Who are we? We are our stories? . . . No, I am my photos.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Breakfast with "T"

This morning I had breakfast with "T" - rather I bought his breakfast and he talked. He is a sign painter - an intelligent, philosophical man in his mid fifties who writes angry letters to the editor railing about the unfairness of our economic system. I knew he was having a tough go of it again because he wasn't eating, just sitting at the counter drinking coffee and putting it on a tab. I pay for his meals and he talks to me. A fair trade. It turns out he is living in his shop without a bathroom or kitchen ..... again - can't afford the $260 rent he was paying for a apartment. In the past he has hit low enough that he lost his shop and had to live in his van. He can't afford a telephone, so customers have to find him. He is a typical street dwelling alcoholic or drug abuser - except he is neither. He suffers from depression at times, but mostly he has just fallen through the cracks. Like he said, at some point you can't get a job because you haven't had one for so long and you are not qualified to do anything. He used to play guitar in band, but now the guitar is gone. So he does what his father did; he paints signs in a town that doesn't have any new businesses and doesn't need any signs. Me, I got no answers for him and that makes me sad.

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