The camera obscura was invented thousands of years ago, and mainly used to aid artists. It projects an image of the world through a small hole and onto a larger surface in a dark room. The image is an exact moving replica, in color, of what's outside the room. The largest camera obscura in the world is located near the pier in Santa Monica.
Cy is a murderer. He recently killed a man who he vaguely knew. After the murder he feels no regret. He's pleasantly surprised to discover that the man he killed had $200 on him. A few days later, Cy is talking to the man's fiancee and learns that she had loaned him $200 on the night he was killed. The woman assumes he'd run out on her with the money, and Cy is happy to let her continue with that assumption and advises her not to contact the police.
"Camera Obscura" is at once horrifying and philosophical. As a symbolic study of human fears, it demonstrates the insecurity of life and especially of the mind of a person who knows they've done something wrong. The camera obscura is a reflection of a deeper reality, of subconscious realizations. In it is the reality of the mind, where people see in the duplicated moving image of the world what they know is true but have been trying to hide from themselves.
"Believe me, any of those legit ways of paying off for murder is pie compared to what you're gonna get if you let it ride."