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Today at the pump

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September 30, 2009

Dust On The Floor
Wednesday. Something a bit different this morning, getting to bed at a decent hour, setting the alarm for six, thinking I'd get up, get breakfast and get over to the hospital for a blood test with time to spare. Alarm went off, I got up, turned it off, got back in bad and awoke after nine. I'm not sure when I got to sleep, but I suspect I got a good ten hours last night and feel the better for it.

To breakfast late, hop a bus from the café to go downtown and pick up the prescription, come home now that it's one, take the new pill and squirt a couple of shots of Flonase into the nose, one in each nostril. I forgot to do it this morning, as I forgot to do it yesterday morning, remembering I'd forgotten and doing it later. Complicated, don't you think? Still, the sun is out, the sky is clear, the temperature more than bearable and the head, although the sinus-upper palate part is still acting up, good. Maybe we're looking for a happy fall, as in the season. Which I am. So there.

Taking the bus downtown a young woman got on the bus and sat in the seat in front of me, dressed all in black, black finger nail polish, black back pack with what I thought was a stuffed black puppy dog peeking out of it until it blinked at me with watery eyes. It wasn't just the black outfit, but the wrap around sun glasses, the way the hair was done, the Japanese treatment of the, what, knitting needles crossed through the hair at the back as if she were wearing a kimono (alright, I know they're not knitting needles), the whole outfit done with taste and attention to detail?

I almost complimented her on it as she got up to leave and thought, were I a fashion photographer, how I might pair her with a client. Or if I had my own studio, how I might shoot her in that very outfit. I should have, although most people are flustered when a stranger says anything uninvited, particularly when an old fart says something to a young woman. What was that? So I didn't, but admired what she was doing on the assumption she understood she was practicing an art as admirable as any of the others. Perhaps a clerk at a fashion boutique in the city? A designer? A student? Nice in any case. Not all bus rides give you a boost.

So, again, ten hours sleep, the lungs still liquid, but not as liquid; the occasional raspy cough, but nothing like the cough I had, say, last week. And it's one-thirty. What to do for the rest of the day, this day that started three hours late?

I got on the scale this morning and the weight is holding to pretty much what it was a month ago. I weigh about what I did at the beginning of the decade, some fifty pounds lighter than I was almost two years back when I retired. Embarrassing to admit. I was hungry last night for a change so I had a large breakfast, enough calories to practically do for the day. The trick is to not think in those terms except now and then, not get flustered, not push it. I have a schedule and I generally keep to it. Comfort food now and then, but every now and then, this morning a reasonable exception. (Hup! Hup! Hup!) We'll leave it at that, but one seventy-five needs to be one seventy and if it takes six months to get there I don't care, as long as I don't have to do anything radical like join the Gold's Gym at the bottom of my hill to do it.

There's no chance of that, not after sixty-six years.

Maybe buy a couple of those little bar bells you see people pumping up and down, one in each hand as they're running the lake. Keep them by my living room chair and pump them now and again when I'm watching the news or a Korean soap. Out of sight to the world. No way you're going to see me pumping funky little bar bells up and down while I'm running a lake, walking a lake or eating breakfast at a lake. At a table. Not this photographer. Some forms of decorum must be observed. The young lady on the bus would have lost it for me if she'd been getting on the bus pumping little bar bells (that matched her ensemble). I'd still have wanted a photograph though.

You do wear funky hats on occasion.

Yeah, but only now and again. Who am I pretending to be in a wide brimmed Panama? James Bond? The Lone Ranger? I said I'd shoot the image of the young woman in a minute, I just can't get my head around tiny little bar bells as some kind of public statement. And, as I said, I wrestle with the hats. Her use of the dog in the back pack was reasonably subtle, but in more ways than one verging on the too cute. The fact she seems to have brought it off is a plus in her favor or maybe the dog's favor as he or she seemed content to be very quite and not move as if he or she'd done this shtick countless times in the past. It would be like me attaching a plastic frog to one of the hats.

A plastic frog?

Actually I could see doing that. The Lone Ranger, but with a sense of humor. Maybe it's best we leave this. Too revealing, maybe, of something at the core. To know what embarrasses you is to know thyself. Dangerous stuff.

Still there's a store that sells the bar bells not far beyond the Grand Lake theater. I was serious about watching television while pumping along with the news, see if I can't build up more strength and handle the cameras over longer hours. The walking is not a problem, but maybe upper body strength would help juggling cameras. That 200mm f 2.0 I think too heavy to maneuver for example. Do you have any idea how stupid it is to have it sitting gathering dust on the floor?

The photograph was taken yesterday in front of the Oakland City Hall with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 35mm f 2.0 Nikkor AF lens at f 5.6 at 1/500th second, ISO 100.