You know, I’ve been trying to get this guy for a very long time. But, it just happened.
I still to this day haven’t seen an Asian homeless guy. But as soon as I started to work in downtown I noticed him. I was like how could this be? How could an Asian man, of all people, be on the streets. I know that I’m stereotyping, but I’m sure if you saw him jumping from one location to the next all over downtown you would have thought the same.
But as I was observing for years, he didn’t look approachable. He kept to himself, was talking to himself, was scratching his back constantly and was sleeping in any place and in any position imaginable. I never saw him talking to anybody, but figured that he couldn’t hold a conversation.
But, you know, I still wanted a photograph of him. I needed that for my collection of downtown photographs. I didn’t know how I was going to get the photograph, but always knew that when the time came I was going to take it.
The time came on the first of October. I had finished a photoshoot an hour earlier and a friend wanted to go shooting photographs. We walked around taking photographs and I was helping him get more familiar with his camera. But as soon as we turned the corner, I nearly pee in my pants. He was in perfect form, expression and the moment was there for me. It also helped that he was sleeping and I wouldn’t get any crazy looks from him.
When I look back at getting the shot I know that I treated him like an endanger species in the wild or at the zoo. I kept staring and worst of all I took a picture of him because he was an interesting character. Perhaps somebody in my next novel that I plan to write. But, I treated him like less than human. But, I know this is just wrong to say, if I could do it again, I would do it in a heart beat. I would love to do a series of photographs of this guy in fact. There is nothing better than this.
When I was done taking the photographs I wondered what his family thought of him. Did they see him as a failure. Did they resent him because he was living on the streets. I wonder about his life and his happy moments. I wondered if he is happy now, because I have seen some homeless people that as happy as fuck being on the streets, more so than coworkers and people wearing suits in downtown. Yep. That is something that I think about constantly.