Michael J. Fox

Shredding Air Guitars Plus An Unexpected Encounter

Tom Zimberoff


©1987–2024 Tom Zimberoff / All Rights Reserved / May Not Be Copied, Altered, or Reproduced

I was framed tight on Gina’s face, her eyes excavating my lens to reach the film. This was The Shot. “Do — not — move,” I whispered without looking up from the viewfinder. Then, racking focus with my left hand, eyes locked on her reversed image on the groundglass, I swung my right hand toward my bellows camera on a tripod to insert a 4x5-inch sheet film holder, ready to pull out the dark slide, close the lens diaphragm, and plunge the shutter release to fire my strobes — all in one choreographed maneuver. Aaaaaand . . .

Unexpectedly, Gina’s gaze darted off camera and snapped back. Just her eyes; she’d stuck the pose. I rechecked focus to make sure. Then it happened again; she looked past the camera and right back to frame. I aborted the shot.

Something distracted her. Our groove was gone. Annoyed, I raised my head from the viewfinder and looked behind me. A stranger was poking around, curiously at ease in my studio, picking things up and examining them, then putting them down, opening the fridge. . . Nothing obstructed my line of sight from the studio’s shooting space to the kitchen twenty feet away.

I looked back at Gina. She shrugged. I spun back around. “Who the hell are you?” I demanded.

“A friend of Michael’s,” the man said.

“What?” I said.

“Michael. . . Michael!” he insisted.He’s talking to your friend ‘Lisa’ up front at the door.”

Michael? My friend Lisa? None of this was making sense to me; my mind was on Gina and the shot. That puzzlement must have shown on my face because the uninvited visitor, acquitting himself casually, like nothing was out of the ordinary, merely pointed toward the hallway leading from the kitchen, past the darkroom, to the street entrance.

Gina Gershon / ©1987 Tom Zimberoff / All Rights Reserved / May Not Be Copied, Altered or Reproduced

I stepped away from my camera and hustled past the intruder. I vaguely remembered, now, hearing the doorbell chime minutes earlier while I was preoccupied with focusing the camera. (It truly is tunnel vision, looking through a viewfinder.) It had barely registered that Lesa