As I checked out the last morning patient I realized that it was lunch time. Now, I am living on a shoestring at the moment. So, I’ve been sort of skipping out on lunch every other day. I figure I will be at a better place financially after this month. But, for now, it’s all about eating on the cheap. So, I decided to go for a walk as this endless San Francisco raining season was taking a brief break.

I thought of returning a phone call, but I spend all day on the phone and chatting. I wasn’t really up for a phone conversation. I was lost in thought as I walked down Powell Street. And, then I heard the click of a camera. A sound that was right on me. I stopped. I turned to see who was taking my picture only to find an old woman a few feet behind me fighting her way up the hill. No camera anywhere in sight. The camera clicking continued to follow me for several blocks. I was sort of getting freaked out.

“OK. You are obviously losing it. Get a grip!”

I was wishing I had brought my iPod. Why was I hearing things!?!?!

My hunger was stronger than usual. So, I caved and walked into a tiny sandwich shop. As I stood in line I continued to hear the sound of a clicking camera almost constantly.

“OK. Just chill.”

I looked around. No one seemed to be noticing the sound and no one had a camera.

As I walked up to the counter and ordered my $3 grilled cheese sandwich the girl at the counter was giving me a funny look. As she took my money the sound of the clicking camera seemed to get louder. She continued to look up at me with a nervous look on her face.

“OK, I know this sounds really odd — but do you hear that camera clicking noise?!?!?” I asked this as I gestured with my hands.

The girl stopped and looked at me for a second. There was that clicking camera sound again.

She raised her hand and pointed at my left hand. “Um, you’re taking pictures with your cell phone. Sir.”

I looked to my left and saw my cell phone blinking like crazy. I literally jumped and the phone fell to the counter. And, there, on the counter top was a lovely picture of the cashier’s nostril. We both began to laugh. I apologized. She asked me how long I had been hearing it without realizing. I felt my face flush and told her that I had been hearing the sound for well over half an hour. We then took a look. …I had taken close to 50 pictures. There was almost no memory left.

I sat down with my sandwich and started deleting all of the many photos which I had taken. Yeah, I’m cool.

April 4, 2006. Uncategorized.


  1. Bloodgood replied:

    Nice, Ive done things like that too! On Valentines day a few years ago my wife and I were eating dinner and my cell phone dialed my mom. She heard our whole conversation. Fortunatly I have rubbed whatever we were talking about from my mind so the embarassment isnt as bad anymore.

    We have a Powell street here in PDX too. Elliott Smith sang about it in one of his many songs about Portland.

  2. Jon replied:

    Oh Matty, do you think the girl at the sandwich shop thought you were tweaking? I mean, just at first 😉

  3. g8s replied:

    You deleted them?!?!

  4. ing replied:

    Yeah, didn’t you get some cool accidental shots? There’s this club or movement or something where people set their cameras on automatic, toss them in the air, and the camera captures images from on high. I guess the results can be quite beautiful, but you need a sturdy camera.

  5. ing replied:



  6. ginab replied:

    sweet flower, sweet flower
    choose me from shadow

    i love that image of mister whomever (i don’t care if he’s famous or skint, he’s holding the shadow of a flower).

    I’m glad you stopped for a grilled cheese or else your phone might have gone on running until sirens went off. But $3 for a grilled cheese? That’s to beat the band.

    Funny about the pics tho. Last night I was going through boxes to pack boxes for the move (a.k.a. ‘purging’) and I found all these photos of parts of Bea Bea and the triceps of old aunts and evidence of what will happen to my face I get old and faces halved. I threw out whichever ones were those nobody, I don’t care who they are, would want anyone to see; I was sure to keep some scene stealers (side-splitters?); the ones so embarrassing…like a lone nostril, or my mother, her face is a cloud, she’s wearing large red-framed glasses, seated out of the main shot (a wedding reception; her sister stands jabbering at her back with a cousin) and a thought has settled in my mother’s mind, presumed from memory, an event from way back, from long ago.


  7. Karyn replied:

    Ah Matt. I love you.

    I did something similar in Disney World; I have about thirty minutes of footage featuring the feet of people in and around my party, the wheels of our stroller, the spotless sidewalks and other assorted effluvia, all set to the soundtrack of married bickering about breakfast.

    LOL. Same bolt of cloth, I tell you. Different garments in the end, but we are cut from the same bolt…. lol…

  8. matt replied:

    Bloodgood — That is too funny! Poor Elliott Smith. I miss him.

    Jon — She probably did! LOL!

    Gator — Yeah, none were worth keeping.

    Ing — No. Just blury shots of my my shoes, pants, street, sidewalk and odd shots of the waitress’ face. LOL! …people are going to start to wonder about “skunk” if you don’t confess to your “crime” soon!

    Gina — How l love the way you write/express yourself! That is Christopher Isherwood around the time that his Berlin diaries were published — which later became the play/film, I AM A CAMERA which then inspired the musical, CABARET. Isn’t it a great picture? He was so gorgeous. I got rid of about 500 photos a couple of years ago. I try to only keep what really matters to me because I can’t imagine anyone wanting my pix when I leave this plane. Ya know?

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