Sunday, July 11, 2010

self-portrait and wine

My daughters don't know what to make of a father with less sense than them. A curse. They reel and fret and call upon their mother to intervene on behalf of all things good and sensible.

But to no effect.

A while back I poured myself a glass of wine and brought it to the living room, which was brilliantly illuminated with evening summer light streaming in through the windows. Contrasts were sharp and dramatic. I set the glass of wine on the rug and grabbed my camera to take photos.

DAD!!! You're going to spill the wine and ruin the rug!!!

A warning which, naturally, led to my absolutely horrible on-the-spot rendition of Eric Burdon and War's Spill the Wine, a song which takes me back to high school. I was at Stevy Shanker's house preparing for an upcoming debate tournament. I didn't know Stevie all that well, but he had an older brother, which was kind of cool. We worked in the basement, and Sammy, the older brother came downstairs and put on this song. Then he made some cracks about reefer or weed and reggae. At that time I had tried neither weed nor wine, and I'm sure I thought reggae was a rated-R style of music. So it was all bells and whistles to me, but I did know that he was talking about something exotic and out-of-bounds, and that was cool. From a safe distance, of course. It was an adult moment, a rare one for me in high school.

Back to being an adult and exasperating my children. I brought my camera and took some photos of the wine being lit up by the light, but my mojo wasn't flowing. Probably because the wine was in the glass and not in my veins. So to jump-start the mojo, I decided to capture both the wine and eyeballs. I put the camera on the ground pointing up on the other side of the glass. I peered just over the edge the the glass so I could see the lens. I tried to position one of my eyes to capture the evening light. Once these pieces of the puzzles fit into place, I clicked. So you gots your wine and your eyeballs. Throughout it all, poor Eleanor was practically besides herself now, just convinced I'm going to spill the wine everywhere. I kind of ignored her and cooed and reassured her that there's no way I'd spill the wine ("I'm a pro," I said), without believing it myself.

I don't blame her; her concern makes perfect sense. Wine glasses should remain on tables or in the hand. We once hosted a sizable party and one of our guests put her glass of wine on the floor. I sort of fixated on that glass, just waiting for it to to fall.

It did.

Which leads me to note my only form of premonition. At least three times now in my life I have had had a premonition of a drink falling. Once wine, once diet coke, and once milk. The premonitions were vivid, realistic, and followed-up by the real thing within a few seconds of the premonition. There wasn't even time to worry about whether the vision would transpire. It's like it's already occured, and when the real thing happened it was nearly anti-climactic.

A different shot, this one converted to black and white.

Why don't I have premonitions about, say, what stocks will do in the future? A shame, really.


Andy D. said...

A. I'm thinking you didn't kind of ignore her. You basically completely ignored her. Blew her right the heck off, you did.

B. So you've had three intense premonitions in your life of a drink falling, experiencing that strong discomfort yourself, and then witnessing it coming to life. And you know what that's like. Yet then you totally blew her off. Mmmmmm-hmm?

C. What were you thinking not telling that party guest whats what. Putting wine on your floor - it's not right!

D. Nice photo.


shinigami-sidhe said...

The black and white rendition is far superior.

Incidentally, if you wish to distract people from some important speech or performance, leave a glass of liquid on the stage, on some podium or table where it appears perilously close to the edge. The audience will stare at the glass entranced, waiting for it to fall.

Claudia said...

Two things crack me up this morning:

"My daughters don't know what to make of a father with less sense than them."

The idea that Sam Schanker was talking about weed and reggae.

Nice photos. Like the difference in the eyeballs.

Steven Taylor said...

But his vulture's eye, of a cold pale blue, it's the eye of the Devil himself!

shinigami-sidhe said...

ST-I'm stealing your phrasing.

The eye of the devil is a pale blue eye
The pale blue eye of the vulture.
While the wine spills dry and the children cry
The eye still stares transfigured.

Anonymous said...

I need to you pay very close attention to what I am about to say. Because it is very important.

These. These. These are the best. The best. The best photos of eyeballs you have ever. Ever taken.

And while I can't say that they are my favorites of your self-portraits (the one in the green shirt where you're looking up from under your eyelashes rules for the moment) they're pretty freakin' high up there.