- 20 Sep
My adventures in the La Colonia neighborhood of Oxnard have made the transition from tentative contacts with homies and farmworkers to more comfortable experiences and talks about, well, anything - cabbages and kings, you name it. I'm more relaxed and that has a lot to do with it. They know me and I know them. I've given a few of the principal players matted and framed archival prints of themselves, candid portraits I guess you'd call them. This has helped in my efforts to erode their main suspicion about me - that I'm some sort of government infiltrator. An informant. A spy. A snitch. A gumshoe. Somewhere a roscoe let loose - kachow! kachow! Darn fool kid.
I've drawn some shallow conclusions about the common natures of committee meetings, observed the vicious circle of promises, politics, poverty and pride, and seen passion serve only to burn the hand that holds the torch. In the wrestling match between shrewdness and zeal, zeal almost always loses. This is because the shrewd will almost always have more tools to be facile with. In La Colonia each side brings its own alumni, generations of elders who faced the same damn struggle years ago. The model for political conflict seems always the same - a defeated generation of the passionate poor watches with sad nostalgia as its sons and daughters take up the fight for honor and turf and respect, and that's not all bad. Meanwhile, the established scions of politics must move in their mandated orbits and smile and shake hands and scheme and hope. And that's not all bad either.
So it goes.
Until it all falls down, and I think I can already feel some shaking on a National scale.
I bought a new lens a few weeks ago. A beautiful lens. A lens of such thrilling perspicuity that the Sirens fall silent and the Muses are shamed. It's a Zeiss lens, my people. A Contax 120mm Apo-Makro Planar T*. I know. I know. Just relax, grab your knees and your lungs will refill. I can take a picture of your eye and the image of that eye on the negative will be THE SAME FRIGGIN' SIZE AS THE EYE ITSELF!!! Yes! A 1:1 ratio! During my initial tests of this mighty... thing without synonym right now... I discovered that when focusing straight on to the face of a credit card it can distinguish and bring into sharp focus the top, the middle and the bottom OF THE RAISED LETTERING!!!
Okay, let's straighten our ties and talk some more about me. I had the good fortune of meeting up with Amy of Dear World yesterday at a café in Ventura. For some reason, a brain cloud, I suspect, I went on and on and on about, you guessed it, ME. She is quite good-natured and smiled politely in all the right places as I made powerful efforts to be funny and smart. Alas, as usual, my funnies were all landscaped with my own laughter so now I have even more proof that despite my efforts and desires I am stuck with the personality I have. When will I learn that if I really really try to be smart all that will happen is I will really really perspire as I look around the giant hole I've just dug and try to elegantly mold steps in the muddy sides for quick egress. All I can to is try to change the subject and use napkins to dab my forehead.
Amy is all sincere and calm and stuff like that. And smarter than I am. This provided all the contrast I needed to reaffirm that when I think I'm being bright I am simply being a loud glare.
At least we share a healthy antipathy for all things Bush and Cheney.
In other news, another Amy, the one who sproinged from mine own loins, in a manner of speaking, just turned 13. A teenager. Already she's exhibiting symptoms. I am a lost man.
This completes my summer entries of which there are now four. And boy are my arms tired. That's right. MY arms. MINE. The ones belonging to ME.
Admitting there's a problem is the biggest step toward the solution. This goes out to all those who still suffer. From me.
"Lamento" -- Antonio Carlos Jobim -- WAVE
"Self respect. The secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious."
- H.L. Mencken