45. Lillian Takes a Photo
© Bruce Goodman 24 November 2013
Lillian’s New Year’s resolution was to spend some time each week dragging herself into the digital age. She already had a computer and could use the internet for news and email. But that was all.
She thought, I shall learn to do my banking online, and buy things, and chat on social networks. I shall learn how best to smarten up my photograph, and make a fancy poster. Everyone is doing it. So shall I.
She went to the camera shop. “I need a digital camera,” she said.
The salesman looked smarmy; the sort of oily, over-obliging type that slithers rather than walks. He sidled nonchalantly next to Lillian. She feared he would try to pat her on the bottom. He didn’t. But he patted her twice on the arm and once on the shoulder. “A little too familiar,” Lillian thought. He was helpful nonetheless, and she purchased a rather expensive camera and tripod.
The next task was to take a self-portrait for her blog. She sought out a nice background. The daffodils under a tree behind her house were ideal. She set the self-timer to 10 seconds and rushed to strike a pose. Click! went the camera. She repeated this eleven times: setting the self-timer then rushing to stand casually next to the daffodils under the tree.
“I shall digitally enhance my beauty,” thought Lillian as she downloaded her photos onto the computer. But there, in every photo, smirking just behind her shoulder, was the smarmy, oily, slithering man from the camera shop.
She was not fast enough to call the police.