1, 2, 3, 4 / tell me that you love me more
February 3, 2009
“And me? Why had I decided to transfer the robbery re-enactment to the bank itself? For the same reason I’d done everything I’d done since David Simpson’s party: to be real — to become fluent, natural, to cut out the detour that sweeps us around what’s fundamental to events, preventing us from touching their core: the detour that makes us all second-hand and second-rate. I felt that, by this stage, I’d got so close to doing this. Watching the re-enactors’ movements as they practised that day, their guns’ arcs, the turning of their shoulders, the postures of the prone customers and clerks — watching all these, feeling the tingling moving up my spine again, I’d had the feeling that I was closing in on this core. After stalking it for months, just liked I’d stalked my building — stalking it with my small arsenal of craft and money, violence and passivity and patience, through a host of downwind trails and patterns, re-enactments that had honed and sharpened my skills — after all this, I could smell blood. Now I needed to move in for the kill.
But to do this required a leap of genius: a leap to another level, one that contained and swallowed all the levels I’d been operating on up to now. Samuels’s off-hand comment about dry runs had opened the gateway to that other level for me; pushing the three bath-foam clusters together, and the revelation had brought on, had propelled me up there. Yes: lifting the re-enactment out of its demarcated zone and slotting it back into the world, into an actual bank whose staff didn’t know it was a re-enactment: that would return my motions and my gestures to ground zero and hour zero, to the point at which the re-enactment merged with the event. It would let me penetrate and live inside the core, be seamless, perfect, real.
And so our goals aligned, mine and Naz’s. He needed me as much as I needed him. And need him I did, more than ever. In order for the re-enactment to pay off — to produce the defile Samuels had talked about, that sportsmanlike expansion in which we could move around and do our thing — we had to get everything coordinated absolutely perfectly. We’d have no chance to repeat it; there could be no slight mistimings, no slipping bin bags, leakage onto floors or falling cats — and certainly no skiving off and substituting tapes. And then not only was total control of movement and of matter necessary — every surface, every gesture, every last half-trip on a carpet’s king — but so, too, was control of information. We had to treat information as matter: stop it spilling, seeping, trickling, dribbling, whatever: getting in the wrong place and becoming mess. That’s how bank robbers who get clean away from the scene of the robbery itself get tripped up, Samuels had told us earlier: someone speaks to someone who tells someone else who tells their girlfriend who tells three of her friends, and then soon it’s common knowledge and only a matter of time before the police get to hear about it.”
“I chickened out. I was just at the doctor but couldn’t bring myself to ask because this problem just sounds so stupid. I am scared of having my photo taken.
I’ve had this problem since I was little. I don’t know why; I’ve just always frozen up whenever a camera’s near. I’ve worked through this in therapy and done CBT and I am a lot better, e.g., I’m okay in social situations now and don’t run away whenever someone starts taking photos. It is not a pleasant experience by any means but I accept that I don’t have to like it – I just have to do it.
On occasion I will feel the old panic coming back but for the most part I can laugh at myself and my terrible photos.
Last week though, we had school photos (I work part time at a school). I did everything right… I put myself in a good mood.. I had a funny memory in my head to draw on… I had a relaxing morning, etc etc. But when I got into the room, instant panic. It’s just this intense physiological reaction, and I find it hard to breathe, I trieed to smile but it’s impossible somehow, as though my face is paralysed? The photographer and his team actually laughed at my attempts. I got very flustered and it was so humiliating because my colleagues were there.
I hate it when people find out I don’t like photos, because all the usual questions start: Why? But you’re do cute, I bet you’d take nice photos. Can’t you just smile? What’s the big deal?
It’s easier when no one knows as it gives me the opportunity to pretend I’m normal when a camera comes around. But once people know I freak out, they expect it of me and watch me (or at least I feel like they do) and it becomes even worse for me the next time.
I got do anxious after school photos last week that it affected my whole day at work and I STILL feel somewhat “hungover” from the anxiety. I couldn’t help but think “emergency Valium would have prevented this”.
Doctors prescribe 2-3 valium for people with a fear of flying. Would a doctor prescribe me a couple of Valium for my phobia? Given that it’s a pretty rare event, couple times per year max, I can’t see why not. But I chickened out at the doctor. I feel so stupid and alone. Does anyone else suffer from this? Help 😦
PS I’m typing this on my iPhone so sorry if there are weird typos.”