12.19.2005

if my life were a movie
sometimes when things happen to me I try to think of what the audience would say if my life were a movie
you know, like when you are at some chop 'em up thriller film and it seems obvious that the monster is in the closet or hiding under the bed

is if that obvious to everyone else but me what lurks around the corner?

there was a span of time in my life were I had been held up at gun point, my house had been broken into, and my truck had been stolen
at this point in time I asked myself, "if my life were a movie... what would the audience be saying?"
would it be clear to the audience the next move to take should be?
was I supposed to grab my things and move to Kansas?
it may be obvious to everyone but me, the beloved protagonist, that all of these little events are building up to one major event
a major event that would be best to avoid
but... I lack dramatic irony
I just have the drama
(as it turns out those three events did not build up to a terrible fourth event)

well...
if my life were a movie today would have been tossed in for a little comic relief

left work early to go to physical therapy for my shoulder
turns out my appointment was for 4 and not 4:30
so they sent me on my way
trying to turn lemons into lemonade I started my walk home
in no time I had my digital camera out and I was starting to take some random bicycle photos
it was nice to have a little day light left for my forty minute urban walk home

I know the random shots are not as good as the close ups.... but
those take timing, something about the right moment
coming out of my PT office I ran into an old school messenger and passed my card warning him that I may snap a few shots of him when I get a chance
so the plotting of future Cyclist Photo Profiles are being worked in my head
but at this moment I only had time for my brisk march home with the occassional pause to snap a shot

so I am snapping some shots of moving cyclists
shots that are never composed well
shots that seldom come out well
shots that end up being a small fraction of a less than perfect/less than interesting composition
this camera is not suited toward motion shots
the digital delay makes it almost a camera toss

a few blocks past Dupont circle I found what seemed like a good score
a classic Raliegh five speed with an old row house under construction behind it
the house had a major trash removal tube attached to the exterior that made it an interesting piece in the background with the bike in the foreground
as I took the third shot and got ready for a different angle for the fourth shot a driver shouted at me from his truck, "what you flashing at me?"
we shout from across the street
me hearing him
him not able to make sense of what I am saying
he pulls over
he gets out of his car
we talk
it is not an aggressive exchange
yet it is not positive or friendly

after a few minutes of back and fourth
he still does not believe that I took a shot of the bike path and that he just happened to be driving by
even finding me taking pictures of a locked bike just moments later does not assist my case
as I show him the several shots of various bikes and different cyclist
there is some more talk
still he is in disbelief that I am taking photos of bikes and bikers
he is convinced that I was taking the picture of him, his truck, and his tags
as I go to show him the image in greater detail he snatches the camera from my hands
the camera slides into his pants pocket

never raising my voice
never getting angry
just shocked
in complete disbelief with the odd situation that has presented itself

I try to have him give my camera back

"come on... you must be joking"
disbelief is my primary emotion

he moves towards his truck
at each incidental brush and touch he get irrate
still trying to get past me and back into his truck
in a passive way I obstruct his route
finally stepping aside

in haste I take a look at his plate
as he pulls away in his truck I pull the driver's side door open
not trying to initiate anything
(okay... maybe finally trying to initiate something... perhaps a little late)
just trying to get my camera back
okay maybe wishing that as he pulls away his car door will strike something else

as he pulls away I repeat the tag to myself as I dial 911
the tag numbers are continued to be repeated
the police are of no use...
apparently they have to dispatch someone to my location
it is cold out
damn cold out
so rather than waiting an undeterminable time I walk several blocks to the nearest police station to file my report

honestly.....
I do not like going to the police station
blowing the whistle in not how I like to handle things
yet, it seems like the only option I have
the tag number is in my head
being reasonable was already a passed futile effort

in just two or three minutes I am in the District Three police station
I sign in
the back and forth with the officers on duty is less than pleasant
they are gruff... they treat me more like a criminal than a victim of a crime
with some basic urban static I file a report
up from her desk the officer is questioning why I did not wait at the scene for an officer to arrive
the cold was a good enough excuse
yet she was still less than pleasant

it seemed like the 20-30 minutes spent was a waste of time
the tag did not match the vehicle
no wonder he did not want his picture taken
either the tag is stolen or he is using a tag from a different vehicle
then again there is always the chance that I got the tag wrong in all my haste

the description was awkward
there was question of height, weight, and apparrell
but never did she ask the race
at the tail end of the description after the hair she asked if he was black
it was awkward
not clear if she was offended that I did not present it earlier
it was not that I thought it was a given
it was just that I was answering the questions as she gave them

height??? about six foot
weight???? about 600 pounds
(six hundred pounds.... exclaims the woman to my side.... who was also waiting to be helped)
okay... 500 pound.... he was big... he was fat
clothing????? white t-shirt and dark pants
hair???? short
facial hair??? none
how long was his hair???? short
okay
perhaps he was not even 500 pounds, maybe 350lbs
but he was large and apparently in charge
significantly larger than me and well.... apparently in charge of me
and well... I am not a slight being
after filing my report I was just relieved to get out of there

leaving more frustrated than when I had arrived
knowing that my camera was gone and there was nothing to do about it
knowing I had wasted my time going to the police

as I walked up 16th Street with Malcom X park just across the way I day dreamed what I should have done
not entertained the conversation and kept walking away from this man?
like David Carradine in the old Kung Fu films I should have set things right?
better yet make that Bill Bixbey to Lou Ferigno Incredible Hulk transformation?
each of these fantasies got ugly
neither ending good for either party
there is no winning a fight
even filing the police report is more likely to stir a hornets nest than get my camera back

then I realized that things went fine....
I had lost my camera
but I did not get injured
now I know that I should explain myself and offer to delete the image
now I know for future encounters... not everyone wants their picture taken
the silver lining to this...
this will force me to get accustomed to using my new camera
a much more high tech device that is that "too expensive to use" mode
well
this is a gentle push in that direction
this new camera will take better pictures day and night
its motion potential is greater as well
the use of this camera for a portrait scenario is pinacle as well

do I thank him....
no
but I am thankful that he did not run or gun me down
clearly he had issues
clearly he was paranoid about why the photo was taken
in the end his tags did not match the vehicle

if my life were a movie and this were the Truman show I am sure that people would have to laugh
as it was an absurd incident
my calm non-agressive response was out of character but clearly the best response

yet I wonder
if my life were a movie....
what book would it be based off of?
The Book of Job?




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