Week 7 – Broken Camera

Dancers by Cecelia Wyatt

Broken Camera by Guy Yasko

– Café? It’s more like a crack house. Think about it.

– I – we – spend, what? three to five dollars a day here.

– That’s not it. What do you pay, what do you sacrifice to be here,
in this city, in this neighbourhood? Admit it. The whole reason you
ever stayed was this place. What did that decision cost you? It’s
not even the rent so much as the lost opportunities, the flying back
and forth, the dithering. It all adds up. Huge. I can’t live here
any more. Not really. I can’t afford it. I shouldn’t even be here.

She left.

He took stock as directed. The really heavy losses had come first:
the career, the marriage, the sense of identity. Money,
certainly. Later there had been a stretch when he had lost bits and
pieces of himself: a broken toe, lost and rotting teeth. Lately it
had been the prosthetics of vision: broken eyeglasses, lost contacts,
a broken camera.

All painful (and therefore repressed) but still familiar. Only the
last string of items was worrisome. It was as if the city were taking
away his ability to see it for what it truly was.

High on a Cliff by Kaston Griffin

Minerva admired the ocean from her house overlooking the bay, the old lighthouse standing next to her right thumb as she held her fingers in the shape of a frame. Often the wind at the edge of the cliff blew too hard to allow her to step onto the porch with her camera, and today it moaned while floorboards rattled, rubbed together like bones, sank closer to the earth like her skin. Rain blotted the sunken glass like gum syrup and the waves that uncurled under the precipice seemed to swell and relax like a tongue licking at the clay supporting her home. Through her fisheye pane, the sea grew as if a yawning mouth with white, sea froth running from blue lips, panting, “Down, down” on the bluff walls. Staring into Death, she felt a tremor jostle her to the floor as if the very foundations were shaking.

Consequences by Katherine Nabity

She liked snooping.

Sneaking through the empty house was a thrill. Better than a roller coaster or a wrapped birthday present. Peeping into out-of-bounds drawers and closets was naughty, but she couldn’t see the harm in it. Nothing but winter coats and sweaters or envelopes filled with typed invoices and old Christmas cards. She never found anything good and never left a trace behind.

Until the day she broke the camera.

The leather camera case sat on the top shelf of the linen closet. Just that week she had grown a fraction of an inch tall enough to worm two fingers under it. She knew its weight. If she could tip the case over the edge of the shelf, it would fall and she’d catch it on the way down. From her angle, she hadn’t seen the shoebox perched atop the case. Not one, but two objects fell. She ducked out of the way in surprise. The camera case remained closed, but she knew from the glass-tinkle-crash that something had broken. Sepia pictures spilled from the open shoebox.

She didn’t want to know how badly the camera was wrecked and she couldn’t put it back on the shelf if she wanted to. The stepladder was in the garage and far too heavy to carry. She hadn’t considered that earlier.

She would take her punishment when Mom came home. Until then, she flipped through the pictures of the smiling grandma and grandpa she had never known.

Back to Wk #6 – Balance of Terror

Forward to Wk #8 – Corrected Vision


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