Tuesday, March 5, 2024

You'd Have to Ask My Ex

Not everyone has my taste.  Hardly anyone, maybe.  People, by and large, go for slick and pretty.  Dark and weird if it is science fiction or about vampires.  People seem to like vampires and killer dolls that become little girls.  Those things aren't so subtle, though.  Maybe subtlety is the problem.  

"What problem?"

"Yea. . . I guess you're right."

I can't seem to shut out those conflicting voices in my head.  

If you recall, my biology prof friend, a kid in his thirties, asked me to send him some of the surfer pics I took for "A Few Days One Summer."  I did.  He seemed very unimpressed.  I told him they were portraits done with a cheap plastic camera, a toy.  I'm sure he likes the crisp color photos of surfers surfing that the magazines publish.  I warned him, but it did no good.  Now I have to look at those photographs through his eyes.  

"Why are they so hazy?"

Or, perhaps, take the picture above.  

"What's she doing?  Why is she standing that way?  That's weird.  Let me see that other girl, the pretty one."

"Jesus Christ. . . no, man.  What's wrong with you?"

"You'd have to ask my ex.  She'd have plenty to say on the topic."

I didn't get to bed until after midnight again last night.  I was headed to bed at ten, but I decided to open up the computer and then some files and then I put on some music and by the time I had cooked up a couple pics, two hours had passed.  It is like a time warp when I do that.  Maybe it is the music.  One song will thrill me, then another.  

Meanwhile, I'm correcting color and tonal ranges, adding layers and filters, dropping contrast and desaturating, then, changing my mind, backing up and trying it another way.  And all the while. . . the music.  

And then, in the morning I look at what I have done and am disappointed.  Mostly.  But occasionally I'll think, "Yea. . . that's what I mean." 

It is distraction from the horrors of the new world we are facing, perhaps.  Or maybe it is a metaphorical reflection of them.  Maybe it is simply a way of controlling what I can.  

I'm an ostrich, perhaps, but I know the rich don't feel the damages of climate change the way the poor do.  Take the Texas fire.  Caused by climate change they say.  Burned off grassland used for grazing cattle.  Cattle production will drop.  The price of beef won't.  The shortages and jacked prices won't bother many of my friends.  They will still go out to expensive steak dinners and be glad that the rest of us are home eating a little chicken.  Maybe.  The price of chicken will go up, too.  And fish?  They are disappearing in the warmer ocean.  The great currents are falling apart.  Plastics replace nutrients.  

I hope they are able to make protein powder from worms.  

Making pictures is therapeutic, I guess, just like writing this faux-journal.  Both seem fine until I show the photos or somebody reads this.  

"Jesus, man. . . why do you tell people all that stuff?  You're going to get cancelled. . . or worse.  Did you read what you wrote yesterday?  Do you think all women either work at a diner or are married to rich guys?  You know my wife's an attorney, right?  So is my sister, and she's not married.  There are plenty of professional women, you dunce, successful women."

"I know.  They are the ones I like.  I wasn't trying to be comprehensive.  It was just what I was thinking about at the breakfast counter."

"Well you better watch it, old sport.  This kind of shit can cause a lot of trouble."

"It's o.k.  Nobody reads this anyway.  They used to, you know, before the social media stuff."

"Well you should count your lucky stars, then.  What if someone you knew stumbled upon this?"

"I'm Batman."


"Never mind."

Tennessee called me yesterday.  Like almost all calls, it was a drive time thing.  He was on his way to the mountains to finish up his cabins.  He's ready to make a killing.  

"It's Bike Week.  I'm going to miss it.  I go every year."

"I've never been."

"You've never been?!?!  Why?  Man, you need to get over there with your camera.  You wouldn't believe the stuff you'd see."

"Yes I would."

But maybe he's right.  I think of Bike Week as Obvious Weirdness.  Not subtle.  But maybe I could see it differently.  There is a weirdness beyond the cartoon characteristics of the whole thing.  I mean, the week is a tribute to criminal biker gangs by doctors and attorneys who saw "The Wild One" and bought a Harley to experience "the freedom of the highway."  Or perhaps it was "Then Came Bronson."  

Maybe I will go.  

I'm getting texts now to see if I am coming to The Factory Brewery to celebrate the homecoming vacation of the fellow who replaced me as shop foreman.  He got a job in the Great White North that wasn't so white this year, and he and his family will be in town for a week.  There is a lot of excited jizzing among the crew.  But of course I will go.  Maybe I'll be coming back from a day of Bike Week.  Two birds.  One stone.  

Last night, this was the final song before I went to bed.  I needed something naive, sweet, and melancholy.  You see the pictures then you hear this.  I'm a mess, you'd guess.  Maybe.  I don't know.  You'd have to ask someone else.  

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