Sixty Second Scenario

   I was working part time at the community college teaching graphic technology which is a fancy term for printing. At this particular point in the term I would lecture for about an hour and then turn the students loose to work on their individual projects. They had already taken classes in process photography and platemaking, skills they needed to complete my class where they actually ran the printing presses.

   Glenn was a quiet guy. He had big soft eyes and although I would not call him timid he was definitely on the shy side. According to his paperwork he was in the program on the GI bill. I wondered what branch of the service he had been in, but I never got around to asking.

   John was the opposite of Glenn. He was tall and loud. He sat right up front and never hesitated to speak up. Whether he had been invited to or not. He was always pretty jovial, the girls in the class rolled their eyes a lot. He had kind of a drawl but I wasn't sure if he was from a southern state or just raised on a farm in eastern Oregon. He was a good old boy from outside of town though, there was no doubt about that.

   After I told the students to go ahead and work on their projects they quickly scrambled to get busy. For some this meant heading to the cafeteria but others went to work putting their paper in order or mixing ink. John asked if he could set up the darkroom with fresh chemistry and I told him to go ahead.

   Glenn came back into the room with a cup of coffee in his hand and an envelope full of artwork. He walked up to me kind of sideways and waited his turn to talk to me. When I turned to him he asked, "Will we be able to use the darkroom today?" I told him that John was setting things up.

   Just then the revolving door to the darkroom swung open and John stepped out. He was wearing his usual costume. A pair of jeans with holes in the knees, a flannel shirt with the sleeves torn off and Birkenstock sandals. On his head he had a straw cowboy hat with a large rooster feather stuck in the band. As he strutted into the room I thought "Good night, what a hillbilly."

   Glenn had spun around when John had entered and his mouth dropped open. Now he turned back to me and asked in a voice that was half a whisper. "Have you seen that movie, Deliverance?"

   I nodded.

   Glenn said, "I think I'll wait to use the darkroom."

  © Copyright 2004 T.M. Singer