Winter, 1994. In the middle of the night, Rey calls me. “Do you know anyone who wants a camera?” he says. Ricki needs rent money from him. Rey has never owned a camera, so I don’t know where he got it, but I can make a guess as to how. “It’s sweet,” he says. Bernie’s would only give him fifty for it, the crooks. As it happens, I want a camera; I have always wanted a camera. But I have resigned myself to never owning one. I don’t know how to buy one. They’re meant for people who know about things like that. And good cameras are expensive, probably, and I can’t spend that kind of money on myself. I can give that kind of money to Rey, though.
When he brings it to me, I give him two hundred dollars. Two hundred sounds fair to me. What do I know? It’s beautiful and heavy and real and sinister, and I am immediately afraid of it. So I put it in an old binocular bag from the Army-Navy store and hide it, or hide from it, until spring.