Monday, January 19, 2004

A Shift Unfolds on CCTV (The Berlin Defense)


The bars have let out. I'm watching a couple on the benches along the planters. A slight young girl sits, crying, on the bench with her boyfriend's arm around her. He looks immature, unsure – maybe even scared. I wish to admire the girl's beauty more closely, and zoom in just in time to catch a tear shimmering in the moonlight, sliding down her rosy cheek from a pale blue eye. A hand enters the screen to brush it away. Going wide, I discover it to be the boyfriend's. His lips brush her ear. A whisper. A smile breaks on the girl's perfect lips. A laugh, shared. I pull back further. The boy awkwardly pulls her atop him, and she obliges, straddling, her jeans pulled taught over her slender thighs. Embarrassed, I pan away.

King-knight to king-two.

Expected as much.

So, I didn't now you had a brother...

Used to. Musician - was halfway through recording his first album when he drowned in the lake.

Wow, sorry, must've been really tough.

Yeah, he was a good swimmer even, but the lake still took 'im. Was hardest on our dad. He sat on the couch for days just crying and reading his bible.

...Man, what could've been.


I have the camera facing south toward the old courthouse. I'm looking beyond the geometrically challenged planters with their dead plants and fake 'holiday trees' which are really nothing more that multicoloured bulbs in a conical formation. My attention is caught by a hooker sauntering down the street, her walk sad with no-one watching. A high-heeled shoe slides on the frost-slicked sidewalk. I zoom in. As she reaches down to fix the strap on her shoe, her already too short skirt is hiked up further exposing more thigh. I imagine goose-bumps. With a flip of her chocolate hair, I catch a splash of red red lips before she disappears down the street.

Bishop takes bishop.


Thanks, so you were saying ya don't party so much anymore...

Naw, I came to a lot of realisations while in Montréal one summer. I was pretty big into the booze and coke back then.

Blow eh?

Yes, that most glamorous of drugs. I thought about quitting when I found myself hunched over a toilet tank in a gay bar early one morning snorting a fat line up one nostril and bleeding out the other.


I decided to quit for sure when I woke up in bed the next day with Louis Riel.


I don't think we did anything though.


There’s movement inside the coffee shop. Sitting beneath a single light, a woman – the owner I think – is hunched over a table writing. If I manipulate the camera just so, I'm able to look through the glass and read over her shoulder. Closer. Closer. Numbers. She's putting numbers into columns. Pausing, she rests her chin in her hand and looks out the window, troubled it seems, and shakes her head slightly. Next, she takes a sip of coffee, before burying her face in her hands, her shoulders quaking. I pull back.

Knight takes bishop.

Ya got me in four moves.

I know.

So, ya ever think you'd be doing this job?



Yeah, I think a lot of things.

Aw, turn it up - I love this song! Man, Johnny Cash was a genius.

I love Johnny, but he was no genius.

Ya don't think?

No, I think the word genius is overused. Johnny was a con artist – a master in marketing – but he was no genius.


Thing is, you are whatever you can convince people you are. You want to be smart? Con everyone into thinking you are. You want to be mysterious? Con. Want to be sexy? Con.


And it's even easier if you con yourself first.

No comments:

Post a Comment