The Camera Man and Other Relationship Revelations: A Short Story
Chapter Three: I'm Passionate About Passion
Alas, let us return to the political rally. I had no business being there because I’m from a different political bent. But, as a liberal, “live, let live” I say. Besides, I crave meeting interesting people and long for good conversations where the passion and energy reaches a level that causes my heart to race and my brain to soar. It’s more than a craving. Actually, I lust for it!
The crowd was settling, jockeying for seats. Out of the corner of my eye, a tall, thin fellow, dressed in a blue striped woven shirt and neatly pressed khakis, snapping photos with his camera, caught my attention. He darted around the room with ease, snapping, smiling, and shaking a hand here and there, with an appealing intensity. The Camera Man was passionate about what he was doing.
I am passionate about passion.
Brent took the microphone and started his introduction. He had my full attention and the Camera Man was already a distant memory. The room quieted, a few stragglers found their seats and I opened my writing pad, thinking that I might hear a few things that could be useful for my blog.
I created this blog about our little community on this lovely island and it grew to a website visited by thousands of readers, some who live on the Island, some who visit the Island, and some who want to live on the Island...all who want to know what is happening, i.e., arts, entertainment, sporting events, music, politics, lodging, …whatever, it was on my website.
Suddenly, the Camera Man sat down right next to me. I thought it odd. There were plenty of seats open all across the room. He placed his camera on the table, opened up his briefcase, pulled out a small tablet and began taking notes.
The presentation began and we both wrote. Martha elbowed me, nodded toward the Camera Man and whispered, “Who’s that?” I shrugged my shoulders.
Sexton spoke for about fifteen minutes and opened the floor for questions for another fifteen minutes and the rally was over.
The Camera Man turned to me and began talking. Actually, I don’t remember how he started the conversation because my eyes were glued to his, clear, bright and blue. He had a nice smile. His face was open. He was curious, eager for new friendships, and genuinely interested in other people…well, actually, he seemed interested in me.
Handing me his card, he introduced himself: a newspaper reporter, from Clearwater, doing a story on Sexton. I gave him my card and explained some about my background and career, etc. He wanted to know how long I lived on the Island, what brought me to the Island, what brought me to this rally and what I thought of Sexton. And, so our conversation began.
To say that I was unexpectedly taken with him is an understatement. Frankly, I was flabbergasted. The notion of a romantic relationship just is not on my radar screen. Besides, I just don’t meet men that really interest me. My antenna are down, well, and maybe crumpled.
Discreetly, I checked his left hand. No wedding ring and no white ring where a wedding hand, perhaps, could have been. My antenna struggled, but managed to stretch upwards. I went with it, smiling, leaning forward, even touching his arm. His eyes were riveted on my face. I was enamored by his attention and it revived and nourished long lost emotions.
As we continued, I realized he was a very good reporter, efficient at retrieving information, comfortable asking questions, and adept at creating ease of conversation. I was certain my analysis was accurate. That was the good news.
The bad news was that my scrutiny also revealed that he was simply interviewing me. His conversation with me was about his work. After all, he was a newspaper reporter!
I felt those antenna squeak back down, deeply hidden into my brain.
I regrouped. I decided that I was glad I attended the event. I enjoyed seeing Brent again, I was pleased to meet Martha and Alice, and I was I was delighted to learn more about State politics.
I was content as I drove off, eager to get on with my daily errands, when my cell phone jingled, signaling a new text message. It was the Camera Man. He had attached a link to his Sexton article, said his enjoyed our conversation, was planning to come back to the Island in a few weeks, and would I have a coffee or drink with him.
That was nice and it was fast! How did he write his article so quickly? I envied him.
“Sure, “I wrote back. “Me, too. Let me know when.”
We emailed a few times over the next couple of weeks...nothing of substance, just logistics and small pleasantries.
I liked this guy. I was indeed attracted to him. It was cute, sort of dorky. I like dorky...plus, extremely intelligent, a quick wit, good sense of humor, and intense. I conceded that he might be attracted to me. Could it be?
Just maybe it could…but, something nagged at me. My instincts told me that he might be married. I need to find out, in a circuitous way.
I emailed, “…looking forward to your visit. What are your plans? Is this work or play? Will you be bringing your family? If yes, I’m happy to find activities for everyone. Let me know!”
He replied, “…me, too….some work, some play. I will be alone.”
Damn! He didn’t say he wasn’t married...just that he was alone. He’s married. I knew it!
I didn’t reply.
A few days later he emailed again. He said he was writing an article about the Island for the travel section of an impressive statewide newspaper and wanted to know what activities I would suggest for a family of four on vacation for a few days.
This was perfect because my website/blog is all about the Island, where to go, what to do. I knew it all.
Finally, he called one afternoon, we talked about what he wanted to write, who I wanted him to meet, etc. We covered all the details. Then, of course, the subject emerged.
“What will your husband be doing while we are meeting with all these people. Please, bring him along, if he is free,” he cleverly probed.
“Oh, I’m not married.”
To fill the void and to confirm my suspicion, I asked, “You said you will be alone?”
“Yes, I will be alone. I have a lovely wife. But, she won’t be with me.”
He went on for a few minutes, explaining about his family, his career, etc. He carefully and ever so delicately, added, “I love my wife, dearly, but I always thought that we were never supposed to be with just one person our entire lives. That thought, which was once a mere inkling, now is an almost daily roar.”
“So, you are dealing with some difficult stuff right now,” I said, softening his self-disclosure and remaining nonjudgmental.
The conversation turned back to logistics. He was he was coming on Monday morning. We would tour until about 3:00 and then wanted to go to the beach and out to dinner. He would be staying overnight.
Avoiding his last comment, our conversation concluded.