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At first I only heard sobbing.
It was as if there was a hole between me and some other-place which let the deep sobbing moans escape. I whirled in a circle and then, through this long-rust-frozen gate I saw him at the table. See… see how hard he is to make out at first?
Abruptly there came