Sunday, July 31, 2016

Shit, Shave and Senseless

I shift my weight from one foot to the other and back again. The monologue in my head repeats on a loop:

“Take slow, deep breaths.” I breathe in, hold, release without sound.

“Look at him, not at the ceiling.” His skin lays wrinkled and loose on fragile bones. He strings together sounds to express what's going on inside his head, unintelligible bits of crooked puzzle pieces.

“Don’t cry. Don’t cry.” My father, who I once thought huge and larger than anyone I else I know, can't touch his feet to the floor as he sits in his blue, microfiber covered recliner. The chair occupies the middle of my living room, it's plush mountainous bulges contrasting sharply to my orange hardwood floors.

I’m late for work. My canvas bag, stuffed with my journal, tablet, a book on writing, my smart phone and a bottle of seltzer, digs into my left shoulder.

“Bathroom?” I’ve said it five times already, but number six lights up his face. He wants to know if he can go in the bathroom to get ready for the day. Shit, shave and shower. He needs to know explicitly if he can go into the bathroom and do his thing and I forgot to tell him before I headed for the door to leave.

Three hours before the bus comes to get him, he perches on the front edge of his chair, his body clenched, hands folded, fingers laced, wrists touching. I see him in grays, a still from the Dust Bowl during the thirties, lines of fatigue etched in his face, eyes haunted.

“You can use the bathroom.” I smile. I nod.

He rises, shuffles his feet into his gray slippers, shuffles across the room. The same path he shuffled yesterday. Routine matters. He carries a box of tissues in his left hand, tucked under his arm. He takes them into the bathroom. The door clicks shut. The razor buzzes.

I walk out the door crying.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Concrete Graffiti

As I mentioned last week, I'm walking each morning for an hour and I'm bored, so I take pictures and I take pictures in themed sets.

Here are a selection I have entitled, "Concrete Graffiti."

I think next week, I'll do "Dead Soldiers."

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Weekly Photo Prompt - Cement Graffiti

I went to Germany, Austria and Italy in June of this year. It was a fantastic trip. I took thousands of pictures with both my phone and camera. I'm still sorting through them so I can put them on memory sticks and give them to my travel mates (my brother, Jim, and sister-in-law, Karen [who upgraded us to first class flights those two amazing studs], Karen's sister, Tina [also known as American Eva], Eva [aka The Manager], and my cousin, Seppi [Austrian Larry.])

The Manager forced us to walk an average of 13,000 steps every day. It was torture. I was miserable and cranky. Everyone took my poutiness with much more grace than I showed while enduring it.

When I got home, I decided to continue walking. After being abused as I was in Europe, an hour each morning would be as nothing in comparison.

Except, it's REALLY boring walking in circles in my neighborhood. So, I entertain myself by by setting little photog tasks for myself. You can join me if you want.

This coming week, I'll be taking pictures of cement graffiti.

Humans putting their marks on walls is an ancient tradition: cave paintings in the Cave of Altamira, Santander, Spain, workers marking tombs in Giza, brothel messages from Pompeii, "Kilroy was here" during World War II, tagging in inner cities.

Graffiti is officially an art form.

* Let me know where you've posted your pictures (blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, what evs) I'll come look and comment.