Wednesday September 5, 2001

This was written a week ago today so I thought I'd put it up. The scene is Nevada, on a dried up lakebed.

It's six twenty two in the morning and my left thumb is sticky from tangerine and tender from, no strike that, (I just looked), blistered, from a bout of unsafe fireworks play. A big white swollen blister. A little silver digital camera. An eight pound Dell laptop. God, in all its glory, revealed to me carnally.

So with the sudden insight that I don't have to describe anything to you, I shot myself. But I shouldn't have wasted the flash on those pics of my dirty Vans. Batteries will be batteries, and thus, the frequency of beautiful events is inversely proportional to the amount of power in my cells. I struggled with the most beautiful images at their end: franticly swapping pairs of alkalines in an out (I had 8 extras) after my NiMH batts threw up the "no juice" sign.

I have a plastic martini glass filled with water (and powdered lightly with dust on lip). I have an apple (dust?, yes, dusty) and a tangerine. Not dusty -- at least not on the parts I'm eating. If I shift my head just a little to the left, I block the rising sun with the sheet hanging from the ladder that props this parachute up. Trying to type on an LCD screen when the morning sun is shining into your face is hard, because when you look around, you get spots in your eyes. Sitting on a plastic inflatable chair shaped like a phone is easy because my butt is in the part you talk into. And neither hard nor easy, but nearby, a snoring Japanese punk rocker is lying on an inflatable rolodex. The white fluffy stuff on my peeled tangerine dried to a crust in the time it took me to write that.

Time, and the events that it carries past me, are floating away like a boat undocking from a pier. I'm supposed to be seeing my lover off but I was late and I forgot my glasses. I just wave at the big boat and hope she sees me standing here, all dirty and tired and happy.

The whole fucking canopy is glowing gold and silver, gusts ripple through. It sounds like when your upstairs neighbors are walking around or doing something and you're like, "What was that? What are they doing up there?" The wind on this parachute is making noises like they're having a small mixer upstairs, just friends, you know, but who'd they invite? The wind doth protest and I am unable to release the idea that the sounds are like something else, instead of just what they are. Latent over-sensitivity to stimuli, yes, it's apparent to me, but nothing I can do about it.

Om Flambe Mothership Sunrise

1:04 minutes
or download 6.5 megs

When you run a Nickel Metal Hydride battery down, unlike an alkaline, you get a "power bounce back" if you turn the device off for a few seconds and let it "rest" and then turn it back on. If you have no way to recharge, and if you're patient, you can milk NiMH batteries for what I would guess is an additional 10 percent of their capacity. I have other batteries, but in my camera, two double-A Energizers, fresh out of the package are good for about 2.3 seconds of video before they are completely drained. My Sanyo is the most efficient AA battery sucker I've ever seen. I put in another pair thinking that it was a fluke and the batteries were duds but the same thing happened. I've taken to aiming and holding my finger down on the shutter button as I close the battery compartment in hopes that the camera's reaction time is quicker than mine and it will get a shot off before the screen blanks.

I have no recharger and I have no patience. All I have is the sun rising and it has made me impatient -- not impatient with the sun but with the batteries. If you were dying of cancer and your daughter was about to win the Indianapolis 500, you'd want to get a picture of it. Even though you may die before they are developed and trying to operate your camera at this point may mean you miss seeing the finish. At least I'm guessing that's what you would do because that's what I feel like right now.

The tangerine was juicy and sweet, but the crust almost took the top of my mouth off. It turns out that I do have to tell you that. John is sleeping on my film cameras.

Well, time for you to go back in the ziplock, my son.

voyeurs of the world, give something back!

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