On the old Oppenheim Arts & Letters, I had noted several times in its “19th Century” modern section the horror of having applied serious creative writing chops and energy to “chatyping” — that’s what I call all of this — at models.com, where I traded my floridity (it’s nice seeing spell check deliberately upset) for a more perfunctory how-to on quite a few topics, modelmayhem.com (still there but scarcely look in these days), Zoetrope.com — with 1,052 free and highly rated reviews provided by yours truly, I remain the “All-Time Most Active” reviewer in the Photo Wing of Francis Ford Coppola’s “virtual film studio” (much good that exuberance has done me) — and then . . . Facebook. The upshot hasn’t changed: for glory, I guess, I have composed tens of thousands of notes and small essays that engaged somebody (in the photographer, model-photographer, political enthusiast communities), were probably helpful, and were certainly part of the global chat stream.
Nice way to go broke.
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I shot one wedding last year.
The caterer who brokered the deal after the “other guy” called to say he couldn’t make the date, told me last week, “They were so happy with your pictures!”
However, it would have been nice to have had a dozen weddings on the calendar at this point, but then (and not the caterer’s fault) I’ve been only passively promoting for a while: my business card is Out There, but the dreaming and scheming feels old, and I haven’t gone on to invest in the latest kind of laptop presentation (in fact, if I ever go out — scary notion, that — it will probably be with a large portfolio or loose sheets inside an art case).
Related: “Big Bertha” the HP B9180 printer, wants a new print head (I may have one around here, but the office has gotten warehouse like and hard to search) . . . whatever, I’m tired of spending money on inks to keep her happy, and then too I’m ready for a more standard Epson 3880, which I would swing easily with a $3,000 print order — how hard could that be?
Back to the wedding side of the whole shebang — truly the happy couple:
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In addition to the online chatyping, I’ve been busy with the synagogue’s choir and have recently hauled the guitar out to an open mic and jam (now that’s relaxing!), and, I guess, there’s been phone friends, an additional smidgen of volunteer activity, probably more dining out just to get out than I should do, or have been doing — definitely more than either stomach or wallet can afford — some compulsive shopping (Orvis, Territory Ahead, 32 Bar Blues) — which is funny because that’s all about not being here but being somewhere else!
Add Stage One Leukemia.
I’m a little tired, which seems in retrospect a cyclical complaint as I get around to it periodically, and in retrospect, I feel like I have just spent decades in search of work that would never materialize fully or in a transforming way, and the what has happened while busy making plans for other things (thanks, John Lennon, publicist, Allen Saunder, author), is . . . wow, I’ve kept something together — Jim’s Bar & Grill & Home Theater & Library & Garden & Office & For Once, Easy on the Island.
Lucky man: I have the wealthier man’s mansion and studio stuffed inside of 1,000-square-feet of garden apartment.
Should anyone Out There happen upon my Lost Youth, please do return it to the owner.
In the meantime, as God made Ford the Father of the Automobile and Ford The Company made the Mustang, I suppose all is not lost after all.
Anyone up for a drive?
Truly, I am ready to spend less time online, more time lazing over fiction (again), and some time trying to write the sort of thing that might stay around a while.
* * *
John Lennon wrote this for his son Sean but I wonder if it’s not as much a son’s song as a father’s.
I don’t know if Lennon would have been the father I’d rather have had, but I know the one I had absolutely hated The Beatles, hated popular music, and couldn’t sing a note even half as well as the average mule.
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