Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back in MY Day...

Live at SunsetShould I make it to my golden years, what will I wish to remember of my career? Will I ramble incessantly about ribbon cutting and ride-alongs? Might I dominate the park bench patter with tales of a life spent loitering on the edge of happenstance? Or will I get all the details wrong - mix up my memories like a dropped box of vacation slides until my glory days are just some super-looped flickering vignette with a commentary track no one ever figured out how to mute? Is this thing on? I only ask because its Monday and I need something to write about, but also because my head’s stuck on auto-reflect and this is the kind of thing I ponder while sitting in traffic. The way I see it, I’m banking up an incredible stash of eyelid fodder should I one day find myself nodding off in some hovering air-chair. Sure, the retired CEO will have decades of exotic vacations to look back on, but will he be able to wallow in the mire of a meth-lab‘s smoke plume, a red-carpet cameras orgy or the glorious roar of a freeway at dusk? I think not...

Lens AboardI remember visiting my ailing grandmother at an Alzheimer’s Unit twenty years ago or so. While standing in a hallway as she was being changed, I caught the attention of an elderly man dressed in flannel pajamas. He puttered right up to me, mumbled something about a shipment of I-beams before shuffling off. “Don’t mind Mr. Larry,’ an attendant said ‘He spent years as a construction foreman and still kind of lives there…” I nodded as if I understood and chuckled at the sadness of the man’s arrested development. I was but a punk with a mullet that day, but even then I knew that I’d best not scoff at Mr. Larry’s past, should a similar future be waiting for me someday. So far so good, but it doesn’t help that of all the rest homes and nursing centers I visited as a kid, this is the one I’ve chosen to remember. Perhaps I watched too many Twilight Zone episodes as a kid. Perhaps I didn’t watch enough.

Roadside SoundThese days of course, I don’t watch TV; I make it. Most of it is easily disposable, flushed from my memory banks before an overnight editor gets around to archiving it all. Still, one cannot shove this much life from a tube without a certain residual build-up. Even now, in my stillest hours, a soundbite, wide shot or screen sequence will bubble up to the surface of my brain-pan and cause me to recite tape I transcribed back when there was actually tape in videotape. These days I shoot on disc, but even that will seem archaic by the time I draw any kind of diminished pension. How outdated my many adventures will feel remains to be seen. I just hope they park me beside another aging data-gatherer. Maybe then we can sit in our very own wing of the Old Photog’s Home and trade war stories and denture grip. It beats high-fiving some sales-yak over how much money he made that day he landed the Simpkins Account.

Now, stop me if you’ve heard this one before...

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

i wonder the same things myself sometimes. maybe i'll park my wheelchair nex to yours one day and we can forget it all together.