It is summer here already. The days grow cloudy and muggy by early afternoon so that you do not want to do anything but drink some wine and take a nap. That is what I did yesterday. You have to do that because you cannot sleep at night. The air conditioner runs, but there is something other than temperature and humidity. You can feel what lies beyond the cool walls. It is out there, but it is in "here," too.
And so we begin the season that makes southerners famously lazy. And mad. The heat will drive you batshit crazy. Read your Faulkner and his sons and daughters. The south is a dangerous place in summer.
I tried to get everything ready and am still trying before the rains come. But I do not have the new lumber for my deck. The lumber that is to go back sits in the driveway getting ruined. I asked the lumberyard to take it back more than ten days ago. My buddy says they are not going to refund my money. I don't want that to be true, but deep down I think he might be right. So while I wait on wood to finish the deck, I work in the yard. The jasmine bed has gotten weedy, weeds growing faster than jasmine, and I have weeded and weeded for hours. There are hours more to go. But the potted plants look good and the herbs are thriving and people stop as they walk by to comment. They are, I believe, relieved. And finally, after I cut the ligustrum back to nothing, there are hundreds of tiny, tender green leaves emerging from the woody branches. I water them like crazy. That seems to be the key.
Now it is time to change my diet. I must go on the low cal fresco diet with lots of fluids that are not alcohol. I must slim down. I went to see "Papa Hemingway in Cuba" yesterday afternoon. It was too muggy to do anything else, and though the movie got mediocre to bad reviews, I wanted to see it. And much to my surprise, I found it a very accurate and likable film. It is not great but it is not bad, and I was impressed that they didn't sacrifice any true things for dramatic effect.
The most disturbing thing, though, is that I have grown to look like the Hemingway you see in the film. I mean I have gotten thick. And though you can wear that well if you don't mind--I mind. Ili says I'm crazy, but I have a mirror in the bathroom. And so I will cut my alcohol consumption in half or more and make certain I get more aerobic activity. It is easy, right? Oh, hell yes.
I took today's picture with my iPhone at lunch yesterday. It shows my new Summicron 50mm lens (and the Summicron 35mm, too). I have now replaced the film Leica equipment that was stolen from me. It makes me happy. But not complete. I want another digital M, too. I am considering. There are many options and no cheap ones.
The True Artist called me two days ago. The new landlord at the old studio did what I thought he would do. The Artist got a letter in the mail informing him that he would have to sign a year's lease if he wanted to stay in his studio--for four times the rent he is currently paying. So, he is out. And sad, as I was, but I am in a bind. My big printer has been at his place since I moved out, and now I have to make a decision. I could list it on Craigslist or I could bring it home. I don't have any room for it in the house unless I get rid of some things in the study. I started going through the drawers in the antique lawyers cabinet yesterday to see if I could consolidate enough to get rid of it. I have far too many pictures, and yesterday I threw away bagfuls of my old life. I retained the negatives but got rid of the 4x6 prints. It was painful. I don't know what else to do. I will have to decide what to do with all the Polaroids from the studio that are stored in a big four by six foot cabinet. Thousands. No, tens of thousands.
I don't know what I will do, truly, but I am miserable without the studio. The place was half the size of my home. It was a life raft, a place to which I could run away. I need a place to work, and I need a place for storage. Lots of needs--and even more desires.