the lost man chronicles

The Long Way Home

During the first part of the evening I had a short lived epiphany. I thought, for about an hour, that my hazardous course during my photography jaunts was far less perilous than the liberty I take with my precious camera. For her I was shooting away amidst a passing rain storm, gratefully, she survived unscathed and would live to fulfill me unlike other obsessions for another day.

In the wake of the waning downpour I came upon the entrance to the Queen Midtown Tunnel. I clicked away because I had found an exquisite position at the sloping entrance and the fotos I was taking were brilliant. I was ecstatic and had no time to think about the implications of what I was doing.

Alas, to my utter dismay, others were thinking about the implications of what I was doing.

Because out of the corner of my eye I noticed two patrolmen slowly, but steadily, approaching me from separate sides of the tunnel. As they got closer, I realized exactly why and what was going to happen. Well, perhaps not exactly, but I a fairly good idea that I was in trouble.

Luckily, I “got away with it,” as I was given a gentle warning and the order to delete the twenty or so (incredible) shots I had taken on site at that moment. I cringed as I went through the stream and clicked “erase.” Yet, I was wholly grateful that my camera was no confiscated or that the memory card was not taken. They read me the patriot act and recited the spiel about how all photo taking of bridges and tunnels are now contra-band in the post 9-11 world.

Moreover and quite amusingly, to the right of where we were standing they showed me a HUGE sign that read “Photo and Video Taking Not Allowed.” I chuckled to myself a little as I relayed that I truly-really did not see that enormous sign (honestly I didn’t).

They smile and let me go after witnessing that I erased all the photos I had taken on site and reprimanded me further with “you know we could have taken you in for a minimum of 5-10 hours of detention…?” I raised my eyebrows in response and pursed my lips to show that I was concerned and thus took their words seriously. Once again I pleaded my naïveté (utter innocence and ignorance).

Feeling a bit frazzled by the incident, I proceeded across the street to the local cantina for a couple of five-dollar margaritas.

I soon realized that I had entered an entirely different danger zone, as the lonely patron sitting kitty-corner across from me was being quite boisterous and obviously begging for attention. To appease her, I eventually conceded by taking pictures of her and the bartender who initially asked in a berating tone “are you taking pictures of me?” I thought for a split-second and answered honestly “why, yes I am.” She suddenly softened her tone and said “Well then, click away.” I intuited that like so many others working the night-shifts in this town she was an aspiring actress or artist of some kind. She confirmed that she as indeed the former and proceeded to demonstrate her thespian agility by not-so-subtlety posing for me, quickly changing from being a demure or paranoid stranger one moment to a garrulous photo-whore the next.

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