Camera One

The camera is angled at the back of her head. She sports a thick, black French braid, and her mother says “No, we’ll go straight back to the Alps! The Himalayas!”

“Which? Why?”

“I misspoke,” her mother admits, as the camera arcs 120 degrees and stray insects dodge the edge of the frame. “I meant the Himalayas.”

Insects are often under the impression that the edges of things are coated in DDT. They will never learn, but they will never forget.

“If it’s snow you want, just stay here and wait four months.” Then, with tacky affect: “Snow, thy true abode is St. Paul.”

“It’s not snow I want, it’s the pressure. It’s the feeling. It’s the jewels.”

Her daughter is indifferent to jewels, but actively dislikes the pressure, and despises the feeling of being American-born when she visits her relatives in India. She is classically beautiful, and wears traditional garb when she must, but still, people talk, and people stare...

The camera casually tilts up to mimic your cold stare. The couple in front of you is talking.

You’re looking past them, and well above the boring frame, at the black, curtained abyss. But now the frame rises, and the trembling blue sky floods the theater. The exit sign contrasts nicely.

The camera begins to tremble, but the tripod holds fast. The operator’s hands tremble, but the ground holds fast. Still the sky trembles, and your eyes hold fast. The operator is non-union.

The director yells cut. The action continues. Camera One keeps shooting as the AC slathers it with honey. Camera Two is trained on the director and stops filming. Camera Three is trained on Camera Two and continues filming as it moves into position. Gracefully it pans such-and-such degrees to meet its new subject: Camera Nine, angled at the back of your head.

“Wellity, wellity, wellity,” you say with tacky affect. And with great aplomb, you act.