Stare.
 
2000 Notebook: Transition XXVI
 
   
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1 August 2000
Never Lend a Camera
Years ago I made the mistake of loaning a friend my digital camera when I left the room for a few moments to get another bottle of wine. When I returned, I was dismayed to discover that she’d made a fine photograph with my camera. Even today, I’m ashamed to admit that I was just a tad jealous.

I’d forgotten about that embarrassing incident until this afternoon, when I was enjoying a Thai lunch with Judith. After I showed—or, perhaps more accurately, showed off—my fancy and ridiculously complex new digital camera, I didn’t hesitate to pass it across the table when she asked for a closer look.

Big mistake!

Judith looked through the viewfinder, turned toward the window, and, without hesitating, released the shutter. She made a fine photograph—a fine color photograph, even. (Although my electronic camera only makes color “originals,” I automatically convert every image I make to black and white [or is that greyscale?].)

I simply must not let my friends use my cameras again. Once everyone finds out how easy it is to make very good photographs, half of my game is over.

2 August 2000
A Dream Unrecounted
I had a vivid dream involving a friend of mine. When I awoke, I decided I’d send her a note describing what happened. After a few cups of coffee, though, I realized such correspondence would be a waste of time. After all, she was in the dream, and thus knows what happened as well as I do.

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3 August 2000
Holesale Supply
I spotted the Holesale Supply building today, and decided to make a snapshot. That wasn’t the real name of the building; it was probably something like “Doughnut Wholesale Supply” before half the sign fell off.

I don’t know why I bother making such photographs. I can easily create much more interesting or funnier signs than “Holesale Supply” by manipulating and altering photographs in my computer. I can, but I won’t. Visual jokes are rarely worth the effort it takes to tell them.

4 August 2000
Marriage Advice
When Naomi picked up her wedding cake today, I couldn’t help but hear the marriage advice the handsome young man at the bakery offered her: “Keep your fighting clean and your loving dirty.” He may or may not have winked after passing along his suggestion; I wasn’t paying close attention.

Since neither Naomi or I fight, I didn’t find the bakery boy’s words particularly relevant. That’s why I gave Naomi the best marriage advice I ever heard: “Don’t do it again.”

5 August 2000
Slurred Martian Hearing
Christina called me this morning and asked me to say something in Martian.

“What?” I asked. (I don’t really remember my exact words; I may have said, “What!” )

“I heard you told everyone at the bar last night that you could speak Martian.”

“I don’t remember saying anything like that,” I replied. (That was the truth, about all I do remember is helping to run up the first thirteen-hundred dollar bar tab I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t all that bad, though: a friend billed the entire amount to his company’s credit card.)

After a long talk, we finally figured out that when I said, “I speak a little Russian,” everyone heard me say, “I speak a little Martian.” I guess people were slurring their hearing; that’s one of the many reasons I dislike bars.

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6 August 2000
Unbalancing Rocks
Until a few months ago, I’d never heard of anyone balancing rocks. Now, it seems that I can’t go anywhere without seeing stacks of precariously balanced stones. I find such arrangements unsettling and disturbing. These ridiculous constructions violate the rocks’ natural attraction to gravity, and are thus, by definition, unnatural.

Rocks love gravity, but I can understand why gravity is sometimes too busy to reciprocate. If I were gravity, I too might be preoccupied with more interesting pursuits—such as snatching passing meteorites from space or pulling toddlers to the ground—to worry much about the odd group of unfulfilled stones.

I have more time on my hands than gravity does, so I act as gravity’s helper. When I see an unnatural construction that’s an insult to gravity and stones alike, I step in and restore the natural order of things. Although some of my friends think unbalancing rocks is a thankless task, they are quite mistaken. When I see a stack of rocks toppling, without hesitation, into gravity’s all-encompassing embrace, I am gratified to witness the purest manifestation of love.

If that’s not falling in love, then there’s no such thing, no such thing at all.

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7 August 2000
Comfort Foods
The Conard Ninth Street Cafe serves “comfort foods.” Since I’m too shy to ask any of the restaurant workers what “comfort foods” are, I queried my friends. Although we failed to arrive at a precise definition, the consensus was that such foods contain lots of fat, sugar, and salt. For example, a diner enjoying a “comfort foods” dinner might sit down to a huge plate piled high with big oily slabs of meat, potatoes smothered in greasy gravy, and a few lonely vegetables drowning in a cheese ocean ... with pie and ice cream for dessert. Mmmm, comforting food indeed, at least until clogged arteries finally close for good.

The person who coined the phrase “comfort foods” is a marketing genius. Most people fear high blood pressure, rotting teeth, heart attacks, obesity, et cetera, but what sane person would deny themselves a modicum of comfort? Although the concept of “comfort foods” is intellectually unsound, it does have a certain emotional appeal, especially after a couple of comfort drinks.

8 August 2000
A Contemporary Visit
I had a lovely reunion with Lisa, a dear friend I’ve known over half of my life. One of the many things I like about Lisa is the way she rarely revisits the past. There’s so much happening now that there’s really no point in dwelling on experiences neither of us can remember.

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©2000 David Glenn Rinehart