The street is a blaze with the dying sun. The traffic wizzing down Ponce De Leon Avenue makes it hard to believe this is a Sunday. the air is soft but the concrete under this mans head is hard as hell. Tucked under the  Atlanta library bus stop i find Curtis, Dirty as a dog in a trash dump and folded dead asleep. Everything around the two of us glows as the sun drops into magic hour. The sound of my shutter somehow rises above the den of street noise to wake Curtis . We shake hands, we say hello , we talk briefly about how he is doing. I ask him if he is o k that i have  taken his photo while he was asleep, he nods his head yes. I grip his palm tightly, inserting a twenty dollar bill………. he say thank you……no Curtis thank you.

………….. this is a self made report

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  • Comment by Natalie — November 8, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

    First, thank you for these wonderful, very personal, views into the fascinating lives of people who are almost like, chameleons, living in this world. People we look right past. Without a second thought.

    These articles remind me just how close we are to being in the same shoes.

    With our situation, we live paycheck to paycheck and live in the fear of something happening that will put us in very scary situations.

    Thank You so much for YOUR care for others. That you can enlighten me to be motivated to do something, anything to be there for others. Who are less fortunate than me.

    Humbling for me and freeing. To think I am only “one” but “one” can make a difference. You have set a great example, Johnny. Keep up the good work.


  • Comment by Sanlin — November 9, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

    It takes someone who has been there to connect with and tell the stories of the souls that are *still* there. {{{JC}}} There’s a ‘Curtis’ at virtually every bus stop I’ve ever been at… and each story is different. War veterans, addicts, lost souls, runaways, people that slipped & slid through cracks until they wind up at bus shelters, the Sally Anne, parks, remote woods & heat vents behind stores. It’s not that people don’t care as much as it is that everyone is so shell shocked in their own lives that, eventually, they become numb in the face of *more* suffering. That’s why entertainment/advertisements become increasingly shocking, violent & vulgar to break through the overwhelming, drowning sea of apathy, exhaustion & fear. I’ve seen that in the school of film that has cropped up, in recent years, that takes violence to heightened & exaggerated levels-like the “Kill Bill” franchise or “Gangs of New York.” Uber violence. Or CSI type dramas on TV that show grizzly remains & scenes of violent aftermaths. Plus, no one wants to stare into the abyss that so many people skim along the edge of-knowing all it takes is one misstep to fall.

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