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            REALITY & IMAGINATION_Mirrors of Life

Brief Version

This section of “Reality and Imagination” almost did not happen.

Shooting on the first day on the boardwalk at Coney Island, a worker for the park department kept calling me a “pervert”, which could have led to my getting badly hurt.


         REALITY & IMAGINATION_Mirrors of Life

Detailed Version        

This section of “Reality and Imagination” almost did not happen.

Shooting on the first day on the boardwalk at Coney Island, I heard a booming man’s voice saying behind me:


“You, pervert”!

“Don’t do as if you can’t hear me, pervert”!

“Don’t do as if am not talking to you”!

“You with the camera, and wearing that blue shirt! You are a pervert”! 

At that point I realized the voice was addressing me.

Confused, I turned around and my eyes met the eyes of a fairly large and angry looking brother who works for the park department. 

A rush of anger, mixed with a bit of panic, quickly pulled me out of my confused state as I took a furtive glance at all the men standing in my close proximity with their wives, girlfriends, daughters, and other female relatives by their sides. It dawned on me that I could mistakenly get badly hurt. 

“Yes, you are a pervert”! “You…” The mix of that anger and panic propelled me close to his face before he could finish his sentence. There, I hear myself saying loud through tight jaws and under my breath, “Why the hell are you screaming pervert at me for, man. What the hell are you talking about. You can get me badly hurt.

“I know what you are doing. You are photographing under these people’s  dresses and bathing suits. That’s why you point the camera down like that, so they don’t notice. You are a pervert. You are a pervert”, he continued.

Through tight jaws still, and looking in his eyes, I said “ *&%#@* (explicit). You could have asked to see what I was doing before starting to scream your “Pervert” bull crap.  Take a look at the back of the *&%#@* (explicit) camera and see for yourself so you can stop that bull”.

He pushed my hand and the camera as he moved away from me, and continued with “You are a pervert, I don’t need to see anything. You are a pervert”. I blocked his path to face him. One of his colleague step between us and said with a WestIndian accent, “ Leave the man alone, he is just taking pictures” while moving him away from me, and gently pulling him towards the bathroom they were about to go clean.

“You are a pervert! You are a pervert!”

I followed both to the bathroom.

“Take a look at the back of the frigging camera then you will see, and shut the frigging up with your pervert nonsense.” 

His colleague stepped between us again, and said to him, “Leave the man alone”. “Please go and continue to take your pictures”, he told me.

You see, to photograph on the boardwalk the way I wanted, it had to be either raining, or if not, I had to restrict myself to an area where there was a shower. This is exactly where I was when he started to scream at me.

I went back the next day to the same area of the boardwalk. As I arrived I saw “pervert” man standing by the bathroom. He turned around the second he saw me, and went in the bathroom. He stepped out of the bathroom as quickly as he went in, and he was holding a huge green roll of water hose in his right hand. Our eyes met. He pointed his right hand holding the water hose towards me, bend down, and proceed to screw the water hose in the water faucet as I walked to him. Done with setting  the hose up by the time I got to him, he was now standing, and looking sheepishly at me. He said, “You can use this water hose whenever you want, brother”. Keeping my eyes on him as he started to go back to the bathroom, I pulled the hose towards me with my left foot to see how he would react. Turning his head slightly towards me over his right shoulder, he said, “It’s okay brother, you can use it”.     

I started to smile inside as I said “Thank you”!

Quickly, I found a bench. Slipped  my water shoes on, got my camera ready, and proceeded to unroll the water hose to see how far it reached on the boardwalk.

From that day on that Summer, I used that hose whenever I needed on any part of the boardwalk it would reach.

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