Get out the oatmeal bowl.
In 1995, I was working for an “ISP” — Internet Services Provider — as a “Webmaster”. Netscape was still a recent arrival back then (yup, sonny, sure was, uh huh) and web pages were slung by “hand tagging” HTML.
I’d already seen and fully embraced the professional writer’s future — in two words jammed into one: WordPerfect!
Yeah, that was the ticket.
I must have written three hundred macros for that sucker on the way to re-writing Booz Allen and Hamilton’s Technology Center Estimating Manual (and getting the follow-on to write the Procurement Manual as well). All the charts, cross-indexing, table of contents, bullet points: WP v.5.0, or thereabouts.
But that was a little earlier in the saga, early 1990s.
Yup. By 1995-6, I had a basic swiveling office chair in a windowless room warmed by several racks of networked computers, pin-dot on-lights blazing green, blue, and red, fans humming, disks spinning, a single T-1 line helping me make about half a living. In that windowless room, if another four hours were needed on a project past 6 p.m., no problem: it was perpetual day-night down there.
The network administrator and I called it “The Submarine”, about 12 feet in depth and 18 feet in length.
So it has been here on a more conventional schedule. A day indoors, then two days — add another (there’s still food in the refrigerator, right).
Call it what it is: heart attack season, living like this, an invitation to the kind of elephant that comes up to the desk to sit on your chest, with yours truly bleary eyed, stubble growing over skin chalk white, the whole body slowing down, heavy, still typing . . . .
So yesterday, Saturday, the Sabbath, rested and well read, one might say, I grabbed the MAG (remember: L. L. Bean “Sea Washed Canvas Guide Bag”, ne “Man Bag”, with notebook, camera — Panasonic Lumix Lx5 — driving glasses, tire gauge — everyone carries one, non? — and cell phone), and then OUT where there’s . . .
Trust me nowhere else but here, if you insist: reality has depth!
I saw another old man (about being old, I haven’t yet made up my mind, and I was younger than he, I think) sitting on a bench taking pictures of a fountain with a Canon, no Polarizing filter on the lens.
Is that it?
Is that all there is (my friend)?
Old men with cameras in parks taking pictures of fountains, badly?
I stopped by to see Greg — gardener, fellow musician, fisher come spring, hunter come fall — and he showed me how the good old sons are filling the freezers these days: club property; hunting cameras running 24/7 on the run-up to season; 150-pound carbon fiber crossbow to be steadied on a mono-pod.
The rest soon will be history: one arrow, one shot, one deer, one rack, and one full freezer.
Greg sent me on with venison, steak and ground, from last season, also two green peppers and a tomato from his garden, and I caught the last play of a game.
At the end of my accustomed rounds — home to “sweet light”.
And a Margarita (although I don’t want this journal to become a drinking journal).
Light has no season quite like the mid-August turn toward September and fall.
The sun lowers; some dry air returns. There’s a clarity to it, still bright, still hot, but changing, and I delight in it.
I am so sorry I feel yet confined to snapshots with the Lumix. It suits a day of rest — really, with that camera, any casual travel — and the time outdoors on the prescribed Day of Rest is about the walk, the walking, and the visit, but I’ve more powerful tools, would that I would (again) use them.