I’m Ready For My Close-up Mr. Del Fuego By Jeff Baker
It was about 11:45 at night and Oscar was sitting on the edge of our bed with his camera, still talking about what had happened earlier in the day.
“I was standing there out in the street by the police car y’know,” he was saying.
I knew. He’d told me this story about four times earlier. Oscar free-lanced but mostly he took pictures for the local newspaper and a couple of news websites. Usually he didn’t bring his work to bed with him.
“I’d gotten a call about three-thirty this afternoon,” Oscar said. “This girl, well woman, was on the fourth floor of her apartment building. She’d barricaded the door shut and was out on the ledge outside the window threatening to jump. Uh, Lucas, I told you this before, didn’t I?”
I nodded. I was standing in a corner of the room in my jogging shorts, leaning against the wall, watching my husband jumping around as he was telling the story and loving every minute of it.
“Okay,” Oscar said. “The cops had called their psychiatrist and he was trying to talk to the girl. They weren’t getting anywhere. I was staying back; I’d already gotten a couple of pictures. But they were getting nowhere with the girl. Then the psychiatrist grabs me and says to the girl ‘If you want your picture in the news, we have the photographer right here. But you’ll have to come down here, right?’ And the psychiatrist looked at me pointedly.”
“Umm-hmmm,” I said, looking at Oscar and grinning. I loved him like this.
“So, naturally I held up my camera and said ‘yeah.’ And after a minute, the girl went back inside and came downstairs, with the cops who were waiting outside here door. I did take her picture, but the thing is they said I was probably instrumental in saving somebody’s life.” Oscar shook his head. “Me, Oscar Del Fuego! Can you believe that?”
I could believe it.
“Let’s hit the sack,” I said. “It’s late.”
We were pulling up the covers and Oscar was still talking.
“I mean, I helped pull that kid out of the river a few years ago, but usually I’m just taking pictures after something happens and, and…I’m rambling, aren’t I?”
“Yeah,” I said, kissing him and snuggling close. After a few minutes, he sat up in bed.
“I’m not getting to sleep any time soon,” he said.
“Well, I don’t work tomorrow,” I said. “And unless they call you in, you don’t either. We can watch a movie.”
Oscar started laughing. He pointed at the T.V. “You know what’s on at midnight, don’t you?”
“What?” I said.
We both started laughing again.