July 25th, 2004

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx


Maybe I need new glasses. The stars seem a bit too dim and blurry. Maybe it is merely summer haze. Risking tick bites, I lie on the grass for a while, feeling the warm night air enfold me. Part of the dipper sticks out from behind the pines. I become aware of being in this place at this moment. Most of the time, I am not aware of such things. I exist in the passing days and nights, see the trees and houses and sky, know that I see them, but maintain a sense of detachment from my own presence, almost as though I were remembering more than being. But for a moment, in this night, I turn solid, and sense the immediacy of the grass making my back itch and the crickets making not just sound but a physical vibration of my eardrums. It always surprises me when I become aware of my material existence. That the things around me are things, and that I can touch them or see them or hear them, I never question. But that it is I who have this experience is something I seldom think of. I think perhaps that I would like to be a ghost, and haunt the world, forever apart from it, as invisible to it as I usually am to myself.

These thoughts lead me to conclude that my brain has become fevered by the heat.

Tonight, the Edward Hopper painting called Sunday Morning has been popping into my head. I keep seeing the red brick facade, the heavy cornice, the empty windows, the long shadows, the deserted pavement. It is the first Hopper painting I remember seeing, though I saw it only in a small reproduction in a book. I was fascinated by it. It reminded me of something I couldn't quite identify. There is in that painting the massy palpability of the scene and a sense of utter vacancy, and the combination of the two is most disturbing, yet alluring. The unidentifiable thing in that picture is something I have always wanted and never found. The heat in my head is making me want it more than ever, but I don't think I'll ever find it. I think maybe it only ever existed in Hopper's imagination, and perhaps not consciously even there. I have come to see reality the way I see that painted scene; utterly familiar, yet impenetrable.

Yeah, that's definitely a fevered brain.

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rudisuhli_demon of love


It turns out that I do need new glasses. It's not just the prescription that needs changed, though. The frames of the reading glasses which I've had for a bit over two years (and without which Sluggo is virtually unusable) are falling apart. The other day, one of the silicon nose paddles came off, and I can't find it. Just now, the right lens popped out for no apparent reason. I looked closely (or as closely as I could without my reading glasses) and discovered that the frame had separated because the tiny screw which held it together had worked its way loose and gone walkabout. AWOL! Like the missing paddle, I can't find it anywhere.

Well. I'm wearing the old glasses now, and their prescription is several years out of date, so not very helpful. Since I wore them for many years, and their frames are still functional (though, I must admit, of a what the hell was I thinking when I bought these fashion), I have once again come face to blurry face with the optical industry's accelerating moral decay. Back when frames cost a fraction of what they do now, they lasted for untold years. The pair which just disintegrated on my face were priced at $130!

Anybody who wears glasses knows that frames are now more overpriced than just about anything other than athletes, movie stars and corporate CEOs- and maybe a Pentagon toilet seat. I'm wondering if it might be worth my while to buy a pair of cheap, mass produced sun glasses at Walgreen's, pop the lenses out, and have my optician fit my new prescription lenses to those frames. They couldn't possibly be any flimsier than the things he sells for far higher prices.


I'm getting eyestrain from the obsolete substitutes, so I must end my rant. And I was enjoying it so much!