Kevin and I have been watching marathons of Deadliest Catch via the Discovery Channel web site. It’s a documentary series about crab fishermen on the Bering Sea who are completely, utterly, up to their elbows in ice, waves, steel, pain, cold and crab. We watch this curled up in blankets on the couch, one episode after the other, on pins and needles: how many crab will they get this time?
And I wonder about the cameras. When we were little and rode the bus to school, I could press my nose to the dirty glass window and see that men with small yellow cameras were setting up like for a film shoot in the empty lots that we passed on the way. I wondered what they were doing. I thought maybe they were making a movie, about this place, and my bus (me!) might be there in the background.
Last night I talked to my sister Lisa on Skype for the first time, using the video feature, and pretty soon my parents heard about this and scrunched in behind her. Waving, bringing the dog over, commenting on my new haircut, wondering about my apartment: Is that your bike over there? Whose painting is that? My dad was eating a fudgsicle. Then my sister left and came back with a fudgsicle. Then my mom left and returned licking a fudgsicle. I was the entertainment, suddenly.
This morning on my way to work at the theater, I saw men in construction gear with their small yellow cameras, but I knew they were just surveying the land. Someone needed measurements. And I guess that’s all I wanted too, rolling by in the school bus– to be measured, to count, to be there in the background, waving like crazy.