Sunday, February 28, 2021

"How Long, Oh Lord?"

(Charlie, Las Vegas)

A lazy Sunday morning, after a night of wine drinking. Then, a little later, one oval Xanax and one circular Cyclobenzaprine. Yes, I know that drinking and combining benzodiazepines is ill-advised, but I was going to sleep where nothing bad ever happens. I had not drank anything in about a week. It felt good to have a few glasses of wine. I have given up eating red meat and I need something Catholic to imbibe every so often.

I say that I have given up red meat, but I noticed that Rachel bought a rasher of bacon, which now sits in the refrigerator like an uncooked temptation. I am a sex addict for bacon. It arouses my sensibilities and imagination. We will see how well my abstinence holds up under the tremendous pressure of the scent of cooking pork fats. 

I am already conducting an internal debate about whether or not I will exercise today. The wine's tentacles have crept deep into my morning thoughts, where their grip has its hold on me. By noon, I will feel differently, though, something close to normal. 

It occurred to me that I have already used the above picture here, back in September, shortly after coming home from Las Vegas. So, I will add another one to help keep this site in balance. Oh look, I have an underwater shot that I have not used yet. Here is the boy, in the most recent of a series of time-lapse images of his birth.

(Longing Legs)


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Well Psyche, and Cupid

I have not wished to buy anything else since getting the watch. I have grown bored with the curse of the Amazon. Yes, I know, I will stop writing about the watch soon. Though, I have noticed small changes in my psyche, which is one of the things that exists to be written about.  

The strangest thoughts have occurred to me over the last few weeks. New thoughts, followed by new feelings. A friend of mine passed away unexpectedly a couple weeks ago. For several days now I have felt that he's still alive, that this is all a joke or a trick, that he will reveal the ruse soon. It is, of course, just a form of denial, but I've never felt it in quite this way before as an adult. The mind is a funny thing.  

Today, the boy goes to tryouts for baseball. They have decided to start the season up in the expectation of things improving, and with the practice of social distancing that a baseball field affords, and masks. I'm happy that the boy gets to play with other kids again. It is a normal thing to want, an abnormal thing to be deprived of. He will start going back to school part-time in April, also. 

So many changes, after living so long without them. 


Thursday, February 25, 2021


Terrifying, said one of my friends when I sent them this image. It was not the image that I hoped to take, but the one that resulted. I like it. The distortions that water provides do something for me that I can not do for myself. For this, I am grateful. 

My love for the watch has settled down, a little bit. Yesterday, I held the watch to the boy's ear to let him hear the second hand's ticking, three times each second, and the piece that shifts to wind the spring automatically when the watch is moved from one side to another. It can be seen through the back side of the case, through the windows of the Bauhaus. I explained to the boy that my fascination with the analog world is motivated mostly by its disappearance. Exile on Mein Screech. It is a German watch, after all

I have always depended on the blindness of dangers.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I'm hoping that it changes

Oh yeah, my new watch arrived. It is everything that I had hoped and it produced the desired moment of happiness when I put it on and wore it to dinner. I will wear it for a while and see if it similarly produces satisfaction over time.

Why all the underwater pictures, you wonder? They are all that I have. I have almost stopped taking pictures of the boy and Raquel, except when we are on vacation, and underwater. Photography has become, for me, an excessive burden and luxury. Rarely are my hands ever free enough any more to carry a camera with me, and when I put it in a backpack it tends to stay there. It's too bad I can't do the same with money. 

Nothing remains effortless for very long.

Oh yeah, the new watch is barely water-resistant. It is not recommended to even take a shower with it on. Submersion is gravely ill-advised. So, it is unlike most any other watch I have ever owned, more vulnerable and delicate, entirely mechanical yet dependent upon human adjustment. I'm hoping that it changes me. It needs me. 

The Night Through

... and just like that, if this is it, I feel a bit better. A few bike rides, some healthy food, good sleep, and I am back in business. Raquel and I are suffering predictable, and likely usual, relationship problems. You can see it in our faces in the image above. Something is not right with us. We're currently working on it

I blame Covid, in part, but who doesn't? I also often read depressing books, or worse: cerebral. I just finished Gerald Murnane's The Plains (1982). I recommend reading it if you like Kafka and Beckett and other trifling writers of the 20th century. I don't know why I keep emphasizing to everybody that the book was written in 1982. It is a strange tic that I seem to have adopted for this book alone. 

It is called a tic in the parlance of those times. 

Last night, the boy was restless after a day off from school in which mom and dad worked all day in the adjoining rooms where he was watching movies, like Weird Science. So, he suggested we drive over to Napa, with no specific plan. We put the dogs in the car and off we went. After a detour through downtown and across the river we ended up at a chichi cycling shop. I peered in through the window to see what super-expensive bikes they had on display. Then, we noticed a restaurant with a rather large outdoor seating area with flames rising in obelisk-shaped heaters at every table. Pizza and wine it was. It felt nice to do something relatively normal, like have dinner at a restaurant. 

The drive home was lovely in the moonlight - the rolling hills and vineyards, the estates on tops of hills. The lone hill here and there, topped likewise by a lone tree against the background of the sky. Glimpses of mystery as the trees and posts closest to the road flashed by. We all seemed happy. 

