It had to be there, tucked behind one of brass taps or hidden between the man-bags that hung from the long bar. I scanned the room and paused at the dark corner above the tv, it’d be a perfect spot to shoot the scene. I looked for a reflection on the lens, in it I’d see my own bewildered plea, “where’s the camera?”
It wasn’t real. It couldn’t possibly be real. I stood with one hand in my pocket, the other gripped around a syrupy stout, my outline nothing but an emulsion on film. No, not Candid Camera, I was in a movie. I was in a scene from a romcom. Where was Jason Segel?
I wanted to be there, don’t get me wrong. I loved my role. In fact, I loved that it was all happening to me, to us. But in that pub, it just all seemed bizarre. Were they actors? Was the barman the director? Would I win an award?
There were five of us from the antenatal class. We chatted, mostly about guy stuff. We watched the 200 meter Olympic final. Eventually we compared due dates. We started friendships, and several times over, we stared at the bottom of empty pint glasses and quickly agreed to have one more.
We finally said goodbye, and good luck. Just outside the pub, a few friends stood arms wrapped around each other. One asked me if I’d take their picture, I obliged. I smirked, not because my legs wobbled, but because I found the camera I was looking for. I focused on the couple in the middle. They tilted their newborn towards me, and I snapped a picture that was all too real.
It wasn’t an act, any of it, and unfortunately neither was my hangover this morning.
Categories: Creative Writing