Drop Off A Battery
MRA has arrived from the bowels of LA on his Harley, crashing here this weekend to attend Photo San Francisco. I got a call from Lucy Thursday night asking for "Dieter". Dieter? Yes, well he's supposed to be on his way up to San Francisco and he's crashing at your place, right? Dieter? It seems MRA will call and leave a cryptic message on her answering machine from time to time, "Dieter" just being one of a veritable pantheon of monikers, all in some passably affected foreign accent. She assumes it's MRA, familiar as she is with the symptoms of errant intellect in mid life crisis, but he's not there? Really. Not until Friday?
Lucy, I discover, is hunkered down writing a novel and we talked about it for a while, the frame of mind, the hermit like existence, messages from "Dieter". The weekend was beginning to take shape and it was only Thursday evening.
Right after Lucy's call I got a call from L inviting me to MRW's sixty second birthday party, also on Friday, being held at his cousin's place a block from where I lived in San Francisco during the seventies. This is a party I wanted to attend, short notice or no. The car is not running, of course, but I could take BART, take a cab to the party, take a cab back to BART, take a cab from BART home, all with MRA arriving from Los Angeles wondering where in the fuck I was when he arrived. Such is life. Decided it was better to have dinner with MRA and talk about art and life into the night, MRA, to his credit, being up (without a wince) for going with me to the party if prodded. I learn more of MRA's current writing - photography project over dinner. I am jealous. It is 10:30. It is past my bedtime.
Who, of course, am I kidding? With the BART's and the cabs and the BART's I'd have missed it anyway. I'd have liked to have seen some of the old crowd, if there's anyone left from the old crowd, I have no idea who attended. Life is short. One day, soon enough, there will be no tomorrows.
I had a third conversation that Thursday night on the phone with Napa. Another contact with a life now past. Or do they come in three's, portents of the past, portents of the future? In talking with MRA last night and this morning over breakfast I'm realizing how insular I've become, how limited my conversation, my horizon. How many times can you bring up not buying a car? At least with MRA I can discuss photography, voice thoughts I've been having about motivation and direction. Another photographer can't do much other than listen, but another photographer knows the territory from his own introspection, particularly one who's further along. Hi, ho. Saturday morning, MRA off to San Francisco while I'm waiting for AAA to drop off a battery.