Picture Perfect 45

Back at the Waterside Motel after the day’s shoot Dan was reviewing the raw footage in the remote truck. He looked more relaxed in the shirt he had been given to wear. The blue looked less vivd on camera & brought out the blue of his eyes. He was pleased to see that he didn’t tug at the collar once.

He was pleased at how unaware he or Forestier appeared to be of the cameras. Any awkwardness disappeared after the first few seconds as Mark responded to his questions. Even though Dan was never an investigative officer, he had taken the various courses on interrogation. He found it more comfortable to get information from pictures than from people.

During the interview he hadn’t even been conscious of how the cameras moved around, of the lenses zooming in and out for closeups. All the security cameras in the Depot had definitely trained him well.   He was curious how he looked when he had come across the class pictures his Dad had taken. He had Cliff replay that section.

For a few beats he was silent on the screen as a questioning look furrowed his brows and mouth then it was gone.

“We’ll edit that out.” Cliff said. “Looks fine, mind you, but doesn’t add anything to the plot, as they say. It could be an okay shot for the opening credits though. That puzzled look sets the mood nicely.”

“Right. Thanks, for the reassurance. That’s a wrap for me.” He said as he exited the truck. 

Walking back to his cabin he patted his pockets for his cellphone. He’d turned it off before the shoot started that morning & wasn’t sure where he had put it. He found it in the front pocket of his shoulder bag.

His cell was flashing that he had messages. Three from Sanjay. One from Peter. One from Baxter. Baxter could wait until morning.

He hadn’t bothered to return Sanjay’s call that came when the RCMP were searching his room. He called Sanjay.

“You called?” He tried to sound casual. 

“Took you that long to get rid of your boyfriend?”

“That was one Sergeant John Tyler from the local RCMP detachment, if you must know.” He wasn’t going to explain what had happened to Sanjay. “What can I do for you?”

“Nothing that he isn’t doing for you.”

“If this is why you called I’ll say good night and turn my phone off again until morning.”

“I can’t help it Dan.”

“You saying you miss me that much? Or miss your punching bag.” Dan’s rib was still sore from where Sanjay had struck out him in a rage last week when he confront Dan about the changed locks on the house. It was that scene that had confirmed for Dan that this reality show circus was a better choice than staying in Toronto.

“Don’t start. I said I’m sorry.”

“You started it with that boyfriend remark. You said there was nothing left for us to talk about. According to you it’s now all in the hands of lawyers.”

“It wouldn’t be, if you’d just be fair with me.” Sanjay said.

“Fair! I had my business before I met you. I only bought that house because you didn’t want to live over any fucking camera shop.”

“I’m not denying any of that. Besides we’ve been through this shit already. I … just called to make sure you had arrived okay.”

“Yeah, right. Look, you’re not on the insurance policy anymore.”

“I’m trying to be decent.” Sanjay said. “Why are you being so obdurate.”

“Why are you being so suspicious? You think I flew here to the east coast for this crime show so I could fuck the first guy in pants who came busting into my motel room to arrest me! Sanjay!”

“Sorry. Actually I’m calling about the car.”

“What about the car?” Dan said. “It’s your car period. It always was. You made that clear when you bought two years ago. Remember. You wanted something that was in your name, paid for, mostly, by your own money.”

“No, I mean about the insurance for it. You had been paying that and now you aren’t?”

“Yeah, well, when I changed my life insurance policy I also had them change that too.” Dan let himself into his motel room.

“Without telling me! What if I’d had an accident?”

“There was a grace period. They said they’d notify you of the change.”

“Notify me? Where? My mail is still coming to the house, you know. Your boy toy won’t let me in the house to get it.”

“I told you Peter would be house sitting for me. I’ll remind him to forward any mail that comes until you get that change of address stuff looked after.” He held his cell under this chin & began to undress. “Clearly you found out anyway.”

“Once again it’s all my fault, isn’t it, Dan. You sleep around and it’s my fault for being too trusting.”

“I stop being your banker and now you get to use whatever you can against me to get me to be your banker again. It’s not to going to work.”

“Back to the same old circles. You don’t want to take any responsibility for your actions, do you, Dan. Morality doesn’t mean anything to you.”

“How are you and Papoulias getting along? Those weekends up in Bob country organizing those menus? Interviewing promising sou chefs?”

“He’s in his sixties, married with grandchildren.”

“San, that sounds like your dream for yourself. When we first hooked up, you told me all about eventually fulfilling your family’s plan for you. Or did you forget wanting to make grandchildren for your folks.”

“My values changed over the years. Yours haven’t if you see me meeting you that first time as a hook up.”

“Sanjay I have to go.” He turned the shower on so Sanjay could hear it in the background. “It’s nearly eleven here and I have a busy day tomorrow.” 

“Whatever.” 

His cell went silent. Why had Sanjay called the other night & again? They hadn’t spoken for the past couple of weeks. Hardly spoken at all once he had Sanjay moved out of the house. A move which Dan had forced himself not to oversee. All he did was make sure there was nothing Sanjay might claim in his study. That door he had locked. Perhaps Sanjay had hoped Baxter to answer when he called so that his suspicions of Dan’s constant infidelity were proved once more. 

He texted Peter one word. “Vid?” A few seconds later came a smily face reply. He opened his laptop & logged onto a video chat site, a few seconds later Peter was on his screen

“Good evening, sir.”

“I told you save that for the bedroom.” Dan joked.

“You’re in one now.” Peter was pulling off his tee shirt.

“Yes but … you can remain clothed Peter. This isn’t one of those calls.”

“Oh!” He pulled his tee back on. 

“Maybe in another week though.”

“How is it? Baxter keeping his distance?”

“He’s deep in his element here. He knows what he’s doing & how to get things done. Under that flashy surface is true producer. How are things there?”

“Nothing to report. I re-introduced myself to your neighbours. Don’t want anyone calling the cops on me. You’re the only one who can put me in handcuffs.”

“Stop that. Don’t get me going.”

“Sorry, sir.”

“That’s more like it. Sanjay called me to remind me to remind you to forward his mail.”

“Ah yes, all those flyers for the hospital’s win this house lottery.”

“Time for me to turn in.”

“Nice to see your face, sir.”

“Nice to see your’s too.” He logged off the site. 

He stepped into the shower. Low water pressure but at least it was hot and wet. Quickly drying himself he piled all but one of the pillows on the floor, tugged the comforter off the bed and untucked the sheets. Even after his request not to make the bed the staff made his bed. He rolled over to his left side and dropped off to sleep.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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