I stopped and took a breath.
“Here’s the thing though, it’s half fake. She wrote this software that naturally ages dogs between compared photos, so she actually only has to go to the house for a picture once a month, not once a week. It’s a total fraud of a company.”
“Is that it? I ask you for your biggest secret, and that’s what I get? I asked you for something with leverage, some kind of collateral. How do you expect me to hold that over your head? How am I supposed to threaten you with exposing that?” He asked me.
I went on, “All two hundred of her clients hide a spare key for her somewhere on their porch. She runs into the maids and the occasional pool guy, they trust her because she has a camera around her neck and her shirt says the name of her company with this smug innocuous logo. Once she told me that after she takes the client’s pet’s pictures, she seeks out the sunniest room in the house, and she lays in the rich, soft, warm carpet of the upper class, sometimes she accidentally falls asleep there.” He cut me off.
“I don’t see what you’re getting at here, what does this have to do with me? Why is this information valuable to me?" He asked.
I continued, “Well she was also taking pictures in all of these rooms, the sunny soft rooms. She took pictures out of these sunny soft windows, of these views as the sun passed by. And as it turns out, I must say, the photos are pretty astounding, people are saying no one has mastered the beauty of lens flair like she has.” To this I cheers him with my drink, he doesn’t move, so I go on.
“These photos are selling at galleries around the world for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They’re popping up in art magazines, people are buying up their licenses so they can sell perfume and wristwatches with her photos as the backdrop.”
“Okay, so I can get her for breaking and entering, maybe theft of intellectual property, or invasion of privacy. I can threaten you, by threatening her, with that?” He asked.
“No, no, you can’t, actually it’s all in the terms and conditions of the app, it says she’s allowed to photograph in the house. It’s all written very vaguely for a reason. Her clients though, they’re starting to notice their very own sunroom views in the backgrounds of billboards on freeways when they drive home from work. You know what they say? Because I’ve spoken with a lot of them, because I’m writing a book about it. They say that it feels like being both naked and alone, when they're stuck in traffic and everyone else stuck in traffic with them is gazing out of their cars at the very same view that they are trying to come home to. But when they get home, if they’re lucky enough to beat the sunset, they will run up their stairs, and they will hope, just for once, that the view will be as beautiful to them as it was to some stranger that takes pictures of dogs to pay the rent.”
“And is it ever?” He asked.
“It never is.” I replied.
"Sounds like something must be missing." He said.