Wrestle him to the ground. Feel the hard bite of blacktop on hips, shoulders, elbows. Knuckles rasp and bleed. Bruises form. These facts are fleeting, unimportant. Scuffle and roll. Work to pry the camera from his grip. This is no easy task, for Alec Baldwin is determined – and large. But the camera isn’t his; it belongs to the little girl. She mourns its loss, boards the bus with her mother, weeping. The bus idles for a moment at the curb, signals blinking, tailpipes emitting smoke.
Prize the camera from Baldwin’s hands, and rise triumphant, sweating and panting. Watch the bus pull away. It chugs down the street, slowly gathers speed. Must return the camera to the little girl. Jump onto another bus before its accordion doors can close. Stand on the steps in the open doorway. Right hand clutches the camera. Left hand grasps the metal handhold, cool and smooth to the touch. Lean past the doorway, through the narrow gap into the open air.
Slowly, the bus gathers speed. Breeze whips against flesh, tangles hair. Squint to see. Velocity increases in increments – thirty miles an hour, forty, fifty-five, seventy-five. The camera’s lens cap careens wildly against its black nylon tether, cracks against ulna and radius. Cling to camera and handhold both. Remain anchored. Do not lose hope. Even as traffic lights interfere with pursuit. Even as the distance between buses yawns and increases. Reunion of camera and girl is guaranteed. Success is imminent.
— C.Birde, 7/17