I am having a buying frenzy attack for a camera. I want a small camera that I can hold easily in my hand and carry in my pocket with a reassuring feeling that I own something cool. Then I will enjoy reading reviews of the camera to confirm that I made a smart purchase.

The real question is why I’m in a frenzy to buy something new. These impulses come over me occasionally. Part of the feeling comes from trying to retrieve the past: in particular, objects that I have sold and wish I had hung onto—items that I replaced, thinking that a newer model would improve on what I already owned.

That could easily be the case with a camera. I would be paying $400 for something I don’t need and whose purpose is better fulfilled by my iPhone. I might change my mind about the new camera if I reviewed my iPhone Photography School course and remembered that photography is the real issue, not regaining some object I lost.

Still, it would feel nice to hold a real camera again. I could pretend that I am a reporter the way I was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The newspaper sent me out on assignment with an early model Nikon Coolpix that took remarkably good photos.

The photo I liked best was of the mother of a son who had just graduated from the Job Corps program in Gulfport near the Seabee base. The mother had a faraway look in her eye as if she were dreaming about her son’s future. I caught the meaning of the graduation in the mother’s face, not the graduate’s. I wrote a good story, too.

That was fun, being a reporter. I drove the editor crazy by submitting dozens of changes to each story. I couldn’t submit it once and let it go. My creative juices were flowing, and I constantly thought of improvements while taking a shower or doing the dishes, turning the sentences over and over in my head.

I will go to the Biloxi Sun Herald web site someday and pay to search its archives in hope of finding some of my photos and stories.

Back to this incipient purchase of almost $400. Look at your iPhone, Eric. Isn’t that cool enough for you? And it’s always in your pocket. How about a cooling off period. Eat lunch and mull it over. Come to your senses. Are you crazy, spending $400 on a camera you don’t need?

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