It took a while to actually write about this, it’s a grief thing.
My mother is a woman, in case you were wondering. I only mention this because I have pin-pointed a few traits that are extremely common around women but not often found in men. For instance:
1) Women hold grudges, I noticed this from my dating life, but it really hit me when I was teaching. Women will hate each other forever. When you’re a teacher it means you have to watch the girls like a hawk. Now I’m not saying some men don’t hold grudges, but they tend to drop them after a little while. Women will continue to hate even in the off chance that they have forgotten the reason why they hate each other.
2) Women have memories like steel traps–jagged steel traps. They will remember EVERYTHING you have ever done wrong in your entire life & when they get mad they won’t hesitate in bringing it up. My Mom still yells at me for shit that I did in elementary school when I was a kid & I had a fair few girlfriends who, when mad, would arm themselves with shit that I did wrong that I didn’t even know about.
This, incidentally, is the reason I don’t want a woman as president of the US, or any other head of state that controls nuclear weapons. Between the grudges & memories you know that might cause a potential fall out. Shit, I’ve spent nights on the couch & had absolutely no idea why.
3) Women notice a LOT of things that men don’t but there is a pretty good trade off. For all the millions of things women notice, shoes, emotions you never had, thought’s that never crossed your mind, flaws in herself & other women that no one else would ever think twice about, there are two things that women NEVER seem to notice the first is reading. Women never notice that you are trying to read something, or watch something (if you’re not a reader) & the other is work. There can be a lot of shit going on around them, but if they aren’t directly involved, they don’t seem to notice.
This is the reason why I lost every picture I had taken between 1994 & 2012.
It was partly my fault. I had lost a job & cutbacks were needed. I was unable to pay for the cloud storage so I downloaded about 2 Terabytes of pictures, that’s with a “T,” onto an external hard drive. It happened when I moved back into this house…whenever I posted my first blog….maybe a month ago.
These are the way things happen. If something bad is going to happen to me it is generally a worst case scenario type of bad. My dad thinks I’m too negative about the things in my life, but then these things still happen with hideous frequency.
Dave the Indian (feather not dot) who helped me move dropped the hard drive. It wasn’t his fault. It was in a shelf that he was carrying along with webcams, microphones, digital tape recorders, keyboards, & the other miscellaneous bull shit.
Mom hadn’t realized that with arms full of boxes it’s hard to see, & had decided that “since we weren’t busy” she’d throw a bunch of bull shit on the landing so we can take it down with us. She hadn’t bothered to tell us, and just threw it in our path & went back into her room to watch that horribly heartless & self-centered ego maniac Nancy Grace.
Dave tripped over it. I can’t really blame Dave, he had no idea the shit had suddenly appeared on the landing (& he was helping me move). I can’t blame mom, because she & dad won’t let me even point out how stupid & dangerous that was, let alone mention how the Injun almost cracked his head open. The blame goes on me, I should have been watching what my parents were doing while I was moving. So it goes.
I got my first camera, an old Canon AE-1 when I was 14. You don’t take very good pictures when you are 14 & learning how to use a manual camera. But by the time you turn 16, if you stick with it, you’ve gotten pretty good.
When we were 17, three & my friends & I had Steph (an ex-girlfriend who worked in the office at the high school) write type up a permission slip for a fake two week model UN camp. We used it as an excuse to, between out junior & senior years, drive out to Austin Texas. Two weeks sleeping in a piece-of-shit car with your friends brings makes you all pretty close. We still see each other regularly. That entire road trip is gone.
I have four pictures left of the trip where I drove my father out to Estes Park so he could finally see the Rocky Mountains. That’s all, just four, one of them is posted above.
I have three photos left of the two weeks Lauren & I spent roaming around Northern Michigan & Wisconsin.
I only have about six pictures of my beloved Savannah left, on one of my trips with an ex. It was the last time I was down there, it sort of sucks that I have none of my first trip to that hauntingly beautiful city.
The first time I went to Europe is gone, so is the second, but thankfully, I still have my last trip.
Israel is gone. I know Iran has been talking about doing that for a while, but a simple & avoidable accident did a good enough job of wiping it off the face of my hard drive.
All of High School is gone, so is college, so are the pictures I took when I was occupying Wall Street, & the pictures of that first enormous anti-war protest on Michigan Avenue. The pictures I took when I went up to the Wisconsin protests. The pictures I took out in Frisco when the protest turned into a riot. The college protests in Montreal are gone. The Code Pink protest in DC. All of those are gone. My entire political life. Bye-bye.
The pictures of my Nephew in the hospital the day he was born are gone. His baptism is gone. The entire first year of his life is gone. Now all we have left are a few random pics & the snap shots my sister took with her cell phone.
Nate, Matt, Alex, & I, the camera dorks, used to do this thing called “Guerrilla Photography” when we were in high school & college. We’d wait until the city got dark & walk around with 200 speed film & nothing but our fixed fifties. No flash, no tripod, no cable release. The winner, the guy with the best pictures, drank for free on Thursday. Those are all gone.
The sunset contest, was daily four-year contest hosted yearly between the months of October & March from 2001-2007, was a disgustingly repetitive affair when Matt, Nate & I noticed we passed the same water tower at sunset every day. I had millions of pictures of the sun setting behind that water tower. They are all gone.
All the weddings I shot to help pay my way through college are gone, so are all of the portraits, & the assorted commercial photography. All gone.
The high school parties are gone. However I am sure more than a few girlfriends are happy some of those pictures are gone forever.
It’s a hard thing dealing with this much loss. My entire life’s work is gone. It’s really depressing. I’m going through the same emotions I felt when my dog died.
I’m sure I’ll ramble on some more in my life, but that high school trip when we were young & stupid & should have gone to jail for a fair number of things is gone forever. So is that wonderful camping trip I took with the art major, & the weekend in St. Louis hitting up Jazz bars, that’s gone too. It’s like a large part of my life died when that hard drive broke.