He was standing on a corner, on a not so-busy street, while a flower fair celebrating the 1st of May was teeming with happy, busy people just a couple streets behind us. Leaning on a wooden shepherd’s crook, he tried to initiate small chat with me, quite possibly aiming to beg for some change.
I understood, quite much, right there, from the look on his eyes. I saw his hesitation, the man before me was too proud to beg, but was forced to, perhaps his last resort to survive. I was mentally weighing the pros and cons in asking him to pose for me, and he misunderstood my hesitation for fear. Don’t be afraid of me, he told me. I am not, I replied, grabbing the opportunity. Where are you from?
Everything unrolled effortlessly from that point on. This desperate man was finally having someone to speak to, to hear his plights, his story on why he was homeless and why he was wandering the streets carrying a black garbage bag with his only belongings in it.
“You know what’s the worst? Easter, Christmas, while you are alone… You don’t want these days to come…”
I asked him to pose for me under a floodlight from a closed shop next to us. “Why do you want a photo of me?” he asked, curious, maybe suspecting a mischief from my part. “No reason, I told him, that’s just what I do”. Hey, what’s your name by the way? I’m Fotis. “I’m Chris”. He posed.
I didn’t show him the shot, I simply gave him a 5 Euro bill, and told him to drink some wine for me, and try to hang in there. He was dumbstruck. Lost for words, he only said “You are a stout-hearted man… thank you”.
No, Chris. I thank you. For making me realise that I am surrounded with wonderful people. That I am not alone. Yet.
P.S. I haven’t published anything for a long period of time, once again. Life, and so much in between, happened during the last time I wrote a post. I’ll try to rectify this, posting less text and photos, but more frequently, explaining what’s going on in my life, and more importantly, what I’ve been shooting, from now on.
Thanks for reading,
Until next post,