I was loping across rooftops on the southside of town the other day, when I stumbled across some colleagues. Lost in their own live shot, they didn’t even see me - which came as great relief since I was wearing my new, ahem...uniform. I don't really wanna talk about it. Just know that your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is more focused than ever on his goals: to raise the profile of the lowly photog, spotlight their plight, dismiss their blemishes and practice the crafted ambivalence of the news-shooter nation. Yes, every smelly mass needs a hero and if that means strapping a giant “L” to my hairy bird-chest, then so be it. Besides, people are already noticing. Just the other days these junior kids passed by me tripod spot in the food court and shot me an “L” sign to the forehead. Yes Sir, those lads know a champion of the people when they see it. Could have done without the spitball, though.
Middle school missiles aside, I’m almost ready to unveil my new look. However, I did drop to the blacktop the moment I saw my co-workers across the Greensboro skyline. Better not startle them, I thought - picking gravel out of my teeth. Luckily, they never noticed my spandex form lying there in the shadows of the air-conditioning unit. They were busy anyway - lost in their electronic message of great import: A wailing bald guy was coming to town. Very soon, every patch of pavement below would be overrun by rabid fans - all whacked to the gills on overpriced beer and free pandemonium. For now however, the streets of the Gate City were safe - if not a little dull. I could hear the traffic passing below as Angela Rodriguez (A-Rod to her peeps) emoted on-cue. Sure, she’s cute - but stand in between this feisty Floridian and a deadline and she’ll rip your throat out. With that in mind, I opted to low.
A-Rod’s partner for the day ignored me as well. With his tripod, camera and earpiece on the roof, Eddie Hughes had more important things on his mind than some clandestine cohort in too-tight lycra. Like how he got suckered into schlepped his gear up the side of a building. Actually, that was my fault as well. Days earlier I’d poked my mild-mannered head into McCoul’s Pub, had a cryptic conversation with an fetching lass named Simonne and conned my way to the top floor kitchen door. There, a series of inclines led to a most unobstructed view of what would soon be a certain singer’s spotlight, I promptly planted a flag in the name of El Ocho . Peering over the sleepy streets, I figured I’d be the one to lord over the future throng. I wasn’t. Come show-time, I’d be locked in elbow-fiesta with winos and housewives at ground level. Instead this high-rise perch would be manned by one Joe McCloskey - who so eloquently termed the afternoon portion of the shoot to-be as ’butt-ass hot’. Who says photogs don’t have a way with words?
Eddie Hughes’ got game. For now though, he remained silent - locked in contact with the one inch screen before him. At one point the did look over his shoulder, right at me! Roof pebbles poured past into my mouth as I tried my best to become one with the rooftop. Eddie looked back to his viewfinder, and twiddled a knob. I remained prone, wondering if I’d been spotted. Mr. Hughes’ poker face didn’t help. Hard to estimate the cool of a dude who sports a Richard Pryor t-shirt and still laugh at my dumb jokes. That’s acceptance. Perhaps he, better than anyone, would understand why I’ve taken to slinking across rooftops in day-glo underwear as of late. The wife sure doesn’t - but hey, that’s her problem. Once my superpowers come in, we’ll all be surprised, won’t we? For now, though - keep it on the down-low. I’m hoping I escaped unscathed, but after getting my cape caught up in the fire escape, I’m pretty sure I heard something from above, three words that frankly, have come to haunt me.
“Nice tights, Pittman.”