In the House of Mirrors

In the House of Mirrors by Tim Meyer Read Free Book Online

Book: In the House of Mirrors by Tim Meyer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tim Meyer
employed in that position also worked on our website.” He waited for me to say something, but I remained quiet. “Would you be interested in something like that? It's not full-time, but the pay is decent. You'll get paid per photograph, and we can work out a small salary for maintaining the website. It said on your resume that you took a web design class in college.” I nodded, although I didn't remember ever taking a web design course. “What do you say?”
    If I had known then what I knew now, I would have told him to go fuck himself with a long thorny stick. But, I didn't. Instead, I extended my hand and asked him, “When can I start?”
    I took one photojournalism class, and that was during my last year at Rutgers. Nearly a decade ago. Couldn't tell you who the instructor was, or what was taught.
    Most publications don't staff photographers anymore. The quality of cell phone pictures are just as good nowadays anyway. I, on the other hand, had the shittiest camera phone ever. It was basically worthless. Besides that, I never even owned a camera. Never needed one. Lynne was the documenter on our little vacations to Florida every year. I'm pretty incompetent when it comes to taking pictures, or so she always told me.
    Sheldon Daniels offered me a job, and I wasn't going to turn it down. It wasn't long term, so I didn't worry about whether or not I could do it, or the quality of work I was going to produce. This was only to hold me over until I could find something else. Some real work, whatever that consisted of in my field these days.
    The one thing a photographer needs, is a camera. And as I previously mentioned, I didn't own one. I asked Sheldon if there was one I could use temporarily, or if I could buy one and be reimbursed. He claimed money was tight and they couldn't afford to buy me a new camera, which I found to be improbable, but I kept my mouth shut. He told me to ask Dana if there was something in the basement that I could use. He grinned oddly. I thought nothing of it, just another Sheldon quirk.
    I briefly explained to Dana what had happened (she congratulated me and welcomed me aboard) and that Sheldon wanted  me to peruse the basement in hopes to find a camera. She searched her drawer for two minutes before coming up with the key that unlocked the supply room. Reluctantly, she got off her seat and led me to the stairs, which led down to the basement.
    “ I've only been down there twice since I started—which was two years ago—and it was really dark and smelled like piss,” she told me.
    “ Wonderful,” I said. “Sounds like my first apartment.”
    She smirked (clearly not funny enough for her to laugh), and opened the door. I flipped the light switch on and a tiny bulb burned dimly at the foot of the cement stairs. “You go first, it's creepy down there.” And so I did. It took about six steps before the odor Dana had described so eloquently hit me like an unsuspecting wave. If I was to hang out down there longer than ten minutes, I'd have probably caught cancer. “See, I told you,” Dana said, pinching her nostrils together.
    I reached the bottom and there were two doors on either side of me. The one to the left said BATHROOM (hence the smell of piss). The one to the right simply said SUPPLIES. Dana slipped the key into the lock and opened it quickly. It seemed she wanted this to be over more than I did.
    The room looked as if it had been recently ransacked. Besides a few boxes of pens that were spread across a tiny desk, it was mostly vacant. There was a folder with a few blank sheets of loose notebook paper. A wastebasket next to the desk housed a few crumpled pieces of paper in it. There was also some on the dusty floor that had missed the target. A few empty bookshelves sat snug against the far wall. One bookcase—on the right side of the room—had a stack of newspapers in them. I shuffled through them out of curiosity, but there was nothing of interest.
    “No one

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