Monday, January 18, 2010

Subway Violins

Okay, I'm aggravated. I drop off a roll of film today at one of my film joints. It's the one that I'm now the least inclined to use, yet it's the closest to where I live. The person there says I can pick up my negatives at 6:30pm.

I pop in at 6:30, looking forward to having some new shots to put up here and they tell me that their black and white machine was on the fritz again. I'd have to wait until 3:30 the next day. I'm pretty gosh darn miffed.

As I get older, I'm less inclined to make excuses if I come up short in life. My father told me a story about how when he was a young man, he was supposed to make some parts at his factory for a client. The machine broke, and when he told the client that the parts wouldn't be there on time, the client said, "That's not my problem. If you say you're going to get something done, you do it." I'm not sure if that's exactly what the guy said, but it really resonated with my dad and the story has resonated with me too.

Sometimes, people are shocked when you don't give them an excuse. I was late to something at school, and the person who was expecting me asked in a stern voice, "Why are you late?"

I looked at her and almost laughing said, "because I'm late, that's why." No obvious excuses about subways or some such nonsense. Hell, the reason I was late was simply because I didn't feel like showing up on time. People forget that the excuse doesn't change the outcome, and I wasn't going to apologize for my tardiness. I just didn't care.

I could have taken the film back from them. I could have taken it somewhere else tomorrow just out of spite, somewhere else that could also have it done in the same day. So why didn't I take it somewhere else in the first place? Well, somewhere else wasn't in the direction of today's wanderings, and even though this place is now the lowest on my list for joints to bring film to, they are nice people, even if I'm really perturbed at the moment. Like what if I was some kind of journalist and actually needed those negatives? Well, if I were some kind of journalist I'd be using a DSLR, so I guess that's a moot point.

Okay, enough venting. Here's a shot from circa 1999-2001. It's in the tunnel connecting the uptown Port Authority to the subway station. You know, I probably didn't even give the guy a buck after taking his picture. Today, at least I have a slush fund ready to grease people for taking their photographs.

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