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San Francisco Gay Pride parade.

January 29th, 2003

Mind In Pieces
Wednesday, the day to meet for a drink after work, except I'm too tired and my new schedule gets me out the door an hour and a half before happy hour, happy hour, as I use the term, meaning the end of the work day rather than any allusion to discounted booze. Do they still serve discounted booze? From four to six, ladies under 99 admitted without cover? And booze. Who says "booze" anymore? Not in a long time. Not in my neighborhood. Not in the evening when my brain is fried.

More people on the block at the office, another day closer to the end of the week, when all things will be known: Who's to go in sixty days, who's to stay? I'm still not quite convinced of my own status, although we've been told our group is safe for the now. Good to know you're safe for the now. But this is work chatter, an end of the day come down, when body is home but brain is out and about, muttering, shutting down solo like some miniature atomic pile, one rod at a time, ready for bed and oblivion. You get home, you're tired, your brain isn't communicating and you're ready for bed by five, but you can't get to sleep because nobody can get to sleep at five in the afternoon. So we scan a picture, my brain and I, and we scribble something for the journal, a rehash of last night's State of the Union speech playing in the background. And then to bed.

I've lost the thread, haven't I. Let's start over:

I am out of pictures. The Gay Pride photo at the top is one of three I found in my files. I don't believe I've run any of them since they were shot in the summer of '98. And they're not alone or else I'd have had to post these last eight weeks without pictures. The photo above was shot with the old Nikon N90s, which rests in my cupboard. The N90s is one of the better cameras on the planet and I have it sitting on a shelf gathering dust. Weird world. There was a time when, well, there was always a time, I guess, when we were younger and broke and would have lusted after a camera like this now sitting in my closet, capped and unused, not unlike other things I've owned.

Let's start again, although I suspect it's hopeless:

Maybe I've been ruined by these six weeks at home recuperating from the Prostectomy. No energy during that period for more than naps and breakfast, but taking naps, I discover, can be nice; a little breakfast down the way at the usual cafe, a little time on the computer, plenty of rest in between these strenuous efforts. A not altogether bad way to live, if you're into living like a vegetable. This rude return to the office sucks..., um, turns out to be wearing.

The six week perspective you bring back with you shows how far you've let things go, how much shit you've been willing to eat for a paycheck: "You're in a rut, my bucko", my friend, my toiler at a task without a future. What's up with you, young bucko, complainer, stuck in a job between two thin, but not overly thin slices of bread, the traditional shit sandwich? Well, shooting pictures on the weekends and writing the journal, sir, that's what I've been doing. And that's been OK for longer than I can remember. And this job, this not so thin white bread sandwich. It's had its moments, it's had its interest and, well, it's had its day if its day is going to be like today was today, let me tell you.

This is getting ever more circular. I can hear the hyaenas just beyond the light from the fires, women clutching their children, men rubbing their thumbs along the barrels of their pistols. Did I mention I'm tired, this long day at the office? Did I mention the second bourbon and water? And bourbon? Should it be capitalized? It's from Bourbon County, Kentucky, after all. And, if we're going to get into the technical shit, the line that begins after a colon? Should it be capitalized? Should it always be capitalized? I've not been consistent. Should I dig out my copy of Modern American Usage by Wilson Follett? Maybe. Maybe I should do that, three sheets to the wind. This Wednesday. Mind in pieces.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade.