-- Long Beach, CA / 10:52pm. --
You wouldn't believe the view here. In this town, at this barstool, next to this merchandise table . . . the view of the bar. They're creating beautiful pints of beer and sexy, only half-lucid cocktails. If angels exist I hope they come here and have drinks and ask me if it's okay if I stroke their feathery wings and scaly skins. And their sharp teeth and chiseled bones.
You know what?
Last night in Los Angeles my camera broke inside the Vermont House. First the focusing went entirely off and then the shutter blades inside the camera ate each other and left a meat cuttery to look at. A butchery it is. Several disquieting telephone calls and texts later, it became grudgingly decided that a new camera will be shipped to me somewhere along the tour in Texas early next week by my manager Courtney Eck. I do hope that IT arrives before WE arrive in the city of Austin. There's a hotel with a great bar that I want to photograph. And a haunting specter with large, pretty eyes and probably short bangs that I want to photograph.
Last night was alternately wonderful and relaxing up until the destruction of my peace of mind with this camera business. My dear friend Jeremy Talcott (late of our BradLeo & The Heartstoppers) arrived at The Short Stop, which is owned by Greg Dulli, a hard man with a wonderful turn of phrase. Then proceedings moved on past a potential knife fight on some well-lit streetcorner and a shockingly pretty glimpse of what appeared to be half of a stray dog, torn to pieces. I was glad to get to the Vermont House after these things; not because of the neighborhood goings-on, but because we had drinks to drink and Sybris to feel up. Sybris is the touring band that we're on tour with. They are from Chicago and they don't use the f-word so much but they make a lot of inappropriate sexual comments about seemingly dignified things, like lawyers and soccer games and wall carpeting.
Whiskey, wine and Colt 45 later, and then the terrible, nearly neck-choking sound of my camera fulfilling my great fear of an expansive loneliness that's not picture-perfect. And you know, it's hard to complain and pitch a fit because one ends up coming across like a self-concerned fucking joke of a man, but oh joy, I so wanted to just throw myself out of the second floor window. It took me a long long while to calm down, and I probably said some untoward things in front of people before passing out in the van. What little I recall (mostly it's vague) is the stern talking to that I gave myself somewhere where I most certainly hope nobody could hear me. But of course, I don't remember where I was when this happened or if anyone was there. I've grown a lot both emotionally and artisticaly in the past couple years since moving my entire life to the pacific Northwest, but with that growth has come some decently unwelcome understandings of myself that amount to the basic theory that I will probably be dead before I get a chance to have gray hair. I've always wanted to go silverish. But it hasn't happened. Watching Fugazi go gray was great and I felt jealous the first time I opened up the insert of 'The Argument'. Those guys are such gentlemen. Better people than I am.
Another reason this camera ordeal makes me feel shitty is the opportunities missed. Such as desert fucking landscapes. Guess I won't be shooting that goddamned cactus like I thought. And I met Jamie Hunt tonight. He's an incredible painter from California who did the artwork for Unwed Sailor's record 'The Marionette & the Music Box' and also the artwork for Johnathon's Circle of Birds project. At one point Jamie was going to provide illustrations for my book, before the book was done, but time never panned out the way I'd wanted it to and there are no illustrations in my book at all. If I had a camera tonight I could shoot some portraits of Jamie, which would be neat. I like portraits. Of people. A lot.
I really hope that replacement comes before I fucking throw myself off a bridge and sail down to the water without even getting to photograph it. Oh lord. I really do sound awfully lame dwelling on this camera thing, but it's really important to me the way a lot of other stuff simply isn't. Photography is one of the few things that I can do in this world that's not stupid. I can only just barely talk to people in any valuable sense, I'm thinking; sometimes I hope I'm wrong about that, but probably I'm not. So, not only can I never seem to make something more than a ghost of myself, but I can't even talk about it or relate to others about it. You'd be surprised what a shock it is to actually get through a conversation with a stranger without finding that I've pretty much distanced myself completely from the entire world. So I just shoot photographs of people and hope everything turns out okay in the end. I hope so.
Drinks are free tonight. Did I say that much? All night. At first I was like, "What the devil?" And then I said to the hotel manager, "Nice. Very, very nice."
I guess I'll sign out. Thanks for reading. And thanks for coming to see me, Jeremy.