Robert stopped me on Broadway and started digging around in the Nordstrom bag he’s been carrying his things in. “I finally got my camera out of storage and bought a roll of film. But I ruined the film when I tried to load it.”
He found the camera and handed it to me. I looked it over. It had a zoom lens (“It brings the picture to you,” as Robert put it) and everything seemed to work, though there was a small piece missing at the top of the casing.
“What do you want me to do?”
“Could you loan me some money to get another roll of film? I’d really like to take some pictures.”
I told him that I didn’t have any small bills on me, but agreed to buy him lunch. He gobbled his pizza in record time. He talked about his camera while I finished.
“Don’t you think it would be more important to feed yourself right now then it would be to take pictures?”
Eventually he became resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t have the chance to take any pictures. And I suggested he sell the camera.
“Would you be willing to give me ten bucks for it?”
“No. I don’t really need it. But I’ll bet you’d get more than that for it at a pawnshop.”
I finished my lunch and we walked over to the pawnshop. The man at the counter took one glance at the camera and turned it down.
“Sorry, Nobody’s buying the cameras that I have now. I definitely won’t be able to get rid of something broken like that.”
Robert put the camera back in it’s pouch and we went outside.
“Well, that’s too bad.”
We walked a block and before we split I gave him a ten-dollar bill.
He started crying and asked for a hug.
“Nothing. I’m just so happy. Now I can get some more film. I’ll have Zed help me load it so that I don’t break it this time. I’ll be able to take some pictures now.”
“You really didn’t want to sell that camera.”
“No, I didn’t.”