Utopia Man: There is something you want to ask me?

Me: Yes, I noticed you put a 3 month directive on Google for ‘no activity’. That’s when they delete everything. What drove that decision?

Utopia Man: Well, let’s face it, we are by ourselves. So we can’t count on anyone to caretake or delete, whatever, after. And as an Aquarian, we can look at an issue emotionally and dispassionately all at once. We are good at that.

Me: Well, that’s true but you don’t actually believe in all that horoscopy-mumbo-jumbo, do you?

Utopia Man: Well, if the shoe fits, wear it, I’d say and that is one area the horoscopy-mumbo-jumbo, as you call it, has correct.

Me: OK, I’ll admit there is something to that. But let’s get back to the issue at hand. What do you really think?

Utopia Man: Well, we all are waiting, no matter. That is part of life and when we look at that honestly we realize that very little matters but what does matter is immeasurably important. So love matters, happiness matters, not much else.

Me: Well, no argument about love but happiness? I don’t see very many happy people.

Utopia Man: Well, maybe ‘happy’ conveys the wrong message, I mean to be moderate in your emotions and not be sad, angry or hurt. And if we are stuck in negative emotions which we all experience, some of us profoundly, find someone or some way to bring yourself out of being stuck.

Btw, not seeing happy people does not make us sad but creates a moment of wonder (as in wondering why not?) at least for us.

Me: So tell everyone what made us ‘not sad, angry or hurt’ today, what made us happy.

Utopia Man: OK, but no interruptions, no questions after. Is that a deal?

Me: Uh, sure, OK.

Utopia Man: So, this morning we exit the bus on Franklin to walk home (2.4 miles later!!!!!) and when rain commenced we scooted under a nicely leafy tree and another man came right after us. We chatted, as sociable people do, you know, Americans over about 50 or under 30. I don’t know what’s wrong with those in between but that is another story. Yes, I see you nodding in agreement but no interruptions!

Anyway, after the shower we continue down Rampart (never St. Claude for pleasure) and take a picture (with our phone) of a sign to a community garden (our camera was in a plastic bag due to rain) and the man we were chatting with had caught up to us and invited us in. That is where he was going. So we look around and we chat some more and leave, not wearing out our welcome. As we walk down the street we see some chalk art that we photograph, having our camera un-bagged by this time. The sign was a message and the chalk art, confirmation, if one looks at things that way.

We continue on and see a man picking up litter in the street. We comment in passing that it would be a full-time job in New Orleans (or anywhere, really) and end up talking for maybe 10 minutes. Then he invites us to see his apartment in a just remodelled, sectioned-off house which we are standing in front of. We look and chat maybe 15 minutes, then leave. We also understand why he picks up the litter because he has this lovely balcony to sit on and of course the litter would be visible. He would have to pick it up or learn to ignore it, one of the two. He also overlooks an empty lot that is filled with green, including a lovely tree right up front.

After this we continue home, stopping at the fruit stand and Chicken Mart and talking to George in the barber shop (which is downstairs from our apartment) for another 10 or 15 minutes.

So, while there is plenty to be sad about, to be angry or hurt, to grieve about in life; there are simple pleasures too. You just have to be open to them. You just have to let them in.

Me: Ah-

Utopia Man: No questions! You agreed. It has been said all photography is personal and we talked to two people we don’t know and we have two photos, if you see the parallel. A message and a confirmation, really.