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  • Amin watches over the meat department at the grocery store in my neighborhood. One day, he looked extra-special, and I told him so. “You look extra-special,” I said. “What did you do? What’s different about your face? Are you freshly shaven?” He rushed up to me, and hugged me, and grinned. “No!” he said. ”It’s that I have teeth now!” And indeed he did. Finally. He had front teeth. “You are the only one who has noticed,” he told me. He beamed.

    That day, I did not have my camera with me. I shoot rarely now. After seeing Amin with his new teeth, though, I started carrying my camera again and made a point of popping in to the store to try to take some frames of him. I did this for several days, but he was never there. “Where is Amin?” I asked. “He is not here,” various people replied.

    And then one day I went in and he was there, in the back, by the meat. I got my camera out. As soon as he saw the camera, Amin started posing. And I noticed, right away, that he did not have the teeth. I did not have the heart to ask him why he did not have the teeth.

    Afterward, I showed him the shots in-camera. He told me that he had not had his picture taken in decades.

    Subsequently, I have been in the store many times, always without my camera; subsequently, Amin has always been there, and has always had the teeth. It was just that one day, when I had my camera and he was there, that he did not have the teeth.

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