Some of you will find what I'm about to say beyond comprehension while others may find it impossibly clich?. On New Year's Eve I realized that almost everything around me is a distraction from some ultimate reality and that social constructions such as New Year's Eve parties only result in undue stress on my life. You see I never, ever, ever, no not even once; have had a "Happy New Year."
It started out well enough with a party downtown. Everyone was eating, drinking and being merry. I felt that this would finally be the year that I would have a good New Year's Eve with my friends. In fact we did make it past midnight without a hitch until I somehow, somewhere, lost my fianc?e's digital camera. We had taken so many great pictures that night and the camera had been passed around to different hands during the night. The last time I remember having the camera in my possession we had taken more than 70 pictures. I wonder who has them now? Maybe it's a bum who pawned the camera and threw away the compact flash card. Or perhaps the pictures are all over some random person's webpage.
It's funny how the loss of a little camera can ruin an entire evening. I hate to lose things. I check constantly to make sure my wallet and keys are still in my pocket and that I know where everything is. Every night before bed I gather all my camera equipment, my laptop, keys, and wallet all together so I don't have to hunt for them in the morning. If one battery charger or camera accessory is unaccounted for my whole day could go right down the tubes. Everyone has probably "misplaced" their keys at some time or another, so you know the feeling. You're already running late, you're walking out the door and - oops, where are the keys?
Recently, I saw the film "The Aviator" about the eccentric Howard Hughes. I mention this because I share the man's affinity for the desert. He sums it up in a word: "Clean." In the desert there is no clutter and no mess but plenty of open space. I would like to have a place in the desert, with a room and drawer for every little thing imaginable. And with small clearly printed labels too. Nothing would be lost. I thought of the wide-openess of the desert as I moved through crowded rooms filled with "could-be" thieves, and dark recesses of the bar hopelessly searching for the camera.
Getting back to the beginning about distractions and ultimate reality, I just think it's unfortunate that losing inanimate objects can cause so much strife in our lives when life itself is so precious. And the more we amass in life, the more likely we are to lose some of it. That goes for all the people you meet as well.
But as my editor suggested, the real issue here is that from drinking and partying on New Year's Eve, my judgment was clearly impaired from its normal "obsessive-compulsive" state; and that's probably why the camera was lost. Or maybe the camera just grew legs and went to the bar to wet its whistle, too.
Zach Porter is a photographer for the News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 or firstname.lastname@example.org