Sunday, January 23, 2022

Modern Monk

Hey--I can do pretty portraits, too.  I'm not a freak all the time.  I just don't want to be the Norman Rockwell of photography, but I don't want to be the Francis Bacon, either.  Still, if I had to choose. . . . 

I have a lot to report on today.  


No I don't.  I didn't leave the house yesterday.  I didn't even shower.  As it was everywhere in the east, it was cold here yesterday.  Bitterly so.  Buffalo had nothing on us.  If it snowed where you were, it was not as cold as it was here.  The humid cold is a terrible thing.  You can't stop it.  You can dress however you want, damp cold will get you.  At one point yesterday, I had the heat cranked up to 79 degrees.  Since I have an old, wooden house, I have drafts and a fight with humidity.  I sat and listened to the gas run through the lines.  Cha-ching.  Cha-ching.  

But that wasn't the worst of it, not by a long shot.  The dead/living thing is back under my house.  With the house closed up, it smells like a combination morgue and sewer.  I may have changed my mind about killing it if it isn't already dead.  For part of the day, I had all the doors open to get fresh air.  Heat cranking--cha-ching.  

You do what you have to do.  

On the up side, my new hat arrived.  I left the box sitting for a long time on the floor, an accusation at best.  Why the f-- would I order a hat?  I KNEW I was going to look like Fido's ass in it.  So I cleaned the kitchen, went through some old hard drives. . . until I decided to end the fear and live with the results.  I opened the box.  The hat looked new.  This particular style is no longer made by the company, or at least it isn't available right now. . . I don't know which.  But new, it was $150.  I don't know hats, so I don't know if that is expensive.  No. . . I know it is expensive for me, I just don't know if that is an expensive hat.  My one time pal, the fashion editor, who had gotten in touch after so many years insisted that I send her a picture of the hat, so I sent the photo from eBay.  And that was the last time I heard from her.  I can only guess she thought me a fool, not someone she could risk her professional standing over.  

No matter.  I held the hat for a long time.  It is a dandy no matter how I would look in it.  It was pliable.  I rolled it and shaped it this way and that.  Man, I thought. . . if I only would look good in this thing.  Eventually, full of trepidation, I made my way to the bathroom mirror.  I looked at myself, then placed the chapeau on my head.  

Goddamn. . . I was right!  I looked like an idiot.  But I stood there anyway.  For a long time, I stood there. Maybe I'd get used to it?  I got my camera and took a couple mirror selfies.  O.K.  That's the way I look, I thought.  Fuck it.  So I cooked up a couple and sent them to some friends.  The responses were quick and cruel.  

"Man, you look great in a hat."  

That sort of thing.  I don't, though.  They were just enjoying my demise.  What did they care if kids would throw rocks at me when I got close to their houses?  What would they care if people snickered as I passed?  

I kept looking at the photos.  I had the hat on.  I made all the hat mistakes.  I wore the hat in the house.  I put the hat on the bed.  

But the damn thing DID keep my head warm.  

My mother was the only one who reacted negatively.  She knew I looked like a damn fool.  

I've decided that I will wear the hat. I look nothing like myself in it. . . or maybe I look more so.  

Call me crazy. . . call me mad. . . I had put another color of the same hat in my maybe box on eBay.  The one I got is brown.  The other is camel.  I went online and made an offer.  The seller immediately accepted!  I will have two versions of this hat, one for winter and one for spring.  Best (maybe). . . I got the two of them for less than the original of one.  


I'll wear them. . . I swear. . . just probably never anywhere.  

Eventually, I set some incense to burning.  I rarely do this, mostly when the monster visits me.  After opening the doors, though, and then lighting the incense, I almost didn't feel like puking.  

Now I must correct myself.  I DID leave the house yesterday.  I put on my down sweater and drove to the grocery store.  I needed to get some scented candles.  But way led to way.  First I bought fruit, then some vegetables.  I bought some coffee and some tea, some yogurt.  By the time I got to the register, I was loaded.  The cashier is a young woman with flirtatious eyes.  I can never tell.  And like all the cashiers, she is dressed in one of those grocery store outfits that makes everyone look the same.  Hospitals do that, too, only in the opposite direction.  I've never understood how nursing uniforms make so many people beautiful, but they do.  Grocery store uniforms, however, are made to make employees invisible.  The cashier, however, had colored her hair a brilliant shade of red like nothing in the human genome.  Above her Covid mask, her eyes made their usual glances.  Maybe she was flirtatious.  Maybe she was cute.  I just didn't know.  

When I got home, I had bags full of everything. . . except candles.  Motherfucker.  

I lit some more incense and started cooking.  

I heard something at the door.  It was another delivery, another package.  I put it aside until after dinner.  

As I cooked, the DVR was recording a football game.  Had been.  I sat down and turned it on.  I haven't been able to watch sports for years, for a number of reasons.  It is stupid how much attention athletes get, not to mention the ridiculous sums of money.  As if making them billionaires isn't enough, though, people are curious what they think about things.  I ask myself, "Why do they interview them?  Why do they have them talk at all?"

"Coach told us we needed to remember three things today--block, tackle, and desire.  That's what we did, and it worked good for us today.  I just want to thank Jesus Christ Our Savior for giving us the win."  

Worse, though, is the commercialism.  There are more minutes of advertising than of actual game.  So. . . I fast forwarded through all commercials.  I even fast forwarded through the huddles.  I think I watched the whole game in like twenty minutes.  And wow!  What a finish. . . a field goal to win as time ran out.  

I ate my dinner to a YouTube video, then bussed the dishes and cleaned up.  I was ready to open the other package.  

Should I tell you?  Ah, hell, if you are curious, you can click on the (link).  

Yea. . . I may have some surprises for you soon.  Not real soon, but soon.  I just want it to be fun.  It won't be Instagram or TikTok, I don't think, unless I get drunk and want to do a little dance video in my new hats.  That's what people do.  I've seen it.  

But I think anything I make might be longer than that.  

After dinner, I returned to what I'd been doing all the live long cold and isolated day.  I've been searching old hard drives.  I have many.  Many many.  There are some videos I want to find, but all I have gotten so far are small, compressed things that could be sent through email.  The original files. . . I haven't a clue.  I find the Premiere folders with all the editing decisions, but Premiere doesn't store the original files, it only points to them.  I no longer have a clue where those large files are.  

What I have been finding, though are lots of surprises I had forgotten about.  I have tons of old CDs that I burned, the turn of the century versions of mix tapes. And I made cover art for all of them.  Jesus.  It is almost embarrassing, but not quite, at least not on par with the hats.  

To end my computer night, I started scanning photos from a famous German feminist film maker that are needed for a documentary about her.  I got out of shooting footage on Friday, but I am still on the hook for the scanning.  It's not as easy as putting them on the scanner and pressing a button.  All the photos need help.  I was able to scan five photos in an hour.  

Then it was some popcorn, a little boo, and the first episode of the 4th season of "Ozark."  I wasn't really all that interested, though.  

Fearing another night of no sleep, I took a knockout pill.  Half.  Then I put candles in the exotic essential oil holders in my bedroom, turned out the light, and alone in the frigid southern winter's air, I pulled the covers up around my throat and fell into my induced coma.  

Which lasted until five a.m.  It is cold and dark and the house is drafty.  The shit/death smell is fainter, and I wonder why?  The smell moved from room to room last night.  This is going to take more investigation.  

The darkness just turned a lighter shade of gray.  It will be another day of staying warm.  Maybe I'll record another football game while I work on the computer.  I have a lot of learning to do, too, today.  Back to school at YouTube U.  

And that, my friends, is a day in the life of a modern monk.  


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