Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photo Processing

I have it on fairly good authority that, these days, people make self-portrait photographs and send said photos via the Internet to friends. There is a rumor out there that sometimes the portrait subject in these photos is in varying stages of undress. I am attempting to verify the veracity of this assertion. It sounds somewhat plausible given my understanding of human beings. I’ve heard that such revealing photos can even be made using a cell phone. Imagine that. The mind boggles. What I do know for sure is that at the time that Mona and I were fucking around with each other there was nothing of the sort available to us. Hell, home video and the porn explosion was still several years off. Mona assured me she was serious about wanting to take some revealing photos-- but then she pointed out that she hadn’t brought along a Polaroid camera. I told her that I didn’t own one either.

Polaroid marketed their cameras as being able to give you instant photo gratification. You could see images of your fun activities immediately. You know, kid’s birthday parties, Little League ballgames… No need to wait for the drugstore to develop the film. Of course, in reality, a lot of Polaroid film was used to shoot pictures you didn’t want the druggist to see. Or the photo processing machine operator. And you definitely didn’t want the Fotomat girl to see those shots!

What? You don’t know about Fotomats? They were all the rage in the 70’s. What an innovation. Instead of driving to the drug store or photo shop you could motor up to the Fotomat kiosk with the bright yellow roof in the grocery store parking lot. Inside was a hot babe wearing a polyester yellow and red (Kodak’s colors) uniform. They even wore these mod lookin’ caps. Although after a year or so I noticed the clerks were less apt to be wearing the groovy Kodak unis. A corporate cost cutting move, no doubt. Anyway, the Fotomat bunny would take your film roll, write up your information on an envelope, give you the receipt and you could drive away—never having left your car. Sometimes she’d write her own phone number on the other side of the receipt just in case. Or so I’ve heard. The little kiosks were just big enough for one person and they must have been miserable in really hot or really cold weather. At least Kimmy always complained about how uncomfortable they were. But that’s a story for another day. Anyway, you didn’t want the Fotomat clerk looking through your dirty pictures any more than you wanted old man Gower, the druggist, eyeballin’ pictures of your girlfriend’s sweet frame.

So, Mona thought we had a big dilemma. Until I pointed out that: 1) I knew how to develop B&W film, 2) I made my own enlargements/ prints, and 3) I had access to the darkrooms at the fine arts building.

She just stared at me silently as we drove towards my apartment. I kept cutting my eyes over at her and she was always frozen-- looking at me. I suspected I had called her bluff and she was trying to figure out how to back out of our little photo session.
“You aren’t kidding, are you?” she said.
“Nope.”
Long pause.

“This is gonna be so fuckin’ hot, Wil.”

--
While I got some lights set up in the bedroom Mona went into the bathroom to get herself fixed up.
It took her longer than it took me so I sat and waited for a while. It was worth the wait. She came in wearing a black bra, matching panties, and the black boots she’d been wearing.
“Whaddaya think? Is this OK?”

What I thought was… I’m going to fire through this 36 shot roll in about two minutes so I can get back to fucking this woman…

What I said was, “Hmmm. Maybe. Turn around so I can be sure.”
“Sooooo?” she said after I had taken my time looking her over.
“Just one problem. I’ll be right back,” I said.
I came back from the kitchen with a pair of scissors.

Mona scrunched her face.
“What are those for?”
“Just turn around,” I said.
When she turned around I turned the waist band down on her panties and cut off the white tag. Then I turned the bra hook area out and cut the tags off there too.
“There,” I said, “Trust me, the Penthouse Pets don’t let their underwear tags show. I’ve studied this.”
“Thanks, college boy,” Mona said.
Young 70's era man in a 2 seat Italian sports car chatting up the Fotomat babe.