Something for Nothing

It’s been a trying week all around, with everyone seeming to want something for nothing. It kicked off with a dear friend and fellow artist dealing with folks trying to shortchange her because, well, she’s an artist, and making art isn’t work. Really now? We must be doing something wrong. This was promptly followed by a number of folks at my day job trying to a)scam the company with fraudulent discount cards, b)get discounts they didn’t qualify for, c)pass off phony bills, and in some cases d)all of the above…then wanting us to just let it slide when they got caught. Sorry, but no.

And then adding to the frustration, the settling of J’s estate. We bore the expense of having his collections professionally appraised because some of them are quite valuable (and with luck, enough to pay off those of his debts that weren’t discharged in death). One collection in particular is in the neighborhood of $10,000…and some brat still in diapers had the unmitigated gall to suggest that I should be grateful for his offer of $1,000 because his daddy said so. Excuse me…? If you’re old enough to even be thinking about spending that much money, you don’t need daddy to hold your hand and negotiate for you.

I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I’m really not. I’ve been seeing this ever since I was a kid, when the folks coming to our neighborhood yard sales would say $0.25 was too much to pay for a dress that would’ve cost $20.00 new. If I’m going to give something away, it’s darn well going to a charity (and hopefully to someone who needs it)…

 

Break my back on a 12-hour roll, just to make the rent

Screaming children, swearing clients hardly seem to make a dent

 

A dollar’s too much; can’t I have it for $0.25?

Or better yet, for free…?

 

Just because I’m an artist doesn’t mean I’m not worth it

A job’s a job, and I’m not that different from you

 

Why can’t I have yesterday’s discount today?

It’s not my fault I couldn’t get here on time

 

Rules are rules for a reason, even if they seem unfair

Giving you an extra $0.50 isn’t worth losing my job, thanks so much

 

You must only be here because you’re stupid.

 

No, actually.

Even having two degrees isn’t worth much when the economy tanks

 

But I’m special

 

So are we all

But your greed doesn’t make you stand out, just blend in

Life, in Boxes

ctsToday was an incredibly rough day as we finally laid to rest the brother of my heart, perhaps even more so than the night we received the call that he was gone. I tried distracting myself with The Hove International Blue Book (J loved his art-photography especially-more than anything except his family, and his collection of vintage cameras was the envy of many), only to discover that J was in fact seeker312, my online pen-friend for the past seven years. He’s probably kicking back in the afterlife, laughing his ass off that I never realized. And me? I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. We’d known each other over 20 years, how could I not have noticed that my dearest friend and one of the photographers I’d most admired were one and the same…?

 

A thousand books, at least as many DVDs:

Once they stretched along the shelves, wall to wall and floor to ceiling

Vintage cameras, a collection painstakingly assembled since childhood:

All neatly lined up behind glass

Sketchbooks and photographs too many to number,

Letters written and never sent…and now will never be

Memories of what once was, a life packed away in boxes,

Waiting for the day I can breathe again

Endings & Beginnings

l_30292202e8c8b35a4b33a99c84800d41The old year ended in fire, and in fire has the new year begun.

2016 was a year of devastation that left our small family reeling, culminating in the loss of a close family member and fellow author. Finding words can be incredibly difficult at times, but especially so in a situation such as this. Yet it is for that exact reason that I’ve begun this project now rather than waiting for another, ‘better’ time. Life is short, and there is no better time than now.

JWI 1978-2016