Sunday, October 05, 2008


Waking up with a head cold is bad enough. But when the slow realisation dawns on you have lost your camera, that you left your camera rig on the floor of the pub the night before, then you need more than a hot lemon drink.

I text the muse. We are supposed to be doing a photo shoot this afternoon. Oops a daisy. Miss Polly makes a few calls, including one to the hotel manager, who says there is no sign of the missing camera. (A Nikon D70, serial number 6011881, and Nikon SB800 flash. By the way.)

The next thing i do is cast about for a scapegoat. I think i can blame the girls. Mainly Dolores the Journalist for getting me so tipsy after work, but also Miss Polly, whose rockstar looks are enough to distract blind Freddy and his three dead brothers.

When Miss Polly turns up and joins Dolores and i on the black sofa, she crosses her legs, revealing a glimpse of thigh-high stockings with elasticized lacy tops. It is at precisely this point that i lose the camera. I completely forget about the backpack on the floor, with its padded carry handle on top, big clip-down flap, and diagonal zip pouch containing a blue USB card reader, spare 1Gb compact flash card, a $3000 camera rig, and an unused condom.

Can i get you a drink, Miss Polly. What’s been happening, Miss Polly. Uh huh yes wow how fascinating uh huh can i walk you to your car?

Doh. So the digital camera is now, more than likely, at one with Miss Polly’s iPod, which disappeared during the past week’s Birthday Week celebrations. No doubt both pieces of technology are in the hands of the same drug dealer, who is, even as we speak, idly flicking through photos of the muse and the art director playing pool and listening to More News From Nowhere on Polly’s iPod. Oh, and looking at rock photos of Adalita Srsen from Magic Dirt. Mmm, Adalita. No, wait. There can be no more distractions. This is serious. Miss Polly and i have both lost stuff in the past week, and doesn’t that, technically, make us a couple of losers?

To hell with the technicalities. On the positive side, it certainly makes the maddening choice between film and digital one hell of a lot easier. I unclip my aluminium camera case, lift out that trusty old brick, the Nikon F3, and blow off the dust.

I text Miss Polly and confirm the digital camera is no more. She texts back. “Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Want to go out for breakfast to commiserate?”
Fuckity fuck sounds good, i say, but breakfast will do.
“OK… where r u? Work or home or in the bath with razors?”

Everyone’s a comedian.

I order her breakfast at the café downstairs, hoping she is coming equipped with her credit card. She arrives just as the steaming plates of scrambled eggs and chorizo are put on the table. We sip our coffee. The muse is also a professionial barista, and one hell of a coffee critic. The Bean Café long black somehow pole vaults and contorts its way over the bar, which Polly has set so impossibly high. But then, as Tim Shocker always says, she makes the best coffee in town.

I found these, i say, pulling a pair of Mexican silver earrings from my pocket. You left them. Do you have anywhere you can put them?
She looks at me like i am not all there. “Uh, like maybe in my ears?” She puts them in her ears, and tucks back into her breakfast. I do like this girl.

In spite of my sickness (and yes, avid reader, it is a mere head cold – i don’t want to see the word lovesick bandied about in the comments section) and in spite of my camera having been stolen, we go ahead with the scheduled shoot. Upstairs in the apartment we crank through a couple of rolls of film as Albany turns on the rain and hail outside. Miss Polly in a mohair coat, sprawling on a bed of vinyl records, the new muse in stockings and heels curled against a rain-spattered window. The raven haired coffee girl glowers through the locks of that famous hair, all wide eyes and hoop earrings, into the lens of the Nikon.

And with each look, she permanently rearranges the chemistry of my fine-grained emulsion.


Benjamin said...

I remember taking a few photo's during the magic dirt concert with that camera im sure!

ouch man ouch. I like my cannon anyway... albeit a lot less expensive.

Maybe I know about this polly business, I took her facebook photo...


Im a ninja.

Miss Em said...

Wowza. That's a gorgeous shot.

Mark Roy said...

Yes Ben, that is the very same camera ... of course Miss Polly may have a different name on Facebook because The Nerve is all about poetry, while the facts remain elusive ...

Mark Roy said...

Thanks Miss Em! It's hard not to take a gorgeous photo with Miss P.

Juice said...

She's gorgeous. Was even better meeting her in person.