My photography professor recently asked the class if we had ever stopped and talked to homeless and other various people on the streets. Only a couple said yes, myself included, and he asked if we had gotten interesting stories from them. The answer to that is definitely. While I did not talk to the man above very much, I have heard some interesting stories from others. Everything from a man in a wheel chair trying to get to California and get revenge on the police that broke his legs there to a former NBA player that was trying to get money for a cab. How many of these are actually true, I will never know for sure. But they are certainly interesting and the people that tell them can be wonderful and are worth stopping and talking to.
I really love cities. I have loved them for a very long time. I remember how amazing it was to go downtown when I was little. I never got to go very often and when I did, I was fascinated with everything. I loved the buildings, the lights, the people. They still fascinate me today. I love walking this cities streets. I love the contradictions, dangers, stories and life of this city. How quickly it changes. One minute there are crowds, the next it is deserted. It changes as quickly as the setting sun.
For Halloween I didn’t go out, or party or drink or whatever you do on Halloween now. I just stayed in with Hannah and we gave out candy to the kids that came to her house, which wasn’t many, because of the cold and snow. Yeah, it was kind of crazy that it snowed on Halloween this year. But it was still a fun night with ghost stories and a Halloween story.
How often do you walk down a city street and pass by people like the ones above and never give them a second thought. How often do we pass by and never even see them, wrapped up in our own comfortable world. How often do you see them, but you just glance and try not to make eye contact. How often do you stop to give a dollar, because you feel a little guilty, but you keep the words to a minimum and you walk away quickly, uncomfortable with them. Do you ever stop and talk to them. Because they have names and stories and experiences. One is a musician and the other a graphic designer, artist and writer. One tunes his guitar and complains about the cold, not because he is cold but because it makes tuning difficult. The other reads his newspaper, folding and unfolding it, and he smokes. But you can see in his face the ideas and the creativity that are working. They talk to us and share their stories. One tells us about a short story he’s working on set in the future where people rely on electricity to live and they have to plug in and recharge. We move on and we will probably never see them again, but I know I will remember them. And there are countless more like them. We talk to a woman who has a cat with her, trying to get money to feed herself and the two cats she has saved. We talk to a man happier than most of the well dressed and well fed people around him who gladly poses for pictures with the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We talk to another man who has been sitting in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a coat, all day. By this time we have given away our cash and we apologize. He says, “Don’t worry about it. I try to earn it by giving directions and helping people find things. I’ve been here two years so I know the city really well.” These people are real and they are all around us. It’s good to stop and talk with them and hear their stories, because everyone has a story to tell and this is reality.
Memories, you love to have them when they are good and would give anything to have amnesia when they are painful, however everyday you have the opportunity to make new ones.
Second to shooting photos, I love meeting new people. Hearing other peoples stories and just friendly chat is captivating for me, perhaps the reason I’ve enjoyed bartending so much for the past several years.
Shot this while shooting pool, making memories with new people where old memories reside with past friends.
Being the avid reader that I am, I’m always buying books. I usually try to buy old, used books. They’re a lot cheaper, they are much more unique and they have a story to tell. I recently went on a binge and got quite a few books, including these by Bernard Shaw. He’s up there on my list of favorite authors and I love his plays. I can’t wait to start reading these.
After a mildly lousy day yesterday, a decently long day at work, I had a very enjoyable dinner with some great friends!
A happy life comes in part with the company you keep. You keep happy, healthy, fun people in you’re life that’s bound to be a path you continue down.
Patio dinner, wine, laughter, memories & stories.
Thank you Ben & Nikki G. and Jason W. for all that you’ve done and being part of the amazing support group that surrounds me. Love you guys and here’s to Vegas!!
Though I’m missing my ‘right arm’ I still saw the shot and took it.