In the Village

A blond woman a few years younger than me was taking photos with a long lens. She wore a cloche hat over a stocking cap but I could still see locks of hair beneath the headgear. “Nice lens,” I said as I passed her.

“It’s a great lens, and I get some great photos but I don’t get to keep them. The pull them right out of my camera. It’s because I’m an enemy of the state, that’s what my ex-husband told Arnold Schwarzenegger anyway. Since 2005 they pulled all my pictures off the wall.”

“Uh,”I said.

“Since then they’ve used my house as a test site for microwave weapons. I know, I know, ‘Don’t listen to her, she’s mentally ill,’ but it’s true, they take everything of mine and put it in the cloud.”

“Oh. I don’t like the cloud.”

“Right? I just saw a cartoon of the cloud and it’s just a big old ball of pollution. What’s your camera? A Canon? You like it?

“I do. It’s old but it gets the job done.” As soon as I said I remembered that I had read that line in a short story recently.

“That’s what matters, right? What are you shooting?”

“Tonight? Ravens, I hope, They’re transactional, so I bribe them with walnuts.”

“Quid pro quo.” She winked at me. “‘Will work for walnuts.’ Have a great night.”

And off she went.

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