Well it’s my birthday, literally today is my birthday, and so I wanted to give you a present. I’m 57 years old today, in case you were wondering. Frankly, because of some mental-health and past booze-related reasons I’m amazed and very happy to still be here. But that’s a story for another place and time.
Right, on to your gift.
2020 was a shitty year for many reasons, mostly the COVID-19 pandemic. I mean, my daily movements and social interactions were restricted, your daily movements and social interactions were restricted, we had more free time, more booze, more Netflix, less money, less security, and less hope. It was a big fucking mess that will hopefully come under rapid and compassionate control due to the leadership of our new president.
Anyway, what I did most of last year during my short trips outside my house to the supermarket, the pharmacy, and a few other essential places was take photographs of people in masks doing the same ordinary, essential stuff I was doing in our vastly-altered national circumstances.
And now I’ve made a book of my favorites of those photographs.
And, as with my last two books, I’m making it available to you for free. It’s full of both color and monochrome photos of folks in the same kinds of places doing the the same kinds of things you have been doing since this national disaster started in March, 2020.
I’d love to hear your comments or criticisms. You can unload on me about “It’s In Their Eyes” by leaving a comment on this post, or by contacting me via Facebook, or Twitter.
Thanks for having a look, and I hope you enjoy “It’s In Their Eyes”.
(Brisbane, California, January 21, 2021. See my other work here.)
My wife and I,
imprisoned with each other these past one million days,
decided on a Saturday morning
to hope in the car and go see the edge of the world.
(I meant ‘hop’ but the effect is the same.)
When we got there
I looked out
at the crest of the ocean,
the horizon it made,
and I wondered if
there were people in Japan
looking from their edge of the world
who couldn’t see me either.
My wife and I blew
the dreamers on Japanese coasts a kiss,
and laughed because we love
that the ocean is here
at the edge of the world
even though we rarely come to see it.
And then I thought
in 31 years
of bad careers, drink, and madness in California,
she has been my sun.
My sun more than the actual fucking Sun.
And all the bad
standing on the edge of the world with her.
in my life, in our lives,
was all worth enduring
to be able after 31 years
to stand at the edge of the world with her.
And I told her that.
And she kissed me.
And I knew, once again,
we would be okay.
(Photographed at Thornton Beach, Daly City, California in November, 2020. See my other work here.)
During the coronavirus panic I’ve been going out every day, mostly to my local grocery bodega here in Brisbane, California for cigarettes and Dr Pepper. And even though my town is literally right next to San Francisco, sharing a city and county line, folks here have been nice, calm, and collected. No freaking out or hysterical behavior, at least not that I’ve seen.
The lady in my photographs here is a good example. It was sunny and in the high 60s on March 19th when she came walking up the street while I was loitering in front of the grocery store having a smoke. I loved her lace dress and her glittery sandals, and asked her for a few photos.
And she cheerfully agreed. But as you can see in these photos and the complete sequence here, she took a moment to compose herself. But she looked kind of great doing it…
(Brisbane, California, March, 2020. See my other work here and here.)