The Camera

It's 8:00pm and I'm still at school for drama. Everyone is exhausted except Paul Larkin, who is enthusiastically shoving his video camera in the vocal instructor's face as he lectures the actors on their tone. Paul seems so happy when he has his camera--a $4,000 Canon camcorder--with him. It seems like he never gets tired or hungry or sad or anything normal people feel as long as that camera is with him. The vocal teacher, Mr. Mann, was already annoyed when he began talking, but is currently doing a good job of not looking like he wants to punch Paul in the face.

Staring at Paul is a habit, and it's hard to say whether or not he notices. probably not. people never notice anything.

Paul is in tech crew, too, and he actually explains what certain things do and mean in a way that's simple and interesting to understand. He understands more than most people because he's a senior, and in the multi-media class, which is where he got the camera. He always says that class is the best thing that's ever happened to him.

His girlfriend Kristen walks up to him and waits for him to get the angle he wants from his camera. Kristen is taller than him, and wider than him, and honestly rather ugly. It's mean to say, but she isn't nice, so it's difficult to feel bad. It's even harder to understand why someone like Paul could love someone like her.

Paul finally notices her, puts his camera on a tripod so as not to lose any precious footage of Mr. Mann exploding, and wraps his arm around her thick waist. They're funny to look at. he's so skinny that a belt can hardly keep his pants up, and he wears faded blue jeans and a semi-baggy T-shirt. Kristen's muffin-top is visible from her skin tight, low cut shirt until Paul gives her his sweater. She looks smug, but nobody in drama sees--they're too tired to care, and besides that they find Paul Larkin annoying. She's always smug around him, as if to remind everyone around that he's hers. Paul looks so gentle and loving to that ogre that it's hard to wonder why nobody else is staring at his plain but sweet face. Like I've said before, though, hardly anyone likes Paul. His passion for multi-media is usually all he can talk about, and it bores a lot of people. They like Kristen, though, even if she is a jerk. What's wrong with everyone?

Paul giggles at something his girlfriend said and slowly moves toward her so that his nose is almost touching hers, and his hands move romantically to his neck. None of the teachers or parent volunteers care about their PDA. Drama parents learned to deal with it, especially because there's a bed and a couch backstage that you can bet is full of STDs. That's a disgusting thought--Paul and Kristen backstage on that bed.

They move, but not backstage--just about ten yards away from everyone else, for some privacy. He kisses her a little on the ear, and she flashes him a look that's supposed to tell him that she owns his soul or something. She might know more about Paul Larkin's life than anyone else, but it's debatable whether or not she really cares about him, or if his short film wins that contest, or how he edited that footage for 4 hours just this morning.

She gives him a real kiss on the lips before Paul comes back for his camera.

It's hard to accept, but she means something to him. I don't.





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