V A L [valjalbertphotography]
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A young American man is walking alone down a sidewalk in Paris at sunset one summer evening... The sweetest perfume he has ever smelled enters his nose. Instinctively, he turns right and walks into a small used bookstore. He left his Leica M3 in his hotel room, and is camera-less, except for his cell-phone, which he doesn't count as a camera since he never uses it as such. The scent intensifies. Of the three main aisles, he chooses the right most one. As if on cue, a book falls off the shelf as he approaches it. The man picks up the book, which is titled "The Seeds of Reality". The book is a perceptual guide to navigating the world. "Amazing!" he thinks to himself. "The book that my grandfather wrote sixty years ago in this very city has found its way into my hands!". He walks up to the front desk, and tells the man at the desk what happened. The man tells him, "Sometimes things happen that we must not try to understand." And he waves the fee. The man with his new book walks out of the store, crosses the street, buys a café au lait from an open-air vendor, and sits down at a table in an open sitting area with benches and tables. He begins reading his grandfather's book. After a few minutes, a young woman with a pleasant, American-sounding voice approaches him. He looks up. She's roughly his age, brunette, and beautiful, and she's smiling at him. "Hi. Sorry to bother you. I was wondering if you could take a picture of us." A younger woman is next to her. She holds up a compact Canon Powershot digicam, looks at the man, smiles again, and then puts her arm around the younger woman. "My sister and I would like a picture so that we can remember this afternoon." The man nods and smiles warmly in return. The lighting is spectacular! "I'd be happy to," he replies. He pauses a second, takes a sip, and then adds "You know, you couldn't have picked a better guy. I'm a photographer." He stands up. "Come on. Let's go find a great backdrop and make some pictures!" He introduces himself, and picks up the book and the café au lait. He glances at the very last sentence of the last page before he closes the book. "True love seems to always have a way of finding a person when they least expect it." The man feels purposeful and validated as the three walk off into the sunset under the watchful eye of the man's grandfather.