The Same Place, Chapter 3: It's going to be a documentary...

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Published on 15.02.10 09:27 Age: 10 yrs
Category: The Same Place

Letters : 18328 Words : 3354

By: Cedar

"Do you...do you mind if I videotape our journey?" The question seemed to be in incredibly poor taste. This was supposed to be a solemn event, not to be treated as if it were just another story. Yet Kylie was hatching a plan in her head.

She was so busy planning her triumphant return to TV news that she didn't even hear Mungo's answer. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"I said, that'd be okay," said Mungo repeating his answer for Kylie's benefit.

"Oh, thank you Mungo," she gave him a firm hug. "THANK YOU!" She let go of him. "Oh my gosh, I have so much to do. I hope you don't mind if I go. I need to get ready."

"No worries, I'll be here if ya need anythin'," said Mungo.

Kylie turned to go, but then asked. "So where should I meet you, tomorrow? And when?"

"Here," said Mungo. "As for when, how about after you've had a restful night of sleep?" he suggested.

"Huh?" asked Kylie.

"It means I ain't in no hurry. We'll leave when yer ready."

Kylie turned and left. She briskly walked down the path back to her car. She had so much to do to get ready. She was so happy she was practically skipping. This day had turned out much better than she had planned.

As she was going to get into her car, Willow, who had been mowing the lawn nearby called out to her. "Leaving already?"

"Yeah," Kylie yelled back as Willow killed the mower's motor.

"Why? You just got here."

"Something's come up," explained Kylie, as she opened the door to her car. She quickly threw on her clothes. Before pulling out she gave a friendly wave to Willow. "Have a great trip to India!"

"I will," shouted Willow who gave a friendly smile and waved back. "Dhanyavad!" she shouted. "That's Hindi for 'Thank you'."

"Dhanyavad!" Kylie shouted back.

Kylie drove up the main driveway and back towards the city. As she drove it dawned on her, she didn't have a camera. What to do about that? It wasn't exactly station business, so she couldn't borrow one of the news cameras. Besides, her project was to be kept a secret until it was completed. Maybe she could buy a camera? No, that wasn't a good idea either. She didn't know the first thing about cameras, and couldn't really justify the expense.

She arrived at home, and found her mobile phone on the table. She had two messages one from Steve, and one from Carl. She deleted the one from Carl, but listened to the one from Steve.

-Kylie, it's Steve. Yes you can take a personal day. We'd like an answer on the assistant producer job. Give me a call.-

She did just that. This time Steve picked up.

"Steve, it's Kylie," she said into the phone.

"Kylie, hi, did you get my message. Have you made up your mind about the Assistant Producer job?"

"No, I still need some time," she said. That was true. "Listen, Steve, I'm calling because I need to use some of my time off."

There was hesitation in Steve's voice. "...How much time?"

"Two weeks," said Kylie.

"Two weeks?!" asked Steve, his voice going up a full octave. "Are you really sure you want to do that?"

"I am," said Kylie firmly.

"Alright," said Steve. "I'll make the arrangements. The manager's aren't going to be happy. They want an answer on the job. Promise me you'll give me your answer when you get back."

"I promise," said Kylie. She didn't feel like she owed Steve anything. Yet she still wanted to be civil. "I'll see you in two weeks." She hung up without saying 'goodbye.' She would give him her answer, as promised, but she didn't have to like it.

Still, she still hadn't resolved the issue of the camera. This might be a little more difficult to resolve. Carl! That's right! Carl was an avid collector of camera equipment. He had admitted it after Kylie caught him browsing eBay when he wasn't on break. Maybe she had a camera he could borrow. Still she hated to call Carl after the way she had treated him yesterday, but what options did she have. After all, he had called her (twice in fact). The least she could do was ask.

She dialed his number. The phone rang five times before he picked up.

"Yo, this is Carl."

"Carl, it's Kylie."

"Kylie! We've been worried about you, both Macca and I. Word's gotten around the office, and I'm sorry to hear about you losing your job."

"Thanks, Carl. Listen, I'm sorry about the way I treated you yesterday." She was immediately interrupted.

"Don't worry about that. It's water under the bridge. Besides, I know you didn't really mean it."

It was nice to be let off the hook by Carl. "Well, thanks for accepting my apology. Listen, I was wondering if you could do me a small favor?"

"What's that?"

"Do you have a camera I can borrow?"

