She’s asking me if I’d do something a little weird for her….saying she needs someone to pose for her…some project she’s working on. All I have to do is look up. “You’re kidding, right?”
But I follow her up the back steps from the kitchen into the side alley. It’s a slice of sky. Blue. No clouds. Some festival music, piped in, drifting over from the Square.
She’s saying, ” OK Joey… relax. You’re really helping me out … just move around, slow like … and then look up.” I look at her instead. She’s animated, laughing, messing with her camera but I can tell she’s concentrating on getting her shots.
It isn’t easy…her looking at me this way. My shoulders tense and I notice my hands are balling into loose fists.
Between shots I look over and catch a glimpse of my car in the parking lot next to the alley. Mat black, it’s stripped down. Everything is in the engine.
I see some kids walking into the parking lot. The music from the Square is getting louder … not piped in anymore … charging the air. One of the kid stops, leaning on my car to light a cigarette. It ticks me off but then I can see it. I mean… look what else is in the lot. It makes him feel cool.
“OK … just one more. This is great.” She turns her head to see what has caught my attention. I look back at her and give her a nod. Her back is to the kids now as she angles to get her shot. I lift my chest, suck in, and look up one more time.
Pencil drawing ….j.h. white