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San Francisco Gay Pride parade

July 14th, 2004

Purple, This Prose
Better, I think, this day. A walk down to have breakfast at the usual place. The mail had arrived when I returned and included three replacement movies from Netflix so I crawled back into bed and watched To Live and Die in LA, a film I realized from the first scenes that I'd seen before, but really didn't remember much about it and was therefor surprised by the ending and mildly surprised I hadn't remembered the ending after these whatever number of years. Depressing fucking movie, of course, but a classic film none the less.

An opportunity to learn, young man.

Learn that I forget the plots? Same problem with mysteries. I've read most of Ross McDonald's books, for example. Can't remember a single one. I could pick any one of them from my shelf and read it as if I'd never read it before, although again, I'd remember individual scenes and images. It doesn't bother me particularly this is so, doesn't worry me it's a product of this aging process; I was the same when I was twenty, was probably the same when I was ten, except I can't remember much about the age of ten and the books I was reading.

I still have some of those books, particularly the science fiction, and I remember one or two that particularly struck me at the time, but I doubt I could remember their endings. Well, maybe Lassie Come Home. She came home. I don't quite remember how or when, but she came home to everyone's surprise and admiration.

Two books were given to me at an early age (before I could read) by my grandmother on my father's side: Lassie Come Home and The Call of the Wild. I remember that Christmas morning when I opened the package, the heft and the feel, the color covers; I remember my mother reading them to me in Woodway Park, a small town north of Seattle. My parents read to me when I was even younger, of course; they tell me I'd memorized a thin little book about a train and could and would correct any slips in the dialogue when they were read aloud. Odd? I don't know. Some things you remember, some things you don't remember, can't tell you why.

From Lassie Come Home to Live and Die in L.A., fifty years of degenerative reading? Sure. Not a great leap in logic. Probably your own experience. Everyone starts with Lassie Comes Home, do they not, and learns, over time, you can never return once you've passed through the door and cast your first shadow. Or is it too purple, this prose, written here, in Oakland?

The banner photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.