I don't think anyone knows how tired I am. I think I have tiredness in my bones instead of marrow.
I wish someone had asked me out for a drink to celebrate one year on the job on Nov 7. Surely people realized how momentous an anniversary it was. Don't they remember how bad it got? Perhaps they don't. Perhaps they didn't notice. After all, no one invited me out to celebrate getting the job in the first place. SH celebrates all anniversaries once a year. I missed the cutoff by one day. So there was no recognition at work either.
This afternoon I couldn't get the bolts loose to remove the table legs from my round table. It's been taken apart how many times now? Moved how many times? Although it was a good, solid table it was never meant to be taken apart and put back together again so many times. Worn and stripped, but still holding strong. I stood it right side up again to see if a different angle would make a difference to the bolts. I was kneeling under it, my knees screaming, and I thought there is absolutely no one in the world I can ask to come today or another day soon and get these goddamned bolts loose. No one. And if I take a pencil rubbing of a bolt for size and go to Ace Hardware for a better, more specific wrench, I will just have to put it together again in two weeks, and then do it all over again when I move again the next time. Perhaps if someone is such a freak as to not be able to maintain the shallowest of human relationships, perhaps that someone doesn't need a round wooden kitchen table. So I dragged it outside to the lobby and stuck a Free sign on it. I had had plans to give it a light sanding and paint the top once I knew what colors would be in the house. I liked that table.
The photography session at Steve Rouch Photography on Friday was bad. I assumed Buddha would look good and do fine at the appointment. I was going to be the problem. When we've done modeling in the past, Buddha has done well. He's interested but not so excited that the photographer can't do a thing with him. He enjoys the attention, I think. He responds well to people and assumes they like him. He's got good instincts. He's never been afraid of the flash or the big equipment. The photographers who did the shoot for the dog daycare chain last month said that Buddha was the best, most responsive dog they'd ever photographed. They loved him. And I saw it, too. I was very proud of him. Among other things, he stood on top of a fairly tall narrow fake wall in the studio and posed calmly as though he often stands on narrow walls set for no reason in the middle of big rooms he's never been in before. A trooper. Although he gets tired of me snapping pictures of him with my phone, he actually loves being photographed by professionals.
But it didn't work out at Steve Rouch Photography. Buddha didn't warm to Steve Rouch, although he greeted him when we first got there. At one point, we went outside in the little parking lot where there was a bench. Behind us, the white building wall had these lovely vines growing on it, with those tiny purple berries that are not blueberries. A lovely background, umpteen times better than the swirly artificial backgrounds Rouch had offered, all of which looked like the backgrounds they used for my annual school pictures back in the day. As soon as I saw the wall and the bench, I thought it would be great if Buddha sat beside me on the bench and leaned into me. I'd have my arm around him. We'd both smile at the camera. Perfect. Ugly Woman and Her Beautiful Slightly Graying Dog. But it didn't work out. Buddha didn't warm to Steve Rouch and, for the first time I've ever seen, just simply didn't shine. When we stopped after a few shots and went in to look at them on the screen, Buddha in all the shots was pulling away from me as if he was a dog who didn't like personal contact. It was bizarre. He's a leaner. He leans against your legs if you're standing, and he adores jumping up to sit where you're sitting and lean into you. If you're dense and don't understand that he wants to lean up against you with your arm around him, he will push himself between your side and your arm until your arm is around him. He does this to me on the couch, the maintenance men all make room for him on the seats of the little golf carts they drive around in, he joins total strangers on benches at the dog park, and, once when I couldn't find him at the big park, I realized I had looked right past him because he was seated under a tree with some guy's arm around him and my eye had just passed by the tableau because I assumed B was that guy's dog. Oddly enough, Steve Rouch thought these photos were good. I had to explain why it wasn't what I wanted. Odd that he didn't see that for himself, don't you think? Portrait of Hideously Ugly Woman and Dog Who Doesn't Want to Touch Her. Anyway, the appointment went on and on. Lots of shots. All mediocre, many really bad. Because I had said that Buddha looks cutest to me when he tips his muzzle slightly down (he looks more Malinois then, straight on he can look more Lab), nearly all of photos Rouch shot were sort of looking down on the two of us and the top of my glasses showed as a line neatly bisecting my eyes. My eyes are squinty and ugly anyway, but they don't usually have a bar running through them. I knew that I would be a horrifying sight in any photos, I never once dreamed that Buddha would look bad. Buddha! Buddha even looks good in the bad pictures I snap of him with my iPhone, with the sun in his eyes and all the other bad things I do. I don't know if I've ever seen a truly bad picture of Buddha. But I've seen them now. The guy's brochure and advertisements all show pictures he's taken of people and their dogs. I just assumed he could do it. But Buddha showed none of his usual enthusiasm. He didn't even act like himself. He kept wanting to leave. For a dog who LOVES to go in buildings, any buildings, and be with people, and check out all of their wastebaskets, and then make himself comfortable on their furniture, it just was very atypical behavior.
The sell was really hard, and repeated, which is what I'd suspected would happen but hoped would not be the case. Rouch, dressed in all black, who mentioned 7 times that he had studied with Ansel Adams--though later he said something about working for Century Camera in his early days and being sent to seminars--once he knew I was a writer, kept trying to barter photos for "formatting" his self-published books of short stories, etc. One of his menu items is to buy the whole CD of images for a set fee, and then they're all yours. After trying very hard to be polite and not say it, I finally had to say that there were not enough photos I liked on the CD to make it worth my while to barter for it. Far from wanting to buy all the images he'd shot, I was more inclined to say, "Well, thank you for trying. Nice to have met you."
An unpleasant experience that made me feel worse than when I had gone in. It seems like I can't do anything right. Unphotographable. Is that a word?