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Upstairs neighbors.
July 23rd, 1999

My head feels leaden and my writing reads leaden and the sky looks leaden and the cat, silhouetted against the outside light in the open front door is lying like a puddle of lead on the carpet, the lead color carpet with the occasional patch of lead colored cat fur which I should have vacuumed up but I didn't because my vacuum cleaner is made of lead and I can't lift it. And the pictures I took at the family party look like lead. And I think there's lead in the water and in the pipes and maybe at the bottom of my bathtub and in the No. 2 pencils I have sitting on my desk. And it is a next to the last Friday in the month of July Friday and they're always made of lead.

Some of this is because I must pack tomorrow and Sunday for the move Upstairs neighbor, moving tomorrow into the new apartment on the 8th of August. Repeat, for the slower, less well tutored sections of my brain: "Brain, we are moving. Two weeks, brain! Fifteen fucking days! God will not descend from heaven and pack our boxes for us at the last moment because we haven't been to church in 40 years, brain, we've been sleeping in on Sundays and carousing with our rowdy friends who are all dead now thanks to liver failure due to lead poisoning and automobile accidents so they can't help with the packing either, brain, not that they'd have helped anyway, the swine. Brain? Are you my brain or you not my brain and if you are my brain, why are you not listening?"

Brain is not listening. Brain is thinking thoughts of lead. We may have to go on with the packing and leave brain behind. A bit like watching television.

Part of this lead business is a reaction to my falling in a rut. I'm not good at doing things the same way day in and day out and that includes the routines I've developed in writing this journal every evening, looking up street fairs and events in the paper every Friday so I can load up the cameras and go shoot pictures like some clockwork mechanism. Same with my work. I need things with a beginning and an end. I've been good at setting things up and getting them started, but then it requires a different kind of personality to take over the project when the nails are in place. Routine is not my friend. If I were younger I'd be working for some god awful web technology company living on Coca Cola and sleeping under my desk. I'd be cranky, hyped, weird, oversexed, tired, working hard, undersexed, happy, unhappy and satisfied. Satisfied is the prize, nothing much else is worth the effort.

So I just have to mess up my mix a little and see where it leads. I'm happy with the journal, but I need to push it and bend it a bit. I'd like to spend more time thinking about design and changing my graphics, particularly on the journal page. I'm going to get tired of poor old Holmes pretty soon, so I'd like to have a decent replacement. Decent replacements take time. I can make time. My progress is glacial, but it's progress, none the less. My cyber-friend Mr. Post has been futzing with a web ring called On Display and appears to be having fun with their collaborations so I will play with them myself now that they've kindly accepted my journal into their ring. Change the mix. Their current topic is desire. Perhaps they'd like to try something on lead.

The photographs were taken just before I left for Seattle last week. These folks were kind enough to take care of Mr. Wuss when I was on the road and went out of their way to be helpful when I was laid up with my jaw in two pieces. I've been lucky.