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A Wednesday lunch in Oakland.

April 6th, 2003

A Broken Record
A walk downtown late this morning. Coffee and a Danish something or other at a cafe near Jack London Square, a walk around the farmer's market in Jack London itself, a ride back on the bus, another cup of coffee at the cafe down the way, home now, the sun shining, the temperature perfect. So what's to complain about?

I do occasionally read my own journal. My referrer logs will show one entry or another that someone has opened. Maybe they're searching on the title (my titles, you may have noticed, have nothing to do with content), maybe they're just throwing a dart. Anyway, I usually click on the link to the entry, look at the photograph and occasionally give it a read. There's a limited range of topics. Work is shit. I'm stuck in a rut with my (fill in the blank: photography, writing, personal life, buy a car-TV-lens-studio lights). Maybe they're trying to tell me something. Over and over isn't necessarily good. Some read well. Some read less well, but I've been repeating myself for four years. One might say "stuck".

Stuck isn't the end of the world. Coming to Oakland I was deep in debt, gone to fat and hounded for back taxes. I paid the debt, paid the taxes and lost the weight. I'm right where I wanted to be. What's the problem?

I suspect, whatever the next step, it may or may not include the journal. I find the journal soothing. It gives me something to do on weekends and in the evenings. It demands photographs. It doesn't cost much. It allows a certain amount of focus in an un-focused existence. It has been a good way to practice. Practice what? For what?

Write a book?

I do not know if I want to write a book. Limiting my options to writing a book seems a failure of imagination. I wrote a book in the seventies. It was a bad book. It was a first book and you usually write a first and often a second book before you write something someone might want to read. My first book took a long time and taught me - finally - what I needed to know to start a second and my reaction was, dear god, is there no way to avoid it? Why, yes. There is. There was. Writing books is a pain in the ass, unless you have no other option. And even then it's a pain in the ass.

So what do we do?

Self, we persevere. We do what we do. I think I've decided I've written my last "work sucks" routine, but you never know. My mood changes. Even I understand that. My failure is a failure of imagination. I'm apparently not able to imagine another situation, another job, another life that makes me want to write a resume and go after it. Laziness, depression, less than good health, who knows? The health seems to be coming around. Dizzy, yes, but it seems to be getting better. The prostate? I stopped having to stuff mini-diapers into the jockey shorts last month. That's good. (Believe me, that's very good.)

All this sounds awfully familiar.

In another life, a broken record.

The photograph was taken Wednesday in Oakland.