On Cameras

I talk shop with some guys filming a music video at the pizza place, and the tall one hands over his camera. I feel the heaviness of the Canon 5D and run my fingertips over the manual focus dial. I watch the guys duct tape the camera onto a tripod and the lead singer adjust his hipster white jacket.

Then I look at the table I’m leaning against. Where a few minutes ago, a disorganized mess of empty bottles crowded my line of vision, I now see a collection of patterns, shadows, shapes and shades. I watch them adjust the hot white lights to cast a romantic shadow across the trumpet player’s face while he mimes the sensuous, silent notes.

My camera has been carefully stored in the bottom of my closet, the lenses wrapped tightly in ziploc bags and batteries full and anticipating. I’ve left it there because it’s safe, because I’m already enough of a target and I don’t want to dar papaya, or give thieves any extra opportunity.

But while my camera sits there safely, Colombia is moving around me. There are patterns, shadows, shapes and shades to be shared. I need to open my eyes once more.


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