I took this picture on Melrose Avenue. It could have been anywhere in LA though, the homelessness here seems to be prolific. Today I passed a man with no hands sitting on the ground, pale stubs hanging in his lap. His red hair swept back from his face, head bowed in the burning sun, praying for the salvation of the American dream. Next I saw a young veteran weaving between traffic, clutching a torn off piece of brown cardboard saying -"Please Help Me". A human being sent to fight a war. to return a victim of it.
Then there is the woman who waits at the junction of Crescent Heights and Sunset Boulevard. She walks dragging her right foot behind her. Her hair is white blonde and her face is golden and rusted and beautiful. I put my dollar in her hand today as I reached out of my car window. I wanted to touch her hand, to hold her and say I am so sorry. I looked right into her eyes and saw just blue water washing, silently. There was such a peace to her, such a surrender. I wonder what it takes to stand there every day, knowing you will be subject to abuse and ridicule. Of course you say why not just go and get a job, get help. Its not that easy though is it, when you get in that hole and you are spiralling down and you can't shout for help, can't find the way out. When did she stop spinning I wonder? Was it as she began living her own death?
Look at yourself in the mirror. Can you see their reflection back?
No, don't turn out the bathroom light. Please.