After, we came home and kept our promises to ourselves, slept the night through.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

if it will

The house is empty. The boy is playing baseball after having stopped abruptly a year ago, along with most others. The last pre-covid pictures I took were of him playing on a team with his best buddy. That was the Thursday or Friday before we left for Spring Break together in an RV. Well, let me see if I can find one. Done. Images too plain and wholesome for the tastes of some, nonetheless it is part of what I like to look at and what you are looking at now.

The house is empty. I have been feeling cramped and crowded lately. It is not at all a good feeling, though there must be worse feelings to choose from. I am trying to take this time to feel the serenity of being alone, but it hasn't yet arrived, if it will. 

The house is empty. I want to go for a nice long Sunday bike ride, but I am holding off until the boy and Rachel return, so that I have that as an option then, and not squander it now. It is not at all a good feeling. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

No more, no less

It's a doggy-dog world out there.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Time of the Season of the Witch

I bought a new Dyson vacuum cleaner, also. That does not appeal to me as a subject in the way that the watch does, but I'll give it time. As a symbol, the vacuum cleaner sucks. What could be more domestic than a vacuum cleaner. Every object can be a symbol, if you attach it to an accessory and use it to clean the carpets and wood floors.

So much in my life right now is causing me grief of one kind or another. Being the boy's co-teacher with Raquel every day has worn me down, and it has not done anything noticeably better for the boy. He is tired of it, I am tired of it, yet it must continue. A parent can not signal to their child that education does not matter. 

California lets teachers decide when it is safe to return but the decisions must be unanimous. All that it takes to keep every child at home and away from their other classmates, and the fledgling social circles they are forming, is for one teacher to express concern over health and not wish to return to in-class learning. It would somehow be too accusatory if they were to just let that one teacher stay home while other classes resumed. Imagine the feelings of being shunned that they might feel at such a system. It is always the system that is to blame. That is, in fact, what I am doing right now: blaming a system. 

Systems pulled mankind out of the feces they had been eating for 100,000 years and sent us to the moon, and now Mars, but we are reminded that they are inherently wicked. No good ever seems to come from them, as they generate inequities. The family is a system. No children born into one ever achieve at the same rate. The solution to this is obvious: never have more than one child. The system of family produces inequality. 

Coming out of the experience of this last year I may not have the same tolerance, or show the same support, for teachers that express how overworked and underpaid they are, even though I know that to be true. The one does not invalidate the other. Though knowing is not the same as feeling.

There are other things that are bothering me - money, work, love, sex, etc. 

I did not come here to rant, and I hate that I am. My mind is cluttered with thoughts that do not suit me. 

A suit, maybe that's what I need, to match my new watch. 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Junghans Max Bill Automatic Bauhaus

I bought a new watch, a self-winding mechanical, a thing of industrial beauty. Simplicity is elegance, a friend once relayed me. I believe she was quoting someone else. The phrase remained with me, even though it is quite obviously untrue in many cases. At least as it pertains to design, it works for me as an axiom. In personal devices I prefer the thinnest of lines. I might be seeking in the external world what I often fail to achieve within myself - an easiness of being, a delicacy of spirit.

No numbers for the hours, only the day of the month - just lines, sweeping red hands, and little dots that glow in the dark. Two at the top of the dial to distinguish its orientation in the dark, when perhaps it is not on the wrist. 

The 20th century is filled with scenes, both written and filmed, involving wristwatches. All manner of metaphor and symbolic import can be attached to them, if you wish. This is where many of my Romantic ideals take flight: from the past. Within a year I will stop setting it and it will never have the correct time available. How absurd is it that I will use my cell phone to correct it, when I do. How much more useless can an object be. It exists and functions, if at all, as a result of newer and better technology. An ornament that makes a trophy from my apathy. 

The watchmaker was the official timekeeper for the Olympic games in Munich, 1972. Black September, etc. Maybe I won't remind people of that if I find myself talking about it to anybody. It is not as if the watchmaker was to blame for the terror attack. They just happen to be based in Germany. Dumb luck, that. It could have happened to any German watch company. Most of my friends are lost in a miasma of historical confusion anyway, so there is little gain and little lost in offering this tidbit of data. I just like to know that I have an in-built way to divert or abort conversation, as I choose. 

I had hoped that buying the watch would help pull me out of a spiraling blue funk that I have been in for months, a feeling of useless malaise, covidepression. We will see when it arrives if it has this effect. There is something about participating in a dying process that I cannot seem to keep myself away from. I look at all of my old Nikon film cameras and manual lenses and I wonder how long they will keep making film. I'll look at this watch often when I first get it, never actually caring what time it is. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The myth of life

I invented my childhood. Then, likewise into adulthood until the facts of my life caused my mythic dirigible to perish in flame, year upon year. 

Still, there is some truth to the stories we invent, even if only of the personal kind. Lies are among the most creative activities we engage in. It is a wonder that so many treat the act with such impoverished disdain. 

I enjoy the fabrications when at the onset of drinking. Those first few glassfuls can contain - or is it release? - a glorious yet ignoble freeing of the imagination, even when mine takes flight in a too familiar direction. It is the next day when the myths most often meet their reckoning. Lie meets lie, lying in bed. 

I invent elaborate unspoken apologies for those I've wronged, then enjoy the shame I am obligated to feel. 

It is all a part of the act - my morning soliloquy. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

When isn't it

I am cornered into ways of thinking, by design. It is a now familiar process. Perhaps I have gone too long with or without something; I can hardly determine. I know the feeling of wanting to blame, and its reflection. It is depression, but when isn't it. I want so many things that I want.