I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday reflections

The back of a parked car on West 48th Street.

I noticed some interesting windows on 48th Street on my way to work this past week, and went back this morning with my camera. Lately I'm fascinated by the headlights and taillights on cars -- geometries and reflections in one small package! -- and I stopped several times to look at some that caught my eye and to take this picture.

A man started screaming, and after a minute I realized he was screaming at me. I couldn't understand what he was saying and he was obviously more than a little crazy so I backed up, and tried to move around him. He punched me in the chest.

"I don't know what you're saying. I'm just going to leave now," I said, as calmly as I could, trying to back away. He followed me, still screaming, hitting me on the chest and shoulders. A man walking by got in between us and told the man to leave me alone or he'd call the police.

"Yes! Yes! Police! You call police!"

"If I call the police you'll be arrested for assaulting this nice lady."

The crazy man pointed to my camera, and screamed some more, and tried to hit me -- my good samaritan kept his blows from landing -- and I finally understood that he thought I had taken his picture. I denied it, but every time I tried to leave he lunged at me again.

I showed the pictures to my rescuer (and how embarrassing was that -- a dozen pictures of taillights) and he told the crazy man that there were no pictures of him in the camera. A few other people had stopped, and finally I was able to get away, the man still screaming at me as I half ran up the street.

The irony is that I'm probably one of the photographers least likely to have taken his picture. My friends even tease me about the lack of people in my pictures, and though I've tried to take more photos of faces I find interesting, it's usually at the safe distance of a telephoto lens, and I seldom get caught.

But after today, I think I'll stick to inanimate objects and wildlife.

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