Camera Store Girl

She was the daughter of a llama farmer and the richest man in a poor Colorado town. This made her the scorn and envy of others around her. Long before she came to Oregon and worked at a photography store, she lived in Ward, Colorado and dreamed of more. She explained all this to me one damp afternoon in Portland. Her biography was brilliant. Maybe even a personal favorite.

At the store downtown she would give me discounts "because it was Sunday." When she slipped the photographs over the counter inevitably her knuckles would be bruised or scraped. I queried one day if she was a mechanic, as they were the hands of a manual laborer; the knuckles of a proletariet. "I'm clumsy," she would respond. Her bottom teeth slightly crooked in an ever so sexy way I found attractive in every woman since. There was an attractiveness to her awkwardness and a beauty to her benevolence.

Her ring finger was shackled to a ring. So is the world I think and laugh at this person of interest I met only in passing. Despite this drawback, my enjoyment of photography grew and I focused heavily on shooting film, requiring processing versus digital, which could be done at home.

I would bring coffee or Mexican pastries on random overcast days in exchange for discounted products and services. She would smile and tell me long stories that went no where. Her voice would quicken and hands would help explain the significance and gravity of a situations. Like the time she though she saw me on my motorcycle in the John's Landing neighborhood. "If you ever see me, try and run me over, I dare ya," I responded, hoping someday she would try and put me in a gutter.

But then, as I left for Hawaii she said she was quitting her job the same date as my return. I never made it back to the store and I have not seen the camera store girl since.