so long

For as long as I can remember, the shop was there, along Mass Ave, with dusty camera bodies in its window displays. I would slow down just a little bit as I walked by, breathing deeply the faint smell of photo chemicals, which would send me back into my laundry room darkroom, or the one in the West Hall basement at school. It was comforting; it was home, and so were the slightly odd guys who worked behind the counter, just like the slightly odd people at every old-school camera shop: ridiculously knowledgable, with a slight air of elitism. They could care less whether they sold their customers a new lens or a used body; whether the customer appreciated what she was getting was key. I liked to know what I was talking about before I walked in: k-mounts, semi-matte, 3200 ISO. It’s true I hadn’t been inside in years. Like most people, my digital camera suited most of my needs, so it wasn’t shock that I felt as I cut a sad slumping figure in front of the locked grate and darkened windows — just wistful sorrow.

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