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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


July 4, 2013

It Has Aftereffects
Thursday. Lots of fireworks in the distance as I started the first of three new Maigret mysteries last night: The Bar on the Seine written in the early thirties at the start of Simenon's career (at the age of nineteen). An odd improbable start for a mystery, but again, set in early thirties France by an author who's just nineteen, what do I expect?

Anyway, I read the first couple of chapters, nothing on the radio I wanted to hear, the fireworks loud, but not too loud, so to sleep not long after ten, up without having set the alarm (it is a holiday, after all) at six-thirty, my morning café opening an hour later than usual for the holiday. Warm, humid, another day in what is now a string of warm days, but no complaints. We're doing well.

You do talk a lot about complaining, though. Complain about complaining.

I like the up to the edge of complaining conceit, more descriptive of the times and its changes than just hissy fit. Things do seem to be picking up, the various physical symptoms no better, no worse, but somehow less important. I guess we learn getting acclimated to retirement is a bigger deal than we'd otherwise admit.

But again, maybe just for these last few days, a future is starting to appear. We're not to the point of avoiding the purchase of green bananas yet, unwilling to gamble we'll still be around to eat them when they're ripe, so maybe it's time to start putting together whatever the future may look like and work to put it in place. A thought I've had more often now, maybe it's showing movement. So what now, brown cow? More, but better pictures? Setting out into different realms? Getting our living space in order? Our act in shape?

Brushing our hair in the mornings? Flossing our teeth at night?

These things are known to happen. I've read about them in books.

As in Maigret?

Well, Elmo. His middle period.

Later. Fine. Over to the lake for a quick walk through the pergola, sitting for a short while to take in the morning before heading back to the apartment. To take a nap. A nice nap. Well over an hour. Cleared the head.

Up to take another walk, again with the long lens on a DX model Nikon that gives it a 600mm reach, taking the same morning route, stumbling across a pelican (what eyes!!), a cormorant (what eyes!!) and another different kind of bird who was dancing in front of the fountain. Nothing out of the ordinary, in other words, the day (albeit humid) starting well.

Hungry now, but unable to talk myself into going somewhere to get something to eat. This will change, but you'd think on a holiday, a Fourth of July, it wouldn't take so much energy to make a choice.

Later still. A walk over to the usual place around two for lunch, another BLT, ice cream and lemonade, sitting out at a table on the patio in the shade facing the gas station across the street.

A walk back taking a small dogleg to go by the Wingstop just down from the Grand Lake theater and across from the Saturday farmers market in Splash Pad Park. Two Wingstop employees were shot to death just before midnight on Monday, the customer who did the shooting evidently confusing them with two others who'd entered and then run to the back of the shop after an argument of some kind with the shooter had broken out. Just down the street. How many times have I walked by this place? Hundreds at least, albeit never at midnight.

Still, what to think? Oakland has a reputation it's earned one and two of these shootings at a time, no doubt about it, but what does it mean in any larger sense? (He asked, he who spends so much time on the street taking pictures, familiar now to many as that old guy with the expensive looking camera who haunts the downtown and lake?)

Evening. The ongoing French detective thing at six, close to two hours of slightly believable antics. I'm getting too old to be watching this stuff.

The fireworks have been constant since early evening, but really revved up as it approached nine (and got dark), holding its own in a continuous barrage until well after midnight. Yes, I read the fourth Maigret I'd started last night all the way through before going to sleep, another one written early in his career and it showed. Idiosyncratic, which is usually (for me) good, but totally unbelievable in too many places, so much so it dumped you right out of the narrative to put it down. Another odd brick now added to this collected consciousness of mine. I wonder if it has aftereffects?

The photo up top was taken of the Dykes on Bikes at the San Francisco LGBT Pride parade with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.