The first series are pictures of me looking for this camera—on the table where I had left it for just a moment, on the other chairs, underneath, and apparently into the sky, as if it could have leapt onto the awning of the café or been stolen by a seagull. These photos were taken from close range, and if the camera could see me, I should have been able to see the camera. In one, I am asking other tourists. In another, I am looking straight into the lens. In the next few, I am wandering along the boardwalk and then the streets back to my hotel.
The second series are pictures of you. At least I assume they are. Your feet in sandals, on the pebbles. The arc of your hip, with the sea as background. Your hand grasping a blue scarf. Edges of shoulder, neck, earlobe, lips, always in a new location, apparently shot on the same day, between pre-dawn and post-sunset, and never in a mirror. Hints. Nothing that identifies you.
The third series are pictures of things I would never have seen without you. At least, I would never have seen them in the same light, from the same angle, with the same ideology, with the same patience. A seagull picking at a crab shell, unnoticed by the crowd tanning on the other side of a big rock. A particular tomato at a fruit stand as it is examined by five successive customers over the course of a day. A series of shots of an ice cube melting on your pelvis. It quickly meets the curve of your body, your skin with goosebumps. Then it turns to water, then it evaporates.
Next there are shots of a hang-glider as he runs towards a cliff. Somehow you are positioned to see his face, first in reflexive fear, then in perfect exhilaration. I had a dream like that while visiting. You couldn’t have known.
When I found my camera again, it was the last day of my trip, my bags were right beside me, and it was on my table at the café, exactly where I had left it. How did you know I would come back? Perhaps you returned every day, set the camera down and watched. It is such a crowded café. I suppose the owner must have been in on it. She always seemed to know something.