Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More Tests

These are just a few test shots I took last night.
Long exposure and cell phone glow.Soft Focus.Another long exposure.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stairwell, Flight 57

Peter is taking the stairs one at a time, carefully resting every other flight. Calvin continues to keep pace with him.

At the 57th floor, he stops and looks up and down the crack between the flights of stairs. He grimaces, and then sits down next to the door.

"I think I know why it's hard being around you", Peter says.

Calvin looks at him.

"I want to tell you that I like Amy," Peter says, without looking at Calvin, "but you won't ask. With anyone else, when I asked them if they had a thing for Amy, they would have said 'Why?', and I could've said 'Because I kind of like her'. With you, it's not that easy".

Calvin stares.

"I really like Amy. It's not a big deal, ya' know? It's just..." He peters off.

"I think she only hangs out with me because I hang out with you and she likes you," he says.

Calvin slides down the wall, sitting across from Peter.

Peter looks up at him. "Do you think that's true?"

Calvin shakes his head.

Peter gets up. He isn't convinced.

"Go ahead."

Calvin waits for Peter to go first.

"Go ahead," Peter repeats.

Calvin stares helplessly.

Peter walks up the stairs.

Friday, April 25, 2008


I blame Donald Fagen for the whole thing.

It all started when I forgot the words to "International Geophysical Year" while riding the subway with a friend. I grappled helplessly with what made that damn train so special before a voice gently reminded me.

"Graphite," it said.

I turned around, and she was sitting there, looking up at me.

"What?" I asked, incredulous.

"Graphite," she responded, "It's 'on that train all graphite and glitter'."

Needless to say, I didn't get off at the stop with my friend.

We strolled down the avenues, her iPod's earbuds divided between the two of us, holding hands and listening to Steely Dan. We went home and we danced to "The Nightfly", we found a Green Flower Ct. in Salt Lake City and visited there, because we were in love and that's the kind of things you do when you're in love.

The Mormons didn't seem to approve of PDA's.

When she broke up with me, she turned on "The Goodbye Look" and gave me a wry smile.

I couldn't listen to Donald Fagen after that, and that made me really sad. For two years, I sulked.

It was three summers from then when I finally brought myself to hum a little "Walk Between the Raindrops", and when I did break into the words, I realized I had forgotten the chorus. I cursed myself.

The girl behind me gently reminded me that the word was "umbrella".

I ignored her.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rain: 2:32 AM

My camera has a Genuardi's bag over it, because it's far too rainy to be outside and far too beautiful to be anywhere else. It's raining really hard, and it smells like rain, because that's how it smells when it rains. I crouch down and squint, I can't see anything but I squint anyways because I can see everything in a split second, any second now, I'll see everything. I can only crouch, and squint, and wait.

Thunder growls in the distance, providing the perfect soundtrack to an even more perfect evening where I have to be outside with my camera because words are imperfect, they are not perfect, not perfect like this perfect evening where everything smells like rain and rain is dripping down my face, and my t-shirt is soaked, and my coat is massively uncomfortable, but my thirst is quenched, my thirst is satiated, I will never thirst again. I need to get up and yell about how words are imperfect and people need to stop using them and how pictures are not worth a thousand words because words can't describe what I'm feeling, tasting, and somehow, pictures can, and I want to yell about how people are sleeping when I'm outside, waiting, and I want to yell just so I can hear my own voice above the rain and the soundtrack but I can't because I'm crouched down and squinting and waiting, waiting for a car, any car, to meander down my street so I can frame my shot and take my picture and wait three seconds for the car to drive by so I can have the perfect picture, worth more than words could ever be and I hear the truck at the end of my street, rumbling by, and I don't even look at it because I don't trust myself to, to take my eyes off the hole I poked in the bag so I can see through my viewfinder and I frame my shot and


Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Gentle Reminder

Yesterday, I wrote it in big black letters on my ceiling, because I didn't want to forget.

I left sticky notes on the table, the door, and my forehead, because I really didn't want to forget.

If I was to forget, that would be horrific. My life as I know it would be over.

So I put a cover on the windshield of my car, figuring I couldn't start driving without noticing this note. I wrote it in shaving cream on my shower, and even went to the trouble of rearranging the cubicles in my office so that, when I would look at the fire escape plan, it would say in bold, glow-in-the-dark letters, "Don't Forget".

I want to make it very clear that I couldn't forget. It just could not happen.

I did a lyrics search for a song titled "Remember", and then downloaded all of those songs, and I made a mix tape to put in my car. I shaved my head and wrote "Don't forget" on it with a sharpie.

I taught my parrot to tell me to remember, instead of him swearing like usual, and I told all my friends to text me at certain times, so that, if I was to scroll through my messages, it would say "R-E-M-E-M-B-E-R", in that precise order. I hired a scientist friend to make a machine that would make it so I would dream about the event, so I WOULDN'T FORGET.


Bottom line, my alarm didn't go off.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Waldo gets lost a lot, and sometimes I think he doesn't want to be found.

He was my freshmen roommate in college, but I didn't know it for two weeks. I thought that there was some mistake and I was in a single room. It was only when, on a Saturday night, Waldo stumbled home drunk and told me about his childhood, when he hid from his mother, who smoked too much.

