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October 31, 2009

Flying Blind
Saturday. Up around nine, a good night's sleep methinks, breakfast at the usual place and while walking back home a brief stop to listen to a band playing at the farmer's market (it was foggy this morning, with a much smaller crowd, and I was able to sit at a table up front close to the band). They were good, the singer even better - How old was the singer under that hat, anyway? Too young, I'm afraid. - and she made me realize I wasn't dead yet. Which is a good start to a day. I'd say.

Walking back remembering that last pair of glasses I had upgraded to the new prescription was now ready for pickup downtown at the shop and the time right then, well, the bus was five minutes late by my watch at the stop below my apartment with someone still waiting for it to arrive, why not just scoot over, hop on the bus when it came and pick them up? Hup! Hup! Wouldn't give me an excuse to go downtown later, get my walking in, but the timing, the bus right there, must be Kismet.

Walking back with the glasses tucked away in a pocket, task done, I thought about getting a cup of coffee to sit for a while and catch a later bus. Why hurry back? I was feeling a bit disoriented, I realized, not vertigo, but something else. Hmmm. Not good. Nothing radical, you understand, but enough to get my attention out there alone on a sidewalk in the middle of Oakland. A walk along Broadway to the bus stop across from the Paramount theater to sit on a bench and take stock, twenty minutes yet to wait, deciding to cross the street to a familiar coffee shop and order two of their small chocolate muffins (I had them for the first time last week and thought after of ordering three.) and coffee. Twenty-five cents each for the muffins. The sugar in the muffins? The caffeine? The chocolate? I felt much better. Whatever was bugging me while I was walking had been pretty much erased.

We'll talk about this with the doctor at an upcoming exam next week, he'd recommended a neurologist the last time this happened, maybe I'll actually make an appointment. Still, feeling better, on the bus, back home now after eleven with the sun coming out, glasses in hand. Well, glasses sitting on the side table beside a chair in front of the TV.

The odd picture or two, this one to see what it would look like, the colors, who knows? This one because it's Halloween. This one because, well, how could I not? Many decisions to make as you're walking with a camera in hand. Don't you think? Now, now. Be nice.

Short episodes of disorientation aside, they really don't happen very often and they seem less intense as time goes on, this aside, I decided last week that life is short and there's no reason not to buy whatever is the latest and greatest toy in this digital camera business when it's announced. So I ordered one of the Nikon D3s models last Sunday, B&H saying it should be in and ship in two weeks. Best to make full use of them now while I'm pretty much dizzy free rather than later when I might not be. Dizzy free. There's no logical reason for what I did, ordering that camera, so I'll just say the hell with it: I ordered it, it's coming, maybe it will make my day, maybe it won't, here in Oakland.

Is this something to worry about?

About buying the camera or the vertigo-like episode?

The camera I understand in the sense rationality doesn't apply. The vertigo, though, sounds ominous.

I don't know. Not ominous. Potentially ominous. As I said, it comes now and again, in the beginning in the late afternoons, but again rarely and less intense each time. I'm sixty-six. What are you supposed to feel like when you're sixty-six? Do you get up every morning and do pushups, say hup! hup! hup! to the man in the mirror before putting on trunks and swimming the lake?

I wouldn't swim that lake.

Exactly. Some things you know, some things you don't. Mention it to the medicos, if you think it will help, otherwise pass the sake and snap the occasional photograph.

And write about it here?

I'm not sure that's the best idea, but again, we're winging it. Or maybe whinging it. Flying blind. Here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken of a Walden Pond book store window display last week with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 2.8 at 1/100th second, ISO 200.