January 2nd, 2005


damned thing (sensu Fort)

So, the Seven Virtues of Writing. I've been thinking hard on this, but it keeps coming out rather cynical. At least, I look at it and think other people will see it as cynical. But these are meant to be practical, working virtues. There's no room here for the Ideal. Anyway, for now, here they are: Audacity, Resolve (which includes Determination, Persistence, Perseverance, , etc.), Narcissism, Age, Patience, Dignity, Masochism, and Persuasion. I think that's it. Of course, the Seven Ideal Virtues of Writing are quite different, but they are only compatible with obscurity, life as a "creative writing" instructor, and/or a desire never to make a living from one's published work. So, we have no need of those.

No words yesterday. None at all. Oh, I talked a lot, but nothing that made it onto paper. Just to indicate how much Daughter of Hounds is fraying my nerves, I bought a pack of cigarettes last night for the first time since early 1997! I have sworn it won't become a habit again, just a little oral pacification until I have found the structure and the words are coming once more. Spooky and Jennifer are quite disgusted with me, regarding the cigarettes, as well they should be. Anyway, after all the not-writing, Spooky and I cooked black-eyed peas (with ham hocks, salt and pepper, garlic, green bell pepper, onion, and bay), collards (with ham hocks, salt and pepper, and onions), corn bread, and mac & cheese, as is traditional. At least we were not hungry. Afterwards, we saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Some movies are just so frelling cool that they need no hyperbole heaped upon them. This is such a film. It's just that frelling cool (or, if you belong to the omgwtf set, it's just that frelling "sick"). And I say this even though I tend to steer clear of comedies. In general, they strike me that way that musicals strike some people. I can deal with a world where characters randomly burst into song, but not a world where everything just happens to be funny. Even my perversity has its limits. Well, unless we're talking about the Marx Bros. or Monty Python. Anyway, yes. I think Bill Murray is in his prime. Very cool movie.

I will write something today. I care not what it is. Anything.

So, throughout this journal I have, on occasion, shared with you odd little events from my life. Things that aren't quite right. Damned things, as Fort would say. Excluded things. Circles whose circumferences are just a little more or less than 360 degrees. I have another one, and one that seems somehow much more personal than all the others, perhaps because it involves an image of me.

Early on the morning of December 28th, between 12:54 and 1:02 a.m., Spooky was fooling about with our digital camera (a Canon PowerShot A75), taking pictures of Sophie and the fanged bunny that I brought back from Minneapolis in November. I included one of those photos in my blog entry for 12/28/04. Yesterday, we needed to dump the memory card that she used that night, to relocate all those photos (and others) onto her iBook's hd. Before doing so, we were looking back over the photos of Sophie. And after the seventh Sophie shot there was a photo that appears to show me sitting in front of our vanity mirror. Then the Sophie photos resume. We looked at it, the photograph of me. Spooky said she didn't remember taking that, and I said that I didn't recall it being taken. Morever, the picture bears no date/time stamp and no number. It's just there. After it, the last Sophie pictures, with all their information, resume. The number sequence jumps from 100-0094 (Sophie) to the photo of me in the mirror to 100-0095 (more Sophie). So, the memory card simultaneously held the photograph and seemed to have no record of its existence. I scribbled down these numbers, then Spooky went ahead and downloaded everything to her laptop. Here's the unnumbered photo:

There's not much I can add to this thing. Spooky didn't take the photo. Jennifer didn't take the photo. I don't recall the photo being taken, and certainly not early on December 28th while Spooky was taking photos of Sophie. I was on the bed at the time, reading. I even recall that I was wearing a black tank top that night, not a grey one. The background tells me that I'm facing the vanity mirror. I recognize our closet door, the clothes hung there, and, ironically, the strap of the camera bag on the doorknob. To my left, though it's blurry, I can make out the fireplace, the black iron grate, and, at extreme left, a bed post (admittedly, I can only see these things because I'm familiar with them). And then there's the matter of the purplish fibers occupying the lower right foreground. Is that hair? I can make out no details of the figure taking the photograph, though she (or he or it) ought to be in frame, given the angle. I assume that to be the provenance of the nondescript black mass behind me and to the left, beneath the flash, hidden (conveniently) in the glare. And there's one last thing, which may seem inconsequential. In this photo, both my eyes are reflecting red. However, because I'm blind in my left eye, because of the nature of the corneal scarring that's the reason I'm blind in that eye, it always reflects bright yellow, never reddish. Is that an artefact of the mirror? All in all, an odd thing, this photo. We've been trying not to let it bother us, but there's no denying it's a disturbing thing. I confess I can make neither heads nor tails of it.
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