We went backpacking in Europe the summer after we graduated, which sucked because I lost him in the airport and then realized he was sitting next to me when I was on the plane home two weeks later. Mysteriously, he knew where I had spent every minute of my vacation, and seemed to think that he was with me the whole time.

When I was in my thirties, he came to visit my family. My wife never saw him. I was experienced at finding him, by this time. I learned to ignore all the little red and white stripes and look for his glasses.

I was thirty-nine when my wife left me and took the kids, and I was thirty-nine and three-quarters when I robbed the convenience store across the street from the bar where I spent all my time. I was sentenced to five-to-ten at a medium security prison.

Waldo came to visit me, but you wouldn't have known it. He didn't show up on the visitors' log or the security cameras.

He broke me out two months later, and I still don't know how he did it. I went to sleep in my cell and woke up nine hours later in a flat in Brooklyn.

He met Julie the same night he met Odlaw. He and Julie would spend many an evening on the roof of some government building or at the most elite of clubs. They weren't really allowed there, but Waldo found a way to sneak in.

Odlaw was the loud, popular one in the corner booth, surrounded by a similar-but-completely-different crowd every night. Julie was drawn to him from the beginning, and when she met him, that was it for her and Waldo.

Waldo was crushed; he just didn't know what he would do. For weeks he walked around like a normal person and people saw him, and every person that saw him broke his spirit a little more, and every little crack made him a little more visible.

He jumped off of the empire state building that year. The police had set up below him, encouraging him not to jump, but he did anyways. The floodlights tried to follow his descent, but for a split second around the sixty-eighth floor, they lost him, and he fell the rest of the way in darkness.

They never did find his body.

Monday, April 07, 2008


It was really cold on the morning when I hit the next door neighbor's fish with my car.

To be completely honest, I was really really really drunk, but I don't understand what the fish was doing out that time of night anyway. Who walks their fish at two in the morning? And with a trowel? It's just dumb.

So there this guy was, walking into the backyard with his fish and a trowel, and I just hit the fish.

Anyway, yeah.

I'm just glad I hit him too.

I hate all that complaining.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Lock

There was a lock once, and it was in love with a key.

This is not a metaphorical lock. This is not a lock to your heart. This is a real lock. An actual lock.

It lived on a door in my room, and, though it had occasionally cheated with the knob, it was, for the most part, faithful to the key.

They didn't go out much, because they didn't really have the money to buy a car, and you can't walk anywhere in suburbia.

I was super-supportive of the lock's relationship. Who am I to unlock true love? I would always let them alone so they could talk, and when they wanted real privacy, I would lock the door.

It was beautiful.

They would wake up early Sundays, light streaming in through my window, and then the lock would make breakfast for the key. They parted for two hours while I ran errands, and then I let them canoodle for the rest of the day.

It was a Sunday when I lost the key. I dropped it through a grate outside of my dry cleaners.

The lock was really angry. I had made a copy of the key, but the lock just wouldn't open the door. It claimed it was too distraught to do its job.

Yesterday I got my locks changed. It made life a little easier.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Bench

Our relationship should have lasted two minutes and twenty-eight seconds, but it didn't.

It took place on a single bench in a small park in the small town outside of the big city that's the capital of the massive, rectangular state that I live in.

The only witness was a duck that sat across the path from us, expecting us to give him a piece of the pretzel that I was eating. The bird itself didn't say much, which is nice because that would have made the whole situation that much more ridiculous.

I was waiting for the bus when she sat down next to me.

She was searching for something in her purse as she sat down, but she gave up shortly. She looked out at the pond and gave that sigh that said "ask me what I don't have".

I asked her what she didn't have. She told me she had forgotten her sugar-snap peas. I offered her a piece of my pretzel, but she informed me that she was allergic to gluten. I felt like maybe I had said something insensitive, but I wasn't sure.

She was wearing a black wool coat and had straight black hair, but I knew that if she would have described both the coat and her hair as "a very dark brown that you can really only see in bright light", because she was just that kind of person.

After a moment, she turned to me and said, "do you ever have one of those days where nothing goes right?" which, in this context, meant, "do you wake up and your roommate used all your shampoo and so you had to use bar soap in your hair, and then you were all out of Special K and your frisbee practice got cancelled and your bike had a flat and then you forgot your sugar-snap peas?"

I told her I hadn't, so she informed me that, this morning, she had gone to take a shower and her roommate had used all of her shampoo so she had to use bar soap instead, and then she was all out of Special K, her favorite breakfast cereal, and that her frisbee practice had been cancelled, and that her bike had a flat, and then, ON TOP OF IT ALL, she had forgotten her sugar-snap peas.

"Wow," I replied, impressed. She gave me this little smile that made me forget that I hated her.

I remembered that I had a Three Musketeers in my backpack, which (as I was later told) is one of the free gluten-free candies. I offered it to her and her eyes got all wide and she said, "Oh my god, are you serious?", and when I said yes she gave this little squeal and gave me a hug.

I laughed uncomfortably as she wolfed down the chocolate bar. After she was done, she had another satisfied smile on that, had I hated her, would have made me stop hating her all over again.

Two minutes and twenty-eight seconds after she sat down next to me, the bus came.

Neither of us noticed.