September 3, 2007

Recording As I Go

The Main Entrance sign. 2007.

August 31, 2007
These last two homestands, I take my camera with me again and document parts of the ball park that I might have missed on previous passes. Sometimes my lense catches bits of wall, bits of branches blocking my views, and later I will have to go back and shoot that view again. Once in a while, I get a good shot.

No, I have no idea why I am obsessively photographing my surroundings, but it’s much like the documentation of my days. It’s there; I do it. Perhaps I do it because my memory is so very damaged, or perhaps I do it because this recording has become so much a part of me now that I cannot imagine my life without a pen or camera in hand. It’s my art.

Long ago, Wife Number 2, Tee, suggested I keep a journal. Slowly I inched my way into journaling first sketching and only later adding contents so tentatively that the earliest journals seem only to have captions among the doodles. Slowly too, the format evolved from loose leaf sketchbooks, through hard bound sketchbooks, to loose leaf, three ring binders. Now days everything is loose in archival boxes. Simplicity. If something is going to rot in there, rot it can. I make a disc of the copy and drop it in too. Perhaps I should include a disc of each year’s photographs too saving the total years recording in one place.

Distance does not capture the rush of water down the stairs, down the wall. Distance misses the sound of the water falling. 2007.

Another six months of baseball is drawing to a close. I document the building and the workers, but I don’t photograph the players that come in my gate. Perhaps I feel it’s a violation……of my job, or their privacy when they have so little.

The main Ticket Booth Plaza. 2007.

I won’t miss the repetitiveness of my job though.

“Where’s Will Call?” They ask as they run on by me not stopping to hear my answer.

I answer anyway, politely even, though at times I am tempted to lower my voice to a whisper. “Go to the corner, turn to the right, and go half way down the building.” I wave my arms enthusiastically careful not to hit anyone in the face. I did that once. I hit the gate Captain in the nose. Now I look first. Somehow these arm waves make me feel as if I am accomplishing something.

He used to drive a tank. Driving a Zamboni is nothing to that. 2007.

Perhaps documenting the details of my job make it seem more than just the mundane. Perhaps finding a tank driver among the corners, finding a dog with my name, finding a mother in AA and a still-using son among the workers, finding family with three jobs and three kids at every game makes me seem as if I am more if I record their days. Daily it seems more important that I write of their days too.

Me: Turned the water on just as I was leaving so I was able to flush, and start the washing machine. I continued better after downing six bottles of water. Padres lost this last one despite a last minute rally. It was a heck of a fight.

G: Spent the day on the phone again. Told me he had cauliflower ear. He’s such a dear. And coming to the game today too.

Duck: Wednesday he told G he was working on a needlepoint, but he’d laid it down and forgotten where he left it. Thursday was a very bad day. He tried to get out the front door again to get to his “apartment,” and was turned around with difficulty by the receptionist. He had a moment of frightening clarity last night. “Is this really where I belong,” he asked G for he remembered going totally blank mentally the day before. G reassured him that he belonged where he was. This makes us both so very sad.

Bee says her mother has moments of lucidity like this, but Ba says her mother happily slid into forgetting everything.

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