Monday, September 13, 2010

Glints of Contentment

Parade RestLet’s see: twenty years into a dead-end job, diminished vision from decades of eyepiece abuse, callouses on my soul the size of truck-stop omelets... yeah, for a career camera carrier, I’m right on schedule. Problem is, I’m nowhere near as miserable as I should be right now. Oh, don’t me wrong. I won’t be leading the company cheer anytime soon. Nor will you see a flock of songbirds trailing behind me (unless they’re looking to take a Number Two on Unit Four). And can still pick a name from the seven dwarf’s roll call to describe my mood (Is there a “Pissy”?) Still, for a guy who toils at the bottom of a business that’s rapidly collapsing onto itself, I got a pretty good attitude. Why is that - you didn’t ask... I’ll tell ya, smart -ass! Soon as I figure it out. Until then, stand by while I spin my wheels for a few paragraphs....

Certainly, a good portion of my Zen-like tendencies stems from the fact that I (most often) work alone. What can I say - I like me better than you. That, and I’m a lousy collaborator. Blame the late great Roy Hardee, if you must - for he taught me long ago the value of doing it all. It is a skill-set that has served me well over the years. In fact, I dare say it’s extended my career tenfold. If I had to pilot a live truck from one humdrum conundrum to another, I’d find another way to make a living - and perhaps join Triple AAA! As it is, I change my own flat tires, but more times than not when the news unit’s rubber hits the road, I’m behind the wheel in an otherwise empty cockpit - only the previous night’s half-remembered blogpost to keep me company. Most days, I love it. Even when I don’t, it beats carting around some hair-do from victor to vanquished every third hour.

It’s an odd accessory, this new found peace. And who knows how long before it turns my neck green? My head to shoulder connector is already a little red - and not just because I cut my mullet lo those many years ago... No, this mental feng shui comes from rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic blight that was my bad attitude. Funny thing, that - for I was counting on my surly outlook to see me over the next several months. See, the last five years of my so called career have been field research for a book I’m justnow figuring out how to write. And since all that angst contains potent story-juice, I kinda wanted to savor my rancor. That’s when I wake up with this peaceful easy feeling inside, knowing that whatever the News Gods demand of me, I’ll simply cough it up and scram. Great, now I have to write a gritty memoir while humming the theme to Mr. Rogers under my breath. What’s next, total enlightenment?

I’m not sure I need that right now.


Anonymous said...

Stew, as someone who has probably managed to assembled one of the larger collections of vintage photog-related publications...if you wrote a memoir under the influence of bitterness and angst - trust me, it would make for some real shitty reading.

turdpolisher said...

hey, i'm the shitty writer around here!

but really 'slinger, mr. rogers? i was hoping for at least a little chillipepper. if there's one thing you can be sure of in this business, you'll be back to pissing vinegar soon. trust me.

Hospital Dan said...

Keep the faith brother, just don't go wearing blue boat shoes and pulling a cardigan sweater out of the closet while singing.... ok ? neighbor..

Anonymous said...

Thanks man... and Amen. I needed this.


"Certainly, a good portion of my Zen-like tendencies stems from the fact that I (most often) work alone. What can I say - I like me better than you. "

arky said...

May I say I prefer the kinder, gentler Lenslinger? I actually stopped reading your blog regularly after the mercury finally busted through the top of my Snarkometer. Now I'm enjoying the place again. One dude's opinion.