Monday, October 11, 2010

Martin's Curious Camera - Part 1

Martin didn’t look tan enough to have vacationed in Cancun. Nor did he look sufficiently relaxed to have spent 7 days and 6 nights strolling white sand beaches or sipping Coronas in a palm tree lined outdoor bar. Martin didn’t seem relaxed at all. In fact, when he came into the office about 15 minutes late Monday morning looking pasty and twitchy, he barely said a word to me or to Matthew, although we had worked in the same department for almost 4 years and enjoyed a routine of morning banter.

“How was the old South of the Border!?” Matthew inquired, spinning his rolling office chair away from his desk to face Martin’s meagerly decorated cubicle.

“It was nice. Hot.”

“Long flight? I bet your arms are tired,” Matthew laughed, like it was the first time the English – speaking world had ever heard that joke. He was so proud I was afraid he was about to request a high five.

“That’s all you got?” I tried, “Any girls? Any crazy stories? Or is this like a ‘What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico” sort of thing.”

Martin didn’t turn around. He didn’t make eye contact. He watched his computer boot up and shuffled around the week-old papers on his desk.

“No, no…none of that. It was just uneventful, that’s all. Quiet. Relaxing.”

Matthew and I took his brevity as our cue to go back to the spreadsheeting and analysis that occupied the majority of our average workdays, but minutes later my thoughts returned to the weird interacting with Martin. He usually wasn’t so distant. And now, as I quieted my hands on my keyboard, I couldn’t even hear him at his desk. No phone call, no typing. I leaned back in my chair with the sort of fake stretch that usually signifies a low budget attempt to romance a girl at a movie theatre. From my backbend, I could just see Martin’s back as he hunched over something – his “Trees of the Northwest” computer screen saver replacing a Word or Excel file.

I couldn’t tell what he was doing, but he had been doing it for long enough for his computer to lock up. Because it was a departure from his normal office behavior, this clear distraction from work intrigued me even more. I rocked back up to an upright position in my chair, contemplating my next investigative move. Then my ears focused in. Beyond the typing, beyond the hushed phone calls, I heard a beeping. A patternless, high pitched sound that didn’t take my 21st Century ears long to diagnose – the clicking through of pictures on a digital camera. That was Martin’s engrossing activity – clicking through pictures from his “uneventful” trip to Cancun? Something about this Monday morning seemed off, and I was going to find out what.

-To Be Continued-

Prompt: Write about a roll of film that has been obtained surreptitiously.


nicole said...

omg. Maybe martin went to mexico bc he runs the biggest drug cartel in mexico and works a shitty office job to hide it!! OR maybe he met his long lost child in mexico who rund the biggest cartel! maybe hes sad he had to leave said child. WHAT ARE THE PHOTOS!?!?!?!?! hmmmmmmm

lara said...

I really enjoyed this, and look forward to the next installment.