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San Francisco Mission district

January 5th, 2003

Better I Forget
Saturday, early evening. A walk through the downtown after a nap this afternoon, still tired, but thinking I needed to get out of the house. Packed a single camera and a lens knowing there was little chance I'd use them, but thinking, well, a little exercise to blow the cobwebs out and carry the gear because I always carry the gear. Better this evening. No complaints, or, at least, nothing to really complain about. What aches and pains I've been experiencing have been minor aches and pains. The work is weird, but they're not going to push me to the point I collapse over a keyboard or anything. They're a big company, they'll be infinitely more elegant if less subtle in arranging a demise. I have no complaints. Really. I just complain a lot.

Sunday. The 2003 horoscope is positive. You don't have to be a Pisces, I notice, to have a positive horoscope in today's Chronicle. I will assume this is merely coincidence, the one in a million chance that every sign will turn out fine, and my own prognostication is right on target. From March, my birth month, through September, from March 2nd through September 10th, actually, they get awfully specific for a forecast that applies to roughly a twelfth of the population, things will be swell. One shouldn't be deterred by suspect coincidence or the application of logic. Logic has some uses, in the design of circuits, for instance, but little in life. Best of all, it says great things are going to start on the 2nd of March, eight whole weeks from now. No immediate need to get off my dime.

Aside No. 98: I wonder how these last entries since the operation in November will read in six months? I say I'm tired and all that, but another word for tired could be stupid. The brain is fogged, yes, the brain is always fogged, but it's combined with an absolute lack of ambition. No thought to think, no thought to shuffle the papers building up beside my desk, no thought to do laundry, no thought to go out and see a movie, no thought to write.

I think of my journal as a scatter shot description of an uneventful life. At my age, uneventful is another word for success. That's not really true, there is movement, and things are happening, but slowly, as if I had all the time in the world. I do not have all the time in the world, but I have no specific goals I wish to achieve before I die, I just want to be heading down the right path. In a Jeep. Or the Honda Element. With a camera sitting on the seat beside an open bottle of Old Criminal Intent. And a confident face for the guy who's walking toward me in a Smokey the Bear hat.

The thought occurs, this loss of focus and ambition, is it the same loss of focus and ambition that comes with advancing age? Is this what growing old is about? Losing the ambition to pick up a camera, type another sentence? Could be. No rules written in cement. We've all seen examples. Some of us are active and able to the end, some of us spend their years strapped to a bed. Hi, ho. Another reason to go with the hopelessly positive 2003 horoscope. The alternative is, well, better I forget.

The photograph was taken at a street demonstration in the Mission district of San Francisco.