A Man and His Work
Back in the Groove
November 17, 2006, New York City:
I went to bed at 2 AM, and set the alarm at 6 last night (this morning).
When it went off, I awoke dreaming that a friend, a friend who apparently is only a friend because it is convenient for her (i.e. I have something she wants), was repeatedly yelling “Have a Nice Day!,” “Have a Nice Day!,” “Have a Nice Day!”
I soon realized that it was my mind playing tricks on me, taking my anxieties and blending them with reality—the blaring alarm becoming her blurting.
However, as is usually the case, if I wake up in the middle of a REM state, my first inclination is to hit the snooze—which I promptly did.
I reset the alarm to 7 and closed my eyes again.
Apparently, I didn’t set if properly though, because a moment later the snooze setting overrode my somnolent intentions and startled me promptly at 6:15.
This time I got up, brushed my teeth, took a wee and then got back into bed, making sure that I had set the alarm properly this time.
Alas, I couldn’t fall back asleep—too much was on my mind, there was simply too much to do, and surprisingly, I was feeling alright now, despite the lack of sleep.
Thus, hence, therefore, I ordered myself to “get the fuck up,” and make the most of this restlessness.
And I did.
Over the next hour, I wrote a few letters, foraged through a dozen folders of photos shot over the first few weeks of November, and culled together what I felt were the best of the best. I edited this select group, and with this musing present them here and now.
After my daily vitamin, a little lo-chi (i.e. stretching, a touch of yoga and some faux tai-chi) , and three shots of espresso—I was feelin’ good. Let me tell you, it’s been a long-time comin’.
This is the first morning in almost three frickin’ weeks now that I can breath freely and haven’t been hacking up a storm. In sum, allergy-set bronchitis is a bitch. The worst part about it though is not the bouts of asthma and pain-wrenching coughs, but actually the stupor that the drugs stoop me into. Antibiotics, as well as the usual round of supplemental expectorants and such, cumulatively make me insensate and always adversely affect my performance, my vitality and my mood.
But now, I’m back in the groove again.
Sorting through my latest crop of photos helped me realize that despite all this, my assiduity, my focus and my persistence have paid off.
It almost always does, but it is often difficult to taste the fruit of your labor when you’re in the midst of toiling, sowing and planting seeds.
Nonetheless and allthemore, here and now, I feel good, I’m feeling wow!
And I’m eager to take on something big, something monumental again, something I can be obsessed over, something in which I can pour my all passion into—another book maybe, peut être a complex, multi-faceted project, an amalgam of photo, word, and people; and perhaps even just an insatiable lover, a spunky girlfriend, or merely a new muse.
Albeit, with the posting of An Ode to Hilary, my newest self-portrait , I’m not so sure the latter is going to happen.
Regardless, at least I’ve got my senses and my sense of humor back, at least I’ve got the balls to post such a self-effacing piece de résistance, at least I am again free enough of the pandering ego to accept myself and say, “Hey, this is me. Laugh if you will, actually I would love it if you did.”
This portrait was actually taken a few weeks ago, when I thought I was going to start the 365 project that is so en vogue these days. Alas, I couldn’t keep up with myself, for simply taking one good photo a day was a task too big for my britches.
Nonetheless and allthemore, I am posting this particular photo as an ode to my dear friend and inspiration Brooklyn Hilary. She is one wacky, kooky, and wonderfully zany gal.
And she well knows that I much rather project a more suave, controlled and debonair image. However, on occasion I will concede, if only for her, to being simply human and make fun of myself.
Besides, it is a good for the soul to succumb to some self-mockery every once in a while—keeps you real, keeps me humble. And God, knows I need to do just that a little more often.
Maybe, that’s why I got sick—to taper the exuberance, the narcissism and the natural spring of élan for a moment.
All I know is that I’m back. I’m feeling good, and I’m ready to take on whatever comes my way.
Read more essays, stories, musings, poems and prose like this at Literary Central!.
I'm always looking for extraordinary subjects to practice my portraiture on/with, so if you live in or are visiting the tri-state area of NYC and are interested in having me take your picture (or know of anyone who might be) send me a note.
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