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I was a Teenage Curve Breaker Before
POV: Kelli

Point Shopper another cheesy little paper in another cheesy little town. Only the Point's not all that cheesy or it shouldn't be. The pictures in the lobby show what it was like before the Boardwalk bred rats and disease. Oh don't get me wrong but once, once long ago it was a good place to live and not some shitty little suburb town that was "on the move" or whatever the sign says these days. Well no time to complain, time to work.

Picture a room with a few desks, a couple computers and people past their prime trying to put out a weekly free paper that really doesn't mean anything. Well that's where I work. I got to my desk, look at the picture of the cat that came with the frame and look at my assignments.
Typical asinine crap that I usually have to do. Photos of the new store, people on the street. City meeting on the Boardwalk and a few other things pointless little assignments. My messages are even worse. Well they would be but no one bothered calling me so I guess their better. I pick up the camera a peer out. The room seems transformed. Take away the color and suddenly it's different, grainy. There is a quality in the flickering lights and the oddly spaced desks. Strangely it works as I snap off the final shot and rewind the reel.

"Wasting company film again, Sandurz" it's the oafish voice of my boss. Hector Caulfield.
"Just finishing up a shot, don't want to waste it when I develop it."
"Checked your assignments?" He asks as I turn and look at the blue sweat stained collared shirt and the orange tie.
"Yeah I'm gonna tackle the 'walk photos and then move on." He nods not really caring, "and then move on to probably the people shots and then the meeting."
"Make sure you get it all," He says as he walks away.
"I'll get it all."

Now why stress the it. I wonder as drop of my film not wanting to develop it now but there would be time later. I pour out my thermos and risk the refilling it with the stuff they made here. It didn't smell bad but that's the downfall. So I still pour half a cup and taste it then adding in lots of sugar to cut the taste. I pick a donut, the sprinkled kind, and wonder out. The morning sun seems right and will work great when I get there but now it's a slight annoyance.
Stupid Sun.

Finishing the cup and donut I take up my bike and start to ride swearing one day to buy a car. Since nothing is serious I take a longer route. I ride around town. Nothing happening in the morning sun. Stores opening, people going to real jobs.
*CLICK* A mother running with a stroller and a dog.

Life is just starting. Morning, nothing like it. Nothing good at least. I keep telling them I should work nights but no. Always with the mornings.

I get to the Boardwalk and wander it a bit. Trying to find just the right way to take it. I must waste half a roll taking a few shots here and there. Just vague details of the decay. No one wants to see the people that love it they just want the rot and decay. Just a reason. A reason to be rid of it.

I remember coming here as a kid. Was it always so dry rotted? Were the stores always boared up with broken glass on the streets and the passing threat of violence everywhere? Probably not. Then again that was another time. THis wasn't that time. Not since the crime went up and stopped wanting a quaint vision of the sealine. Since then the place has rotted. I prepare to take a picture of a shattered taffy store window.
They use to have good taffy I remember as I hit the button and the picture is taken. Really good taffy. Once.

In the strange emerging mass of a photo it seems like magic. Then the store is there as if you are there and it works. Realistic and unrealistic. Either way that taffy store is just as gone.

© Sal Ponce 2001