The Girl Three Doors Down

Lon Casler Bixby
4 min readDec 16, 2022

Life of a Photographer

Mirror of Theda — Photo by Lon Casler Bixby

The other day I was bored, procrastinating, and letting Instagram be bubble gum for my brain. As the feed was zooming down my computer screen something caught my attention. I scrolled back to the post — recognizing the pair of eyes staring back at me. I’m terrible at remembering names, but I seldom forget a face, especially one that I photographed, and I knew those eyes. It was a model that I‘d shot many years ago.

Flashback to many years ago:

I walked a couple of blocks down to the corner Blockbuster video store. It was Friday night and I found a few movies to while away the weekend. I brought them to the checkout counter and the first thing I noticed was the cashier — a pretty girl with short black hair and big beautiful eyes.

Being a photographer, I instantly knew that I wanted to photograph her. My mind was already coming up with ideas to suit her look — definitely black & white; high-contrast; 1920s era fashion; pearls… Yeah, maybe something like a flapper. Femme fatale. Theda Bara. That’s it. Perfect.

It’s always awkward because photographers can sometimes come across sounding like a creeper when approaching or asking a potential model if they’d like to pose for a shoot. I tried making small talk and finally, tripping over my tongue, I told her that I was a photographer, she had gorgeous eyes, I really liked her look, and I would love to shoot her.

She blushed with embarrassment and said, “Thank you, Lon. I’d love to work with you.”

I didn’t know what to say. How did she know my name? Oh, duh. She has my membership card and ID in her hand. That’s how. But as I was figuring that out, she could tell that my brain was working overtime and said, “Lon, we’re neighbors. We live in the same building.”

I was really confused and kind of felt like an idiot. Sometimes, even for a person who views the world through a lens and supposedly sees everything with a photographer’s eye, I’m just not very observant. She smiled and continued, “I live three doors down from you.”

“Ohhh, that’s right. I’m sorry,” I stuttered and stumbled. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember seeing her before. Which in itself is strange because how could I have not seen her before…



Lon Casler Bixby

Professional photographer and published author in various genres: Fiction, Poetry, Humor, Photography, & Comic Books.