Still being fired probably wouldn’t have mattered all that much but my untimely unemployment cut off my funds for what I was really working on. I had this idea, you see, this concept, to film and work with the social interactions in this club owned by my mate George – a time-lapse photography kind of deal where no-one knew they were being filmed, and where I could look for patterns in relating and so forth and do a kind of social collage. I was thinking of eventual government grants for some form of documentary, but the idea was only in its infancy, and it was expensive to set up.
George was both willing and helpful. He didn’t charge me – generous creature – for access to the club and the architectural modifications to allow the filming. Anything for a mate, he’d say, though I think it’s because he thought it was cheaper than his security cameras and that he might get to see some filmic action from any of the girls who came to the club that he might fancy. George is hardly one for the altruistic gesture. I think it also titillated him when I told him you could film anyone, anywhere – even in the privacy of his or her own bathroom if you got access – and unless you had recorded sound it was totally legal.
There’s always been the slight whiff of peeping tom about George. You could imagine him lurking in quiet suburban streets at night, searching for open blinds and unsuspecting women. Though that might have required a degree of get up and go, a kind of actual physical exertion that was a bit beyond him.
Still, lust might inspire action in him, with a little additive of perversion. It certainly wasn’t art driving him. Still, god love him, whatever he was getting out of it meant he promised to cover me for the set up and who knows, maybe even help with some of the funding if my savings ran dry before I worked again.
Bloody Roger. His timing was impeccable, which was more than I could say for his producing. There was a reason he was still in shopping television at his advancing age. There was a reason he’d be there, no doubt, till the day he died. But just ruminating on his obvious shortcomings wasn’t doing much for me. I wanted to string him up by his own budget cuts, but life rarely throws you those opportunities when you most need them.
I should let that go, though, or you’ll think me obsessed. Or you might also call me flippant. My delivery tends to invite that description, but I’m really not. I just see things as they are. No finery and dressing up and disguise. That’s why I’m good with the camera, why I see things others don’t. Why I get the ideas. And that’s really what brought me to this other place before I knew what was happening.
But I’m not complaining. As I said before, there’s this whole other level to the world I had no idea existed. But now that I know, anything’s possible, because everything is so much weirder than I ever thought. When I tell you about it, you’ll understand, and perhaps you’ll forgive me my rather dry manner of speaking. It’s just a lot to take in, to process, to understand. Let me take you on an accelerated learning curve. I hope you enjoy the ride.
But I’ll try to be serious, and I’ll try to remember and relate everything, because it really matters in this story what you do and don’t see. And as the song says, when you get over the hill and you understand what it’s really all about, on a clear day you really can see forever.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved