Saturday, July 1, 2023


By and large, I eschew crowds.  I have little patience for the masses.  As I say, by and large.  My life is an almost perpetual quietude punctuated by very occasional bouts of fascinating decadence.  My Leave It to Beaver life is remarkable for its rich environment full of images and music, for its meals and drinks and sometimes flowers and exotic scents.  What I am saying here is that it is nice, this created solitude.  

But the other extreme is, if more strenuous and dangerous, equally, or more, vivid.  

The 4th of July is upon us.  Many will be joining in with the masses.  They will flock to crowded venues to listen to music and watch the fireworks.  They will battle many obstacless to do this--traffic, parking, insects, humidity, and perhaps Canadian smoke.  And by God they will take the kids. 

I often wonder what they would do if they came into tremendous wealth.  Wealthy people spend a lot of money to avoid crowds.  They buy big places and put up gates and fences and have all their needs catered to, have their victuals helicoptered in, etc.  They aren't standing in checkout lines at Walmart with a cart full of food, clothing, and knick-knacks.  I'm doubting that Brad Pitt will be sitting in a lawn chair beside the great beer swilling hoi-polloi ooo-ing and ahhh-ing at explosions of sulfur, barium, strontium, and copper (I had to look that up).  

I will not be among the throng.  

But. . . and this is still a big "but". . . I may be going to Vegas to see one of the weirdest, most decadent shows on earth--Lucha VaVoom!  


I've been enraptured with the photography of Elmo Tide for years.  That is a nom de plum.  Nobody knows who he is, not even NPR.  I wondered, though, where he went to get the images.  Now I know.  

Lucha Vavoom is a Mexican wrestling and burlesque show.  How did I not know?  It has been around since 2002!  Well, now that I know. . . I want to go.  I'd prefer to see the show in L.A. where it is more often performed, but Vegas is coming right up, and Red says she wants to go, too.  

"We’d have fun in Vegas. 💕"

I love her dearly, but she scares the holy shit out of me.  Her idea of "fun" is quite different than mine.  I'm a spectator, really.  Like Chauncy Gardner, I like to watch.  I mean, half my reason for going is to take photos like a real geek.  Red is likely to eat some mushrooms and end up on stage encouraging the roar of the crowd.  I don't even know if I can stand for very long with my back and knee.  Q said he wanted to go, too, but he will be in NYC on those dates.  But you know. . . at least I'd know someone there.  And she can probably get me more access to weirder things than Q, so, there is that advantage.  

But. . . as always. . . TBD. 

As the advertisement goes, "If you haven't seen this show before, it has it all. . . sex, violence. . . that's about it.  Sex and violence.  What more do you need?"

Yea. . . I should really book it now.  

* * *

Tennessee texted me last night.  His son is in Lyon, France, to attend a Bob Dylan concert.  That is not why he is in Europe, but that was what he was doing last night.  He told his father that the streets were on fire.  I texted that to some of my friends.  I was shocked that almost all of them knew nothing about the riots going on there.  Days and days now.  WTF?  A cop shot a teenager.  I read an article titled "What We Know about Nahel M."  Nahel M.  That is most informative.  

Here is what we have been able to confirm:

Nahel , 17, was a French citizen of Algerian and Moroccan descent.

He was an only child being raised by his mother in Nanterre, a working-class suburb 15 minutes by commuter train from central Paris.

His grandmother told a French journalist) that he had dreamed of being a mechanic. “He was kind,” she said. “He was a nice boy.”

He played on a local rugby team that was part of a French association.
He always did what’s right.  He never did anything wrong.  He was a Do Bee all day long.  

I just wonder what the people burning down the cities know.  Probably only that he was shot by a policeman.  He was a nice boy.  So yea. . . . 

I told Tennessee, "Your son will always have THIS story to tell."  I mean. . . . 

Both he and my fashion friend wanted to know if I had made a clothing order from the Buckminster Fuller clothing company.  Did I tell you about this yesterday?  Tennessee still models a bit and has the most wonderful taste in clothing.  He told me about the company, so I ran it by my famous fashion friend.  She wrote back that she had worked with them before and that I would like the clothes, so yesterday I made a small order just to see.  My tribulation in all this is that Tennessee is is built like an athletic mannequin and I have become Quasimodo, so I'm not sure the clothes are going to look like that on me.  There should be more clothing companies that make shirts and pants for bowling balls.  

* * *

I didn't wish to cook last night.  Indeed, I wanted to have dinner out, so I chose a sushi place in a sub-section of the city called Almost Park.  It is a Disneyfied version of the old American suburbs, built to mimic Disney's own Celebration.  It is the place I went with Ili to buy my scooter on that Halloween so many years ago now.  And morbidly, that is what I thought about when I walked into the restaurant.  It is a beautiful restaurant, a wonderful place, atmospheric with good and strange music, and a fine, full liquor bar.  I got seated at the sushi bar which is where I always sit, but for whatever reason, I got nostalgic.  I'd only gone there with Ili, and you know. . . I started thinking.  Ili loved riding the scooter there on holiday nights to see the spectacular decorations.  

Maybe, I thought, I should get another Vespa after all. . . and another girlfriend.  

Back home, I poured a worm killer and sat on the deck with the insects.  It wasn't bad, actually.  The temperature had dropped and there was a nice breeze.  I got a text.  

"So what are you up to this Friday night?"

I think my reply was too morose.  The conversation took a turn, then a pause, then a silence.  I'm a moody boy.  What can I say?  Better to get that out of the way early on, I guess.  I may need to wear a pair of rose colored glasses when I am corresponding rather than blue ones I seem to have.

I've probably taken care of that dilemma, though.  I'll need not worry and wonder any more.  

* * *
There is a local burlesque place in Downtown Gotham.  I've never been interested in going, but maybe I should before I head to Lucha Vavoom.  I need to be bolder, use my credentials.  I should tell them that I teach photography at the local factory and would like to shoot inside their club for a few minutes as I prepare for a big Vegas show.  But see. . . I feel silly even writing it.  It is all true, but who cares?  It sounds both pretentious and mewing at the same time.  I should say "pandering."  I am no panderer.  I am Quasimodo, Goddamnit!  Come demon, come devil, come terrible troll--you might as well fear me as I fear you. . . . 

A cribbed line, that one.  You can figure it out.  

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