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January 23, 2001
Vignettes


1994: I don't think he was dead, but I didn't check, so I can't tell you for sure. In all likelihood he was enjoying a rare warm day in a city notorious for its chilly summers, his face and body pressed against the pavement.

He would have been a little more comfortable on a bench, perhaps, but I think it was right around then that the City of San Francisco took care of this problem by inventing those benches that are only good for sitting upright like well-off zombies.

And all was okely dokely with the world, with citizens saved from encountering something most unpleasant while looking for a midday breather in the pursuit of their manifest destiny.

Out of luck in San Francisco, August 1994

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2001, 1996: Sunday's fox-mating "documentary" spurred a discussion with Nancy (and she wasn't the only one who responded -- since people don't write to me all that often, I think I've discovered the subject matter to bring back were I ever to crave emails) over how we've been pushing wildlife away around here. I should tell everyone that I saw a third fox within minutes of photographing the now-immortal couple, and there's a chance a colony of foxes inhabits Hains Point. If so, they're lucky it's an area that is not frequented by a lot of tourists, but a couple of popular monuments are so close that I'm afraid ultimately they may not fare so well compared to other wildlife living in the relative safety of our Rock Creek Park.

A golf course, that's as sterile as you can get, forget about cover once golfers start flooding back in. I hope they (the foxes) are a resilient bunch.

When Nancy brought up dead foxes on the road (roadkill is a constant reminder of our trespass around here) I said to myself, "I've never hit an animal," but then I thought, what about Nevada? At night you're driving back to your hotel, you're exhausted from all the stupid meaningless work you did during the day, the storms chasing you across the state, and you're thinking of nothing but swallowing those miles because tomorrow will be just another day you have to get up early for, the road is empty and like a straight line across the desert anyway, and suddenly in your headlights, those rabbits with their enormous ears. They would appear and disappear in a flash, you would think you imagined it, and then there'd be another one sitting in the middle of the road. They were fast, super-fast, but I wonder if some didn't get away fast enough.

Hard to tell, while cutting through in such a hurry; and damn SUVs (we had to rent them to "get the job done"), you don't hear a thing, I'm sure that a selling point. We shouldn't have been there at all; I think the desert would manage quite nicely on its own.

Martian moonrise in Nevada, 1996

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Bill Cobbs headshotspace1992: I came out of Penn Camera one day around sundown. Looking down E Street, I saw that the moon was rising from behind a row of buildings slated for demolition (is it E of F? Across from the FBI building, that would be... oh, F it! Whatever). I stood there for a minute, enjoying the colors, and then, from the direction of the moon, perhaps a couple of blocks away, came a loud bang. I looked around, seeking confirmation, and a man (who looked and sounded like the excellent character actor Bill Cobbs) caught my eye as he was passing me by.

"Yep, gunshot!" he said, smiling.

And kept walking toward the moon.

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1992: Winter. 15th Street, around the corner from the White House. We were all rushing, about ten thousand of us, and if you set up a time exposure the street would come out as a blur, with only one person standing out, because she stood absolutely still. It was a woman, small, in her 60s perhaps, white/tobacco yellow hair, pink-red face in the cold, leaning on a walker with her right hand, her left outstretched. Her lips moved from time to time.

"Can you give?" she said. Then swallowed, and said it again.

The economic boom was about to begin, but Alice didn't know.

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Upcoming vignettes: The Masturbatory Friend; "No Refunds"; The Coup; and others. Stay tuned.

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All text and images © Aziz Gökdemir's Archive unless otherwise indicated or credited.
The current banner photo appeared briefly on the journal menu page last month. A non-watercolor version can be seen in an October entry (18th). It was taken in Ouranopouli, Greece, on October 3, 2000.
Bill Cobbs photo found on the Web; copyright information not given.


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