b r e a t h i n g r o o m
4 Nov 97
OK Computer blaring from my stereo, which it still rules, as I get ready for the maid, no "cleaning service," to arrive. How boozh it makes us both feel, to hire out the maintenance of our home, and these days I start to wonder if I can really afford it, but the fundamental point is that we can't afford not to have it. We try to be the progressive ubercouple, but some of the male programming (to edit out clutter from the visual field, say) and the female (to take care of stuff silently) linger in our habits, our karma the buddhists would say. Hell, at least we're working on it.
My closest friend wrote a long thoughtful reply message to me when I begged her for feedback on this journal thing. Her reaction and questions, carefully considered, shook my confidence that this is even a good idea. I think it is, still, but it forced me to re-recall why I find it necessary to do this in public (if not with publicity). It's some kind of key to the honesty standard in my writing, and it has something to do with wedding the style of writing that occurs to me naturally when on-line with the need to remain mindful of and attentive to my surroundings, to note down, "capture" my close observations and natural turns of phrase, and hammer it all out into a long story, a.k.a, a novel.
Speaking of which, I parked my car near the on-ramp from MLK to 24 in north Oakland (or south Berkeley?) and made a second attempt at photographing the words ONLY WAY FREE stenciled onto the street. It's harder than it seems when you're driving over the signage at approaching freeway speeds. There must be 30 feet between each word, so the photo frame has to foreshorten the roadside dramatically, the result being that the text quickly converges on single-point perspective infinity, rendering ONLY quite tiny and left-leaning, WAY barely more visible (the paint is roadworn and no doubt invisible in places in the sunlight and shadow of my disposable-camera snaps), and FREE satisfying full-sized. I imagine I can twist the perspective in Photoshop and come up with something adequate, for now. For what? I don't even know: the frontispiece to the on-line presence of the novel? a cover suggestion for imaginary art directors at phantom publishing houses?
The truth is that the effect I was hoping to conjure is really cinematic. If I could make the words rolls by as they do through the windshield, or have a passenger take three successive snaps? That's it!
--Radiohead, "Karma Police"
Copyright © 1997