Would have been a fine thing. To get a shot of me face as I watched my old friend shattering on the roadside.
It hung in for a few k’s. I heard a bump and a rattle as I pulled into the bottle-shop but wrote it off as a tick of the car. Maybe the suspension was shot. I was heading back to camp along a dry wooded backroad. Fast. When I caught a glimpse of something black spinning through the air. The light catching it.
I thought I’d hit a crow. It’s greasy feathers shimmerin in the light. But nah. When it collided with the tar for a second time familiar parts flew from it.
Lens cap. Lens Hood. Battery. Flip out screen.
I found them all scattered in a line when I got back to the scene. I followed and collected the fragments that led to the brush. Tramping through the long grass in arcs I finally found it. 20 meters from the road. The Camera body. Lens covered in dirt. Cracks on the body. The rear menu screen was a flip out. Shattered now. The back casing had flown off onto the road.
I turned it on and took a shot.
It still focussed. It still seemed to go.
So I got back to camp, drank my drinks and went walking. Taking pics with the cam. Not sure how they would go.
Far up the beach was a man too well dressed to be on the beach reading a book. I talked shit to him for a while and really tested his geniality. He’d come so far out of his way for solitude to have a pished blood-eyed cankersore of a man poring all over his cool Russian literature and snapping photos of him with a busted ass camera to boot.
Upswing: The camera still goes after all the shit I’ve put it though. Man. The Nikon D5100 is a tough SOB. Totally obsolete tech but still. Tough. And still takes a nice pic if you’re in the right space, at the right time, 95% of the time. Isn’t that the game we play people! Right right right?
It was spitting down all day. Spitting on all the families who had loaded up the campers and headed to the coast for the end of the holidays. Spitting on the windscreen as I rolled through town after town. Spitting on my arm hanging out the window as I turned down another coastal road.
It was muggy as hell. I felt a greasy slick on my skin. Driving makes me irritable. After a few hours I’m a hazzard.
I found a place to camp for the night. The spit turned to a shower and then a downpour. I swam in a grey looking ocean to clean up. To clear my head. The water was like ice on my skin but the surface of the water was glassy and calm. I grabbed handfuls of sand and scrubbed the dirty greasy feeling from my skin. Afterwards I bodysurfed into a few small waves in the shorebreak. A good way to end the day.
It rained for two more days and I was never dry. The car began to stink of damp. It was a bit of a downer.
It’d be sunny soon enough. Sure.
There’d be better times ahead. Of course.
And it was, and there were. And so on…
I’d set up the camera in the kitchen and was going to let it run taking a shot every 2 seconds for the next hour and a half. It was my day off and I wasn’t going to stick around and watch the lads get pounded as the orders begun to stack up. They were a man down in the madhouse and thats just not a party. I knew I’d be out the doors within the next fortnight so I had to get the shots while I could. No-one else besides me knew that at the time. I was shooting little time-lapse farewell gift for myself.
I took the old 5100 to the beach. The sun was nearly set and the light diffused and grey. The walkers and runners and yogis were squeezing it in. If you’ve got a body complex the Gold Coast is not your scene. Every dawn and dusk the Shame parade will be Crossfitting, Bootcamping, Boxercising, Pilatemaking and The Next Thinging from Tally Creek to Miami. They’ll be surfing too. The sea was full of stingers. Nothing bad, I’d been stung earlier in the face and it felt like someone scraping sandpaper across my cheek. Then it itched for a while. Then it was done. Like a jump-scare in a shitty horror film. Startling. Irritating.
The sky darkened as I was popping flashes into a beached stinger and I almost missed the crimson sunset.
When it was too dark I went for a pint in a pub opposite the restaurant. Thousands of lorikeets were chirping madly in the trees nearby. The restaurant was full. The boys were getting hammerfucked for sure. I felt like a prick when I went to pick the camera up not long after.