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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

May 23, 2010

To Sell Anymore
Sunday. There was to be a bit more here yesterday afternoon around four, but I was feeling what I was calling “buzzed”, so I went to bed to lie down for a while and listen to the radio, leaving the computer on as I planned to return, if not to add more death defying indelible prose, then to do more editing and post. I awoke just after midnight, the radio still tuned to NPR - an interview and story about Roky Erickson, an Austin musician about whom I've heard many stories from friends involved in the '60's Texas music scene - hoping it wasn't so loud as to upset my downstairs or upstairs neighbors. I'd obviously had one of my little “hallucinogenic” spells that started coming on as I was sitting at the computer and figured I was just, you know, tired, “buzzed”.

OK, we're taking care of that. We'll go with the recommended Palo Alto neurologist associated with Stanford hospital on Monday. I lied about having done this earlier, thinking at the time I was really going to make an appointment, but tomorrow morning first thing (after breakfast) it gets done. It's hard to explain the symptoms in words that will relate what this “period” is like. It doesn't last all that long, maybe an hour, but I can remember awakening or still being half awake lying in bed near sunset, looking at my hand and not being quite sure in an odd sense how it was differentiated from its surroundings.

That isn't an accurate description and I'm not sure how to write one. It isn't frightening, but its intensity is a bit like being drunk. Not fall down drunk, but drunk enough to know you're drunk and the world, still identifiable in most of its particulars, is blurry and you know you're not altogether functional. This has a similar intensity, there's still a you looking at all this if only with tunnel vision and there are little visual things you see if you close your eyes: consistently now, as it's starting, a small purple amoeba shaped puddle with a thin electric sparkling edge shows up to the left taking up maybe ten percent of your vision, again with your eyes closed.

Things are fuzzy and the fuzzy thought that occurs is maybe we should somehow reboot, as in the person and not the computer. But again, I ended up getting some fourteen hours of sleep in conjunction with this, maybe I haven't been getting as much sleep as I've been thinking, so best we find out. Monday an appointment. No more fibbing allowed.

It is, of course, Sunday morning, now after breakfast. I got up just after six without having set the alarm (I was coherent enough at midnight last night to turn it off), went to breakfast, had the blue berry waffle with a sliced banana on top, but with a regular can of Coke in a glass without ice as well as the coffee, and now I'm back having posted yesterday's entry and thinking, well, we're OK, what to do, where to go, but without any particular urgency.

When I write here on any given day asking this same question (over and over) there's usually no urgency involved, but it's obviously one of the few existential questions I turn over day to day. Not really asking what am I going to do, where am I going to walk, but in the broader sense, now that I'm retired, what do I do now? I assume everyone asks these questions, some with more urgency than others, but a standard “everybody goes through” it passage. I'm just learning the particulars.

Let's see, I mentioned I mailed the cat photographs to my cousin, following up with an email to that effect and she responded saying that's great, she was in Frankfurt at the moment, but she'd be back today if the volcano remained quiet. Airline stewardesses lead a little different existence than the rest of us was my thought. Yes, I've known her forever, being my cousin and all, but you don't really comprehend being in Hawaii one week and Europe in the next, packing more clothes now in case a volcano strands you for a week in Frankfurt. A little “ah ha!” moment, quickly forgotten until it pops up again: not everyone thinks twice about setting out across one of the local bridges on a weekend.

Later. A decent walk. I was curious to see how the head would feel and whether the horizon would remain relatively stable. And they did. The head with the usual issues, but the horizon keeping its balance and the general attitude perking right up when I walked outside and breathed in that first lung full of cool air. Seattle summer air in my mind, bright sun, but not overly warm. I could be imagining much of that, it's been some time since I've spent more than a few summer days in Seattle, but that's my recollection.

I have two pair of jeans that fit exactly the way I like and two pair, the same size, that don't. The differentiation is standard fit versus comfort fit or maybe relaxed fit. Either way the standard fit is the one I tell myself looks better. So I ordered another three pair online, saving fifty dollars and the price of shipping from Land's End. Which is a standard well recognized rationale used and abused by everyone. Three pair of pants and three shirts exactly like the three now hanging in my closet. I can now wear exactly the same outfit every day of my life. (I know, I know.) No, I shouldn't be spending the money, although the more of these “hallucinatory” episodes I have, the less I feel the need to plan anything more than about a decade into the future.

Well, I made that up, I'm not thinking deadly thoughts about much of anything, almost never have such thoughts, which makes me naive you'd assume, but content. Naive and content versus smart and worried. Which would you choose? I figure if I need to hassle over things, I'll hassle over global warming and the coming days of ten dollar a gallon gas, neither one of which keeps me up at night. Not that they aren't real, of course, but there's very little you can do about it.

I did shoot a number of photographs. I'd passed Bakesale Betty's, yesterday or maybe the day before, and they were painting the front of their building. They're reputation is they don't have any signs, don't have any on their first store still operating up Telegraph at 51st, and they won't have any here. I could be wrong but I did read such in the paper. So some pictures. You can see where they've taped up a hand written menu and store hours inside the one window, but that's it and I don't know if even they are going to be there for very much longer.

What in the hell is this Bakesale Betty's bit? You haven't even ever eaten at either one of them.

You sure you want to say that: “even ever eaten at either”? I'd think about it, wince a bit. People have stupid little things they do and stupid little things they follow (and take photographs of) and B.B's. falls right in that pocket. No blame for any of this when you reach my age. I don't have much to sell anymore.

You're sounding like a TV news pundit: people think this, people know that. When you hear one of them you have to suspect you're now dealing with idiots. “No blame for any of this when you reach my age.” Ha!

A self portrait, by the way, reflected in my local bus shelter. If I take a self portrait in the apartment (where I have access to brush and comb), I can keep the hair under some control, but that's the way I look out on the street. Just in case anyone thinks I'm kidding when I say I'm a “crazy looking old guy with a camera”. I'm not sure how long it has to grow before it becomes manageable, saying that not quite remembering the 70's when I let my hair grow and if it ever was manageable. We'll know in another three months, I would think. I seem to recall there were once such things as hair oils to keep it in tow, but I'm pretty sure they were designed for people with thinner hair. Yes, I put conditioner on it, but it doesn't seem to help.

You really worry about your hair?

I note it in passing. That what this journal is about.

I don't think you know what this journal is about and you wouldn't mention it if you weren't at some level a little worried about the whole concept.

Well, worried. Let's not say worried. We are exposed here on the Internet and, if you follow the news, there are many stories about the net and how nasty things can come of it. At my age, retired, I'm assuming I'm probably clear, but you never know. Even for someone with little or nothing to sell anymore.

Do you have any idea how long you've rambled on here now?

Coherence at this length is a good sign the head is reasonably clear. After yesterday afternoon and evening that's something that's gotten my attention. This has been a good day after fourteen hours of sleep. We'll see what happens, however, as this afternoon progresses. We're still in the woods and we won't be out of them until sunset.

When the vampires come out?

When the vampires come out.

The photograph was taken at a A “hey take my picture” moment on Grand under Highway 580 in Oakland with a Nikon D3s mounted with an 85mm f 1.4 Nikkor D lens at f 4 at 1/80th second, ISO 1000.