean--in general.
Sunday, November 28, 2021
A Q Sighting
When I finished the rolls of film, I got back into my car and drove home. It was about the time I usually get out of the house. I loaded the cameras with more film and wondered what to do. I had a brilliant idea. I'd go to breakfast. Back in the car, I drove the short distance to the Boulevard. It was crowded, crawling with outlanders. Cars would stop mid-Boulevard to pick up or let off passengers. The doors of parked cars swung open without concern. It was nerve wracking for this reporter as my eye was drifting constantly from the road to the sidewalk dotted with attractive women. This is when I miss my Vespa most. By the time I found a place to park, I might as well have walked the half mile from home. For a Vespa, there is always a place to park.
The small French bakery was full, and I thought I would have to sit somewhere undesirable. I ordered my Croissant Benedict with two poached eggs, ham, cheese, etc, and a cup of coffee and sat at the window counter. Before my food arrived, however, the sidewalk table in front of my window cleared and I made a dash. Yes, this was perfect. I should eat here more often, I thought as I made my way through three thousand or so delicious calories. It was one of the finest breakfasts in town.
When I finished, I spied the Boulevard for a bit, watching the crowd amble by, wishing I was taking photos of the passing parade, but I've learned that nothing good comes of my taking pictures in my own hometown. No, intruding on strangers is one thing, but having your neighbors watch you do it is something else altogether. No camera, just an aesthetic eye.
Q was in town with his family staying at one of the nearby resorts. He had asked me to come out to see them for dinner, but by afternoon, I was feeling as I've felt every afternoon for awhile now. When I got home from breakfast, I felt I could barely stand and so I lay down to take nap. Waking up mid-afternoon, I still felt the hum and vibration of fatigue throughout my body. I hadn't heard from Q and so I thought perhaps they had gotten busy and we would not be able to meet. I still had the dregs of the day on me, so I hopped in the shower hoping to feel a bit better. When I had finished with all my ablutions, I found that Q had texted.
"Are you still planning on coming to the hotel tonight?"
I wrote back that I was having a shaky day and that maybe tomorrow we could meet for breakfast. But then he mentioned a sushi bar in the hotel, beer, sake. . . . I said I'd be there by five.
I never go to the resorts. It is a madhouse of traffic on an interstate highway that has been under construction for the last ten years. The closer I got, I could see the river of brake lights going on and off like Christmas decorations ahead. Thank God for Google maps. Otherwise, I would have never known how to get to his hotel through the spiderweb of roads, attractions, and restaurant chains. Indeed, Google got me to the address Q had provided, but not to where I had intended. I was in a maze of ballrooms and buildings that were not the hotel. Backtracking and crossing highways, however, without the aid of a talking navigator, I eventually did. And there was Q, waiting on me.
We've not seen one another for many years now, long before I got cracked on my little scooter. But he had changed little, and when he walked me inside, the same was true of his ex. The child had grown, but they all looked just as they do on his occasional blog postings. His brother and nephews were there as well having come to spend the day with them by the pool. I felt myself intruding somewhat as Q and I headed for the bar. His brother and ex stayed with the kids, so we ordered a bottle of sake and some hors d'oeuvres and chatted about his vacation up to that point. He and the family had been all over the state staying mostly by the sea. They were spending the last few days of their vacation in a children's wonderland enjoyed by retarded adults from around the planet. But I swear the sushi was delicious and the bar pleasant. Q's ex joined us for a moment, and Q took the opportunity to go check on his brother and the kids. She gave me the lowdown on their vacation activities, but the one that most intrigued me was their stay at the luxurious Fountain Bleu Hotel. I want to stay there for a few days, but the prices are astronomical and I can never find a room for under $700/night, and that in some annex room facing the highway.
When Q came back, there seemed to be some plan for the families, so I said it had been nice to see them all again and made my quick adieus. I had, in essence, had my Q sighting.
Back home, my thoughts were on photography. I pulled out some photo books and sat at desk I rarely use that has a good reading light and turned the pages slowly, thinking. Having finished looking at one big book, I leaned back in the swivel chair with the broken leg and took a tumble absolutely backwards onto my head and back. Kaboom! The pain, however, was in my legs where they had been battered by the wooden arms of the chair. I don't take many tumbles any more and so it is a foreign sensation to me now. I lay there staring at the ceiling taking inventory of my body. Everything seemed fine but for the stinging in my thighs. I stayed that way waiting for the throbbing in my thighs to abate as it slowly but surely did. Getting up, I knew there would be bruises, but nothing too terrible. I need to fix that chair, I thought. It is a fine, old wooden swivel desk chair made in the Adirondacks in the 1930s. No, I probably would never fix it. I should take it in to have it repaired. It would probably cost more than I paid for the chair, but as I say, it is a fine old chair and I don't really like taking the spill when I forget not to lean backwards in it.
I didn't feel like looking at photo books any longer, so I went to the couch and called up some documentaries on photographers that I watched for a bit. It was early, but what the hell, I thought, I haven't felt well and now there are the bruises. . . I can go to bed if I want.
But as I said, it was early, so I took some magic pills and tucked myself in. I woke at midnight. At one. At one-thirty. I got up and took another pill. Two-thirty. Three. Three-thirty. What the fuck? I wasn't about to take any more.
I will surely be dragging today, but the sky is gray, so there is not need to rush out with cameras to try to prove something to myself. There is no call for rain, but the day will stay cloudy and cool. Maybe I'll just eat and sleep and let the day drift by while Q and his family entertain more friends by the hotel pool.
Tonight there will be dinner with mother.