Monday, February 18, 2013

Adding Chocolate to the Ritual, Part 5

And there he was. Elsa, lifted her camera, aimed it away from him, and looked through the lens. Then she adjusted some things, looked at the camera as if it weren't working just right and put it back onto her lap.

What she'd done was adjust the focus for something that was about the same distance away as he was. In the time she'd looked through the camera, she'd managed to adjust the light. She sat with the camera in her lap, casually looking at him through her eyelashes, her head tilted back as if to absorb the winter sun, and clicked the shutter multiple times. He was moving out of focus too fast, she thought. She shifted the camera setting to automatic, adjusted the direction of the lens, and took another dozen shots. It was exhilarating, this quiet way of catching things in action. The shots would look like a silent film when she went back to look at them.

'Thank God for digital,' she thought. She could take as many photos as she wanted and delete the bad ones. Dad's days of running through four rolls of film in a two-hour jaunt were over. Once he'd bought the Canon, the use of it was free. He had loved that camera.

She leaned her face toward the sun again, taking shots without even looking.

"Why are you taking pictures of that man and his dog?"

Elsa nearly jumped off the bench. She juggled Dad's camera for a minute before remembering she wore the long strap around her neck that kept it from falling. She looked at the interloper, the man who sat on the bench near her, and at the dog, the labradoodle she'd been focused on.

She waited before she answered him, still staring in the distance at the dog. This was a little bit too much silence, she thought. That might send him away, she thought, but it didn't. Then the big brown labradoodle dragged his owner toward a man wearing a suit and sniffed his shoes. Elsa went back to clicking the shutter. The suited man bent over to pet the dog and just then, he lifted his leg and peed all over the man's shoes.

"That's why," she said without looking at him.

Her interloper sitting on her bench laughed out loud, something between a snort and a bark. She liked the way this man laughed. She smiled quietly. She would let him sit on her bench a minute longer before she got up and walked away.

Thank you for listening, jb

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