A cameraman was lost today. Not only a boyfriend, but a being with a unique and distinct eye for photography and lighting. He was the only one who could make Callie look her best. But more than her “best,” the way she truly saw herself. He could bring it out in photos and videos so that other people could see the same thing as well. That was what drew her to him, one miraculous day when he happened to be passing her on the street, saw the light catch a certain way against her face and demanded, “Hey! I know this is a bit creepy, but could I take your picture for you?” He didn’t know that her only joy in the world was to have her essence captured on film. To her, it was the closest one felt to being the star they ought to have been. But not any recent form of “star”–as there had not really been one since the advent of Julia Roberts. Rather, like the true Hollywood stars of the Golden Era, most especially the foreign ones: Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman.
She quickly found out his name was Bear, though she didn’t want to ask if that was his real name or a nickname. Maybe they weren’t familiar enough for such questions to be exchanged just yet. At the same time, they had already penetrated many layers of intimacy with this introduction of her picture being taken. When she looked at what he had been able to come up with on her phone, she was bold enough to inquire, “Would you mind taking a video as well?” She could feel a chill go up her spine as he grazed her hand to eagerly take the phone back from her so he could oblige her request. She knew there was an incredible risk in allowing a stranger to hold her “device” for so long. Bear could easily be struck with the fancy to run off with it and resell it for a bit of extra dough in this cash-strapped world. But he didn’t seem to be thinking about theft at all as he instructed her to move this way and that, so the composition and cinematography would look just right. It was arguably the most erotic experience Callie had ever had.
Without her realizing it, Bear had put his number in her phone. A brazen act she was grateful for when he shouted out to her, “Call me!” as they went their separate ways. Having a hunch, she looked through her contacts and found his name there. What a magical man, she thought to herself. And the feeling was further confirmed when she posted the photo and video, thereafter receiving the most likes, views and positive comments she had ever gotten. She knew that Bear couldn’t possibly leave her life now, he had to remain irrevocably in it.
Wanting to play it cool, she waited exactly five days before calling him. He did say call, not text. And she liked that about him, too. He answered with, “I thought you’d forgotten all about me.”
“No, of course not. I… would you want to get together today?”
They met in Primrose Hill. Specifically starting at the beginning of the road with the pastel-colored houses of the Regency era. It was like the Rue Crémieux of London. And Parisian residents hated the presence of people taking pictures just as much as this distinct set of Londoners. But Callie was in too much of a reverie to be concerned with any of these irritated residents patently peeping out of their windows and pointing to signs that had a giant “Do Not” circle-backslash over the image of a camera. Bear consoled her, “If they didn’t want people to take pictures in front of their windows, they shouldn’t have chosen to live here.”
“Um, they probably didn’t choose it, so much as it was inherited.”
“Then you should feel even less apologetic,” Bear said as he proceeded to snap candids.
“Wait! I’m not ready!” she screamed, her loud pitch invoking an old woman to pull back her curtain and rap her knuckles against the window in protest against this Instagram excursion.
Bear and Callie paid her no mind, and, once again, he proved to be indispensable to increasing her following that day.
As they celebrated the “session” by going to The Queens for a drink, Bear didn’t once let his cameraman’s eye slip as he seized upon more chances to take her picture while she drank. Doing, in essence, nothing whatsoever that was fascinating until his lens made it otherwise. Already, this relationship was based on everything she had ever wanted. There were no frills, just photographs. And it was all about her. She knew she should have felt compelled to ask him something about himself, but found that she couldn’t stop talking about her own life, her own goals.
“…And so yes, as stupid and cliche as it might sound, I really do think that becoming an influencer is the best, you know, career path for me. I was born to show people how they should live and this is the best way to do it.”
She braced herself for Bear to laugh in her face. Instead, he just kept taking her picture as he assured, “We can make that happen for you. I want to help.”
It was no wonder that with all this stroking of her ego, she found herself stroking his dick in return that night as they ended up back at her apartment quite drunk. She knew that maybe she was falling in love… at least with Bear’s reflection of herself back to, well, herself. It was as though she was finally being rendered as she was always meant to be. And it was entirely thanks to Bear’s cinematographic eye. She had actually meant to ask him, was he a professional cameraman?
Before she could do so the following morning, he was already gone. Vanished, it seemed like, for he scarcely left an imprint in the bed. She had to wonder briefly if she had imagined the entire day, for it seemed too good to be true the more she thought about it. It was only when she went into the kitchen that she was comforted by the realness of the events thanks to a note Bear had left that read: “Callie, I had the most wonderful time with you yesterday. Had to go to work. Let’s meet later.” Hmm, so he did do something for money.
And so the days and nights continued to pass like this, with Bear never really mentioning what his work was, but always seeming to be pretty available to go with Callie on any “shoots” she wanted. Over the course of the next month, her dreams of influencer glory were very clearly coming true, with marked increases in followers and likes without her even using one of the many services that allowed you to pay to get them (that would come later).
She rewarded Bear each night with his sexual bounty. It was the least she could do. For now she had the option to make a real living out of this enterprise, and it had all been thanks to his boldness in choosing to approach her on the street that fateful day in Camden. Whoever said it was too stalker-y for men to pursue women in this way had clearly never benefited from such an encounter.
With more followers came more responsibility–a greater need to top the last fantastical post. And so, Bear gamely agreed to go to greater heights… literally. The concept was Callie’s idea, and so, naturally, she felt fairly guilty over what ended up happening. Having lured him to the 12th Knot rooftop bar, right along the Thames. The South Bank was arguably one of the most Instagrammable spots in London, with so many bars and restaurants to choose from. But she selected this one for its colorful drink options and outdoor backdrop potential. And as Bear continued to bend his spine farther and farther back over the glass partition intended to keep patrons from falling right over, he did, in fact, fall right over. But the nobility of his death was not to be deterred, for not only did he capture the perfect shot–maybe the best one he had ever taken of Callie, or so her followers would claim, not wanting his death to be in vain–but he also ensured that he dropped the phone on the balcony, rather than taking it with him during the tumble to his demise. A cracked phone would have been a true catastrophe.
A cameraman was lost today, and he will never be replaced. At least metaphorically. But by now, Callie had built quite an Instagram legion and immediately needed to hire new help. She could presently afford to with her influencer’s budget. Every so often, however, when a sunbeam hit her face in just a certain way to give the new photographer the ideal shot, she had to wonder if it was Bear, shining down on her from above. Her lover, her cameraman.