Monday, April 15, 2024

Another Beautiful Day

You know what it was--another perfect day.  That's a lot of days in a row, an entire weekend and more.  But I'll warn you kids.  One way to diminish the day is by doing drugs.  They can leave you lazy and morose.  Well. . . maybe not you. I have friends who love to do drugs.  They say that they enhance their experiences.  For me, though, a straight, healthy day is one to be treasured.  You can have a mimosa.  I can, I mean.  But even that can slow you down.  If you want to be a Ready Teddy, though, I'd say stick with the wholesome life.  Sip your tea and eat a healthy salad.  Your day will be just fine.  

I was stupid and ate part of one of the gummies my cousin left me the night before.  I don't know how people enjoy such things.  I slept poorly and was hung over all the live long day.  

Still, champion caliber that I am, I got out fairly early for a long camera walk to try and finish up the film in my two cameras.  I was headed to Gotham, but stopped along the way to walk the fast growing area around the street where I was run over almost to death.  High rise condos and apartment buildings have been built there by the lake, and things are hopping.  There are restaurants and bars and coffee shops galore.  I parked in the lot of the Fresh Market store and started my stroll when right away I saw a house with a familiar sign.  It a simple letter that is the logo for my ex-wife's husband's development company.  What was this, I wondered?  I walked around the block to see.  To my surprise (if not chagrin), the sign announced it as a club house for the company.  I guessed it was for the company, anyway.  Fucking holy hell, I thought.  She's got it all.  

I think she should offer to give me back the money she took in the divorce.  She should have at least that much regret . 

Whatever.  I turned around and limped on down the trail.  Yippee ki-yi-yo.  

As I was passing my buddy's camera shop, his car was in the driveway.  The shop is not open on Sundays, so I was surprised.  The shop is comprised of two cute houses and a courtyard that is to die for.  He's done alright.  When he saw me, he put the car in park and got out.  He might have thought I was coming to the store.  

"Hey. . . I just came by to feed the cats."  

"Hello.  I'm just wandering trying to finish off this new Scala film I got."

We chatted about the film and other things until another fellow with a camera came up the sidewalk.  It was someone my buddy knew of course, and Asian with a Nikon F3 film camera.  After introductions, I began telling my buddy about the shaved ice at the old seafood market.  He told me that the place was just down the street from him.  No, I said, it is the old seafood market.  They have another one, he said, in a giant warehouse just down the street.  It just opened.  I mentioned that they have a ton of space and I would like them to rent me some for my studio.  

"Oh, you should ask them.  They'll do it."

I was surprised.  "I wonder how much they would charge me?"

"Are you kidding?  You're a legend.  Tell them you'll work on commissions, that you will be bringing them a lot of business."

"Notorious, you mean."

In a minute, my buddy said goodbye and I was left with the Asian.  I think he was probably Chinese.  He was very polite and decided to walk with me to see the new warehouse shop.  He was an electrical engineer and we talked about cameras and scanners and how he thought he could repair old electronics.  Of course, I took no photos.  You can't be a photographer when you are with someone.  You can't divide your attention that way.  So we strolled and chatted, neither of us taking photos.  

When we got tot he warehouse, as with the other, there was no signage to let you know what the business was.  Just a big, blank structure.  We searched around and found the entrance.  The place was closed, so I pressed my face against the window to look in.  Wow.  This place was even grander than the last one.  It had a small bar and a wine cooler.  I would need to come back to look around.  

My new pal and I turned back in the direction from which we had come, walking along the banks of the big lake that bordered the road.  The day was pleasant, and I wondered what sort of pictures the fellow took.  Would he wander around the park and take photos along the bank of the lake?  I spied a pile of tires "sombre y sol" and walked over to make an image.  That is when we said goodbye.  The day was getting on and I still hadn't finished a roll.  I decided to cut across to an urban trail I hadn't been on before in order not to be walking into my new pal again.  It was a mistake, though.  It was a boring path shaded by the apartments or condos on its east side.  I had half a mile before I would come back into the sun.  

When I did, I cut through a mall that housed a bar and a coffee shop.  People were sitting at outdoor tables eating breakfast.  I crossed the street to a brewery that was having some kind of shitty clothing market in its parking lot.  There were lots of poor hip-hop looking kids picking through some off brand jeans, flannel shirts, and the like.  This is where I finally finished a roll of film.  I still had half a roll in my other camera, but there was nothing much to look at here, so I headed back to my car.  I decided to drive to the big Farmer's Market on the lake in Gotham.  Surely I'd finish shooting the rest of the film there.  

I drove around for awhile looking for a parking spot.  I drove for miles, looking.  But Gotham is changing.  Here, too, the big apartment buildings and condos have gone up and the place is crawling with young professionals.  The town has always been ancillary in many ways to the tourist parks and has suffered for it.  Every new food chain tries its stuff here at the crossroads of tourist America.  The city has been alternately crummy and bland.  Trying to find something like shaved ice, as silly as it seems, has been like searching for gold.  If you live in a town with funky restaurants and dives that are offbeat and not the Olive Garden or Captain Ds or other garbage, you wouldn't understand.  But things are changing.  On my walk earlier, in a one mile stretch of road, I passed at least a dozen--no exaggeration--age defying, IV drip/injection, lip filler and non-surgical face-lift places.  As I've reported from my readings, young people want to stay young.  This is their thing.  Botox.  Lasers.  I don't know what all.  But they also like funky fun stuff, and so the bars and restaurants are blooming.  

And that is why I could not find a parking place in Gotham.  And so. . . I bolted.  

I was shaky.  I hadn't eaten anything.  I thought a mimosa would be just the thing, and so I headed to the Cafe Strange.  The pretty milk chocolate complexion girl was working the counter.  She always looks me in the eyes, smiles, and asks me how my day is.  And then she chats.  She's a friendly girl for sure, and while she talks, I think about how much I'd like to make photos of her.  One day, maybe. . . . 

One mimosa and it was time to bolt.  I was making a seafood stew for my mother.  I still needed to shop.  Celery, carrots, potatoes, and leeks.  Canned crushed tomatoes, clam juice, chicken stock, cheap wine.  Cod, scallops, and shrimp.  I had the spices at home.  Chop the vegetables and sauté them in the Dutch oven.  Add the stock and the wine, clam juice, crushed tomatoes, seasoning, and bring to a boil.  Then turn down the heat and go take a nap.  Yup. I was beat.  Later, get up and shower, bring the pot back to a boil, cut the heat and put in the seafood.  For once, I didn't overcook it.  Rather than disintegrating, big chunks of cod floated alongside the now pink shrimp and scallops.  Wrap the Dutchmen in a thick towel and take to the car.  And a bottle of wine.  

My mother was pleased.  I nailed it.  Good God, it was delicious.  

For some reason, I did not sleep well last night.  I was up at five.  And now, with sunrise, I will go back to bed.  It is to be another spectacular day.  And it will be a busy one.  I mean. . . it is Monday after all.  The start of another work week.  

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