Radler is a mixture of beer and juice, often lemonade. It is good in summer. There will be days you put two cans of it in your backpack along with your stuff and when you get where you are going one can will still have Radler in it, the other will be completely empty, and when you unpack only a little liquid will trickle out of your pack, the rest having been absorbed by Richard Powers’ “Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance”, a loose wine-colored necktie and your Slovenian wooden pinhole camera. Your laptop will be dry and you will understand that your pack is waterproof inside and out.
There will be days when you will have removed the stickiness from your pinhole camera although it will possibly still be slightly warped, anyway that is the best explanation for the film advance turning so hard, that being an early fall day warm and gloriously sunny and free of all obligations you will decide to take a walk and shoot a roll of film because Facebook served you a memory consisting of a surprisingly pretty image you had taken with a different pinhole camera 5 years ago and you had thought, why did I ever stop? What happened?
Life will have happened.
And you will see so many things on this day.
A black shopping cart on its side at the edge of a field with a few empty, crushed cans of Wieselburger beer inside, beside a pile of scrapped streetlights. What visual opportunities just in that one place – broad, blue sky full of condensation trails; reflective irregular convex and concave shapes of the dented streetlights, the angular wire shapes of the shopping cart, the expanse of the field.
Walking along the street you will see a footpath into the woods and you will follow that and the path will split and split until you get tired of making Robert Frost jokes to yourself, or trying to, or thinking, “there ought to be a Robert Frost joke in this.” You will walk through brush into a thicker stand of trees that have, all standing slender and tall and crowded, an eerie effect on your sense of perspective and then you will see it: a mysterious structure built of dead limbs stacked into walls. And walking closer to examine it, careful not to disturb possible inhabitants, you will notice a dozen other such structures scattered through that section of the woods, some built like this one, others made of limbs standing vertically, leaned together into teepee shapes, another just several limbs suspended horizontally from ropes.
The eeriness of this dark place on such a sunny day will feed your soul like a big hamburger. You might not have realized you needed it but you will.
After walking around taking pictures with your telephone and your pinhole camera, you will crawl into one of the structures to take more pictures from the inside.
You will hear people walking past outside and realize how they might react if they walk closer and see you inside, lookin a bit wild, or if you climb out right when they pass but you will keep quiet and they will finally pass far enough away that they will not see you.
And when you, full of eeriness, make your exit from the eldritch grove of the lost architects, a bunch of people with alpacas on leashes will walk past.
Then you will go buy take out bulgogi bao at a shop named PingPong but the descenders on the Ps will be very short on the sign so that you think “DingDong, what?” when you see it but whatever. After the hamburger for your soul in the woods you will now have hamburgers for your body, and while you wait you can have a glass of beer too if you want.
There will be days, this I can guarantee.
And when you leave the restaurant you can pause at the fountain you like so much and listen to the water trickle.