A friendly face. . . old friend of the blog. . . got in touch. Doing really well, several houses, lives beachfront in Venice. . . . Sent some warm regards. So long ago, now. . . what. . . seven, eight years. In love with a good boy, she says. Finally. Prosperous and in love. As is my famous old flame, the fashion editor. She, too, connected out of the blue, husband younger than she and more handsome than Brad Pitt, a child who looks like they had her made in Crispr. Another old friend of the blog wrote the other day to tell stories of her life and loves. I heard from a woman, too, who I helped get a $100,000 college scholarship many years ago. Wanted me to know she was a published writer now and doing well.
There is more. . . wonderful things, people who are rich, people who are famous.
I guess it is sort of like a high school reunion, though. The drug addicts and criminals and the unemployed don't tend to show up.
Still, it all makes me happy. Sometimes you wonder how you are remembered if you are remembered at all.
Even the Ivy League guy I sat with at last weekend's party told the hostess he was glad he got to sit by me. I was very entertaining, he said.
Yea, I'm Cock of the Fucking Walk. Ha! Haven't even held hands in two and a half years now. They are all so young still, mid-life and still forward looking. Oh. . . I could hold hands if I wanted to, I think. I have offers. But. . . you know. . . a romantic in search of that one true thing. . . .
When I was working on the mulch pile on Saturday, I made a video with my phone of what I had to do. A young woman, perhaps a student at the Country Club College, walked by.
"I just need to show my friends how tough I am," I said.
"Oh. . . ." She laughed the sweetest laugh. I'm still enamored of those who are pleased in a joyful, high-toned way. Once you've heard the joke a few times, the laugh is a cynical expression of courtesy.
There is nothing like the other.
I am pretty certain that some of "them" are writing about me. Pretty sure. It makes me nervous. God knows you can tell the tale any way. There are so many versions of the past. You hope for the most generous, the one where you end up a if not the hero.
I hold them all so dearly in my heart.
But I am on what I think of as "The Sam Shepard" end of things. After such a life, I need to roll across the open country one more time and see what's going on. Heartland places, farmlands and ranch lands and small town diners. I want to hear tales, write stories of common troubles. I want to meet the woman with the scorpion tattoo on her neck. I want to see people whose souls were shaped by prairie winds and vast stretches of near people-less lands.
And I'll confess--I want a new camera to take with me. It is terrible, this idea, this longing. But I want the Hasselblad 907X with a couple of very expensive lenses. It is what I need to capture what I need to capture visually to illustrate the stories I will tell. $10,000 worth of camera gear. It is insane. But it is what I want to make this trip. It is what I need.
I tell myself that it isn't $10,000 that goes into a hole in the ground. In a year, it will still be worth nearly that amount. When I am done, I can sell it and recoup much of what I spent. That is what I tell myself. It may be true. It is the only way to rationalize such an expenditure on a retirees income.
I don't know.
It is all a fantasy I picked up in movies, I know. . . old pickup trucks in airplane hangers, people living in wooden houses overlooking a long dirt road through the prairie, ruggedly handsome men and beautiful, strong women in tight jeans and t-shirts. . . you've seen the film.
I'd be the smart, sensitive, laconic guy.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to be useful. I stayed home yesterday and finally tackled my ramshackle office. I took everything off the desk, took all the cabling and wiring apart, crawled around on the floor underneath the desk and set up a new power strip, plugged in the power supplies to the multitude of hard drives that I stacked on shelving above the desk so the there is storage below, put the computer back and ran the connecting cables. It is much, much better, but there are still cables and wires everywhere. Then I tackled the rest of the room. I have way too much stuff, way too many prints of every size, incomplete projects, gewgaws and gimcrack that will never be used but feels too precious to pitch. But it is a room you can enter again.
Today I am going to my mother's house early to rip up another piece of yard to plant more garden. I will take her to the nursery again to pick up bags of mulch and more flowers. Then I will come home and begin painting the stairs to the apartment.
How long this will continue I do not know. But if I plan on leaving any time soon, I must get things in shape.
I'll take donations for the camera. I'll sell you prints. I'll plant your garden. I'll paint your stairs. We're talking about something epic here, something for the ages.
Let me know. Either of you.