Posts in Category: Kids

The laundromat is a lovely-shiny-golden human place.

My wife and I live in an 88-year-old house which has never been adequately retrofitted to accommodate the installation of a washer and dryer for laundry. We’re slowly setting aside the cash to one day solve that problem, but in the meantime once or twice a month we schlep our dirty duds to a local laundromat. Now, you’ll get no argument from me that the process of driving (or walking) five or six pillow cases full of laundry to the laundromat then spending two or more hours washing, drying, and folding your wardrobe is basically a pain in the ass.

It is, particularly if the laundromat is crowded and you have to wait for dryers. So, yes, laundromats are as mundane as a library card. But they’re also rich, warm places in which to be in the thick of humanity’s ebb and flow. At least the one I use is. And yesterday, the last Monday in September, was a very rewarding day for me as a photographer washing socks and capturing human moments at the laundromat…

MarinaAndAngelina 2-4

Tiny twin girls, who were as adorable as their big, burly father was good-natured and easy with a laugh. I learned what a easy-going fellow he was when I asked his permission to take this photograph.

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MilesChihuahua 3-2

Miles the laid-back Chihuahua, in the arms of his primary human and receiving loads of adoration from his fan club on the left.

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EdgarAndMarsha 2-3

Edgar the relaxed Malamute, with a nice lady who coincidentally is the mother-in-law of a friend of mine. The lady rescued Edgar from a Malamute breeder who beat him the first two years of his life and kept him in a small cage with ten other dogs.

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BrendaHasCancer 1-1

This is Brenda. She’s 72 and undergoing cancer chemotherapy for the first time in her life. She just started the chemo, that very morning in fact, but won’t know if it takes until some time this November. She’s happy to be getting treatment, because the cancer was making her very sick. She’s originally from North Carolina, but she and her man are moving to San Diego to settle while Brenda undergoes further cancer treatments. Her pink ribbon hat caught my eye, but her candor and aura of optimism and hope held my attention.

At the laundromat, there’s always more life and hope and joy and pain than you think.

(Super Coin Laundry, Brisbane, California, September 2017)

The Sky

It rained a little bit this morning.
Not much,
just a few enlarged drops,
smacking the hood of my car.
Just enough rain
for the sky to
let the Earth know
that the Sky can kill it
anytime it wants.

MidtownBrisbane 708-1
But the Sky keeps the Earth around
like that coaster on the dining room table,
the coaster you got in Vegas
when you were just drunk enough
to win $100 on video poker.
It cost you $200
to win that $100,
and that’s how the Sky feels about the Earth.
We banish it
and frustrate it
and fill it with
our piss
and our vinegar.
The Sky is not our cloud atlas,
(The Sky really hated that book)
and it is not the take-away menu
at your corner dipshit combini.
The Sky is
your beauty and your love.
The Sky is
the only way you’ll ever get to Mars.
The Sky is
a chest of drawers full of only bright things,
marvelous things,
things of silk and satin and Japanese whimsy.
The Sky
is your mother
and your father
and we are rather cross with you right now
and need you to knock that shit off.

My wife is in the hospital on her birthday…

She entered the hospital last night, for an ailment that is hers to disclose. Not life-threatening, but perhaps life-changing. She’s the best person I’ve ever known, so it was agony to see her writhing and shifting for hours in emergency room pain. I would have taken that nerve-lashing unto myself if I could.

And today is her 63rd birthday. I should be making her a favorite dinner, but she’s in a hospital bed on Opiate Street. “Time’s passing so slow” morphine-she said to me this morning. We both have less time than we used to have, but its savory quality has increased as we’ve aged.

I could’ve grown old with myself. I will likely grow old longer because of her. Not knowing what to do, and being a poor hospital tourist, I took some photographs when my wife didn’t need my attention. There will likely be more; but on her birthday when she can eat no cake on the inpatient ward, these will do…

KaiserMyBaby 2-4

The admitting technician was a fine fellow of compassionate demeanor.

Sunday night at Kaiser, South San Francisco, California 2016

A dinosaur-child in the hallway as my wife was moved from the ER to her room.

KaiserMyBaby 012-2

No names on the screen means no pain in a hallway for healing professionals.

KaiserMyBaby 017-1

She’s in bed and waiting, and monitoring time.

Kaiser Permanente, South San Francisco, California 2017

Contrasts

Roll the beach

Sometimes

when you drive by the beach

you see big bastard machines

and boys on skateboards

and

you don’t know if

Ocean Beach, San Francisco 2016

one is going to crush the other

but you figure

what the hell

you might as well stop

have a look

and wait to find out.

(Erosion control @ Ocean Beach, San Francisco 2016. This photo is also on Flickr.)

Agitated schoolboy

It was a dark morning in Tokyo and had been raining for most of the night. On my way to a Ministop convenience store to buy some natto maki and an egg salad sandwich for breakfast, I spotted this kid who was dragging a huge cooler through the rainy streets.

TokyoDay7 005-1

We were headed the same way so I ended up following him for several hundred yards. Pulling the cooler while juggling the umbrella and huge shoulder bag made the kid stop a few times to redistribute and manage his burdens. Finally while passing a small park he stopped long enough for me to take his picture. I was also going to offer to help him schlep the cooler to wherever he was going.

But when he saw me as I snapped this photograph he barked a string of Japanese words which included “no way” and “foreigner”, and I knew immediately that there was no point in trying to offer my help.

Hydrangea Park (あじさい公園), Nakano, Tokyo 2015

(Hydrangea Park, Nakano, Tokyo 2015)

One need not catch them all

I’m not a fan of the Pokémon franchise, I don’t play the mobile game, and don’t intend to start doing so. Still, without even trying at all I encountered a lively, free-range Pokémon whilst he was buying afterschool snacks at my local grocery store…

Brisbane RAW 980-1

(Midtown Market, Brisbane, California 2016. Also published on Scholars & Rogues.)

From the Chūō Line I have seen the face of Dog

If you regularly take the Chūō Line from Shinjuku towards points west, you may have seen this face. It overlooks a playground at a school for little kids. I’ve wanted a picture of this place for years, so last October I walked from Nakano Station towards Shinjuku and found it.

I like to think there are many concrete gods in Tokyo, and they regard this wall here as their beloved pet…

Nakano 6-chome, Tokyo 2015

(Nakano 6-chome, Tokyo 2015)

Incongruous mouthfuls

She was chewing on French pastry, he had her pacifier in his mouth. I’m not a dad so I don’t know how these things work, but the incongruity of it was surprising and delightful…

Brisbane RAW 8070-1

(Midtown Market, Brisbane, California 2016. Published with additional commentary on Scholars and Rogues.)

Determination

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