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Saturday, September 10, 2011

NINJA CAMERAMAN


Click click click, his camera went, capturing moments, stealing time, freezing it in each frame. He was Ali, bobbing to the right to catch her almost shy, now familiar smile; weaving just so, the better to take in the way the groom would run a proprietary thumb over her cheek. His sore finger and stiff arms were not reason enough to miss that moment when mother held daughter’s hands, the first tears falling from their eyes. He’d had to step lightly to the right to make a timely click when both families’ fathers did that hug that men did, their faces shining with pride. And when the bride komole’d he’d had to go down with her, or he would have lost that mock serious look on her face. She tossed the bouquet and he jumped in time with the girls. Lucky, or he would have missed the vicious lunge of the bride’s older sister, the way she shoved the bridesmaid aside.

He saw her at the entrance and forgot the bride for a moment as he sped to put her in his camera. These people had to be really big to have her, big shot celebrity that she was, at their wedding.

He spun to freeze the grey haired couple sharing a kiss.

The woman quarreling about souvenirs, she had her day when he raced to her side. She almost slapped the camera out of his hands but he bolted away just in time. Little bride and little groom—him pulling her braids, she stomping on his foot—he bent and took them. The aso-ebi girls sitting at their table, he got them when he paused, not missing the intensity on their faces; the kind that could only come from people trading gossip. That random woman with the skyscraper gele, the baby peeing in his pants, the best man stuffing his face, the MC laughing at his own jokes, he caught them all and put them in is camera.

His body ached from chasing the people around all day, catching them when they were least aware of the dark eye of the camera that was an extension of his. But he didn’t mind. He had always found it harder to take them when they posed.

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