"I have probably a few dozen you can borrow, though you probably want just one. Yeah, I can loan you a camera. Why don't you stop by my place around eight this evening to pick it up?" Carl suggested.

"Great, where do you live?" Kylie was a little embarrassed to admit she had no idea where Carl lived.

"It's Apartment 2, 67B Baker Street. Do you need directions?"

"No, I know where that is. I'll be there at 8." Kylie hung up the phone. She still had to pack. She got her old camping backpack out of the closet. The thing was covered in dust, which wasn't surprising as she hadn't been camping in more than four years. Kylie took a wet rag and wiped off the dust. She left the backpack out on the patio to dry off.

What else did she need? Sunscreen! She went to the medicine cabinet and took a bottle of SPF30; she reconsidered, put it back, and grabbed the SPF50. Come to think of it, it wouldn't hurt to bring two bottles. Better safe than sorry, right? She also got out the insect repellant, and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste.

She looked at the collection of toiletries. This was all Mungo had suggested, but surely it wasn't everything she needed. What about soap? What about shampoo? Sure there wasn't going to be baths and showers where they were going, but she could bathe in the rivers, couldn't she? Did he really expect her to go that long without showering? She packed a small bar, and a traveler's bottle of shampoo.

What about deodorant? Didn't she also need that? And a razor? What was she supposed to do about shaving her legs and armpits? Again, Mungo hadn't advised brining any of these things.

Kylie realized that if she packed all of these conveniences, she would be carrying an awfully heavy pack. She made the decision to bring the razor, but to leave the deodorant at home.

There was one more thing that Mungo had forgotten to mention (granted, it was something he was unlikely to think of). She went into her bathroom and got a few tampons. Given her cycles, it was very unlikely that she would need them in the time she would be away, but better to be safe than sorry.

Water, however, wasn't a big issue. She had a small collection of Nalgene bottles since she always managed to leave them at work or lose them. She put three water bottles together with the sunscreen.

That just left her clothes. She went through her dresser and began to lay out sets of clothes on her bed. When she finished, her bed was cluttered with a large pile of clothes. There was no way she was going to be able to bring all of those outfits. Mungo had said to 'wear what she felt comfortable in.' But what did that mean? She really didn't know much about camping, but she did know she would not be able to bring all those clothes.

As she went through the various outfits, she began to pair them down. She selected only the most practical outfits. Unfortunately, this meant she had to say no to the summer dresses. She had a few sundresses, that she felt made her look "cute." Still, this was going to be a tough journey. Comfort was going to be critical, looking stylish, however was not. She eventually decided on a pair of jeans, and a pair of canvas shorts. She packed two tops, one with sleeves and one without. Kylie also brought two pairs of panties, but only a single sports bra.

  The same rules applied for shoes. This meant she had to leave behind her sandals. They were stylish, but not suited for walking more than a mile. She selected a pair of athletic walking shoes, as well as a pair of more durable hiking boots.

Not that she planned to wear clothes for the whole trip, mind you. If anything, she was looking forward to the opportunity to be nude, where it was appropriate, that was.

It was on that line of thought that Kylie decided to pack a sarong. Granted, she already had packed clothes, but the sarong was lightweight, and wouldn't take up much space in her pack. That way she could go nude, and if anyone showed up, she could throw on her sarong, and no one would be the wiser.

Kylie glanced at the clock. It was 6pm. Where had the time gone? Still it wasn't THAT late. She had plenty of time to have a nice dinner before she needed to be at Carl's. She decided to fix a nice dinner to feature the corn she had got from Mungo's garden. Dinner was a simple affair; corn, potatoes, broccoli, and a small piece of steak, yet it was exactly what Kylie was hungry for. In particular, the corn was spectacular. The kernels were crisp and juicy, and required neither salt nor butter.

As she ate her dinner, she had to wonder what she would be eating in the near future. Mungo had said he would "provide" food. But what exactly did that mean? In hindsight, Kylie wished she had asked for a few more specifics. Oh well, there was no sense in worrying about it now.

Kylie cleared the table, and put the dishes in for a wash. It was now 7:20pm. It would not take 40 minutes to get to Carl's place, but she was really anxious to get the camera. She hoped he might be at home, and was willing to wait if he wasn't.

Kylie knocked at the front door.

Opening the door, Carl smiled warmly. "Kylie. You're here!"

"I hope you don't mind that I'm a bit early," said Kylie making excuses for herself.

"Not at all," said Carl. "Please do come in," he motioned for her to come inside. Kylie followed him indoors. The front hallway was adorned with many impressive photos of landscapes, plants, and animals. Kylie liked some of the more intricate insect photos the best.

"Did you...did you take all of these photos?" she asked tentatively.

"Yeah, it's just another hobby of mine," said Carl dismissing them as though they were trivial.

"These...these are really good," said Kylie in awe. Who knew Carl was such an artist? At work he came off as a stoic professional.

"Well thanks," said Carl. "So you're here about a camera? Come this way. We'll find you something." Carl led Kylie into a room off the front hallway. There were bookcases lining the walls of the room, only instead of books, they held cameras. Kylie estimated there were at least two dozen video cameras. Who knew how Carl could afford them all? Carl went to one of the cases. "How about this?" he said pulling one of the cameras off the shelf.

Kylie didn't know much about cameras, but she knew this wasn't what she was looking for. "It's a little too bulky," she said. "I'm looking for something more lightweight," she added, "and durable! I'm going on..." she paused to consider how to phase her thoughts "...a camping trip..."

He went to his shelf and produced a very compact camera. "This is the Scout. The Scout, it's portable, durable, and has a good battery life. The quality isn't top notch, but it's at least better than half of what I've got in my collection." The camera looked pristine, as though it hadn't been used.

"Looks expensive," said Kylie.

"Oh, yes," agreed Carl. "You know the old saying, 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it?'...yeah..." It was meant to be a joke, but Kylie could see Carl was quite protective of the small camera. "Be...be careful with it, okay?" asked Carl as he gingerly handed Kylie the camera.

"I will," she said giving her word.

"So what exactly do you need a high quality, lightweight, durable camera on such short notice?" asked Carl a bit curious as to the answer.

"It...it's going to be a documentary," said Kylie cautious not to reveal her work until it was finished. "I'm making a documentary, and I wanted to try my hand behind the camera."

"A documentary?" repeated Carl. "Well don't leave me in the dark, what's it about?"

"I'm sorry, Carl, it's just that I want to keep that secret for now. But don't worry, you'll be one of the first people I tell," she promised. He may even be able to help her in the editing process.

"A secret, huh? Well that's okay," he looked visibly disappointed. "Wait here for just a sec." He left the room leaving Kylie by herself for a moment. She looked over the other cameras in his collection and waited for him to return. She didn't need to wait long. "Spare battery," he said handing her a black rectangular battery. "Each one gets about 9 hours of charge. You'll need these too," he said handing her three cassette tapes. "Three six hour tapes. Very high quality. That should be all the tape and batteries you need."

Kylie hoped that was true. Eighteen hours of footage surely sounded like ample time to capture her story. "Let me pay you for the tapes," she offered.

"Don't worry about that," said Carl. "It's my treat, and I insist that you take them as a gift."

Kylie smiled. Gathering up her things, she said, "well, thanks Carl. I should probably get going. I've got a long day planned for tomorrow." She turned to leave.

"Kylie, wait!"

"Yes?"

"Look, I know we may not be CLOSE friends," began Carl. "But I always thought we WERE friends, you know?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry about the way I acted yesterday," said Kylie apologizing.

"I always liked working with you," he added. The passive use of the verb "to like" hung in the air as a reminder that Kylie was no longer a news anchor. "...sorry..." Carl mumbled apologizing for the faux pas.

"It's okay. You didn't mean anything by it. I always liked working with you too," she admitted, and it was the truth.

"So I was thinking, maybe you'd like to get together for dinner, or some drinks?" offered Carl. "It's not a date," he added for clarification. "I just figured we could do something together as friends?"

Kylie was a bit flattered. She wanted to say, 'Maybe' but what she said was; "I'd like that." That too was the truth. "Anyways, I've got to go. I'll see you in a fortnight." She let herself out the front door.

"See ya. Good luck with your documentary," Carl called to her from the front door to give her encouragement. She waved back as she packed the camera equipment in her car and headed back home.

Once back at home, she packed all of her supplies into the backpack, including the camera equipment. She put it on. It felt more than a little heavy. Would she be alright to carry it? Kylie decided she would have to be. She was determined to document this event, and couldn't see parting with any of the other items in her bag.

She got to bed early that night. Tomorrow was going to be a big day indeed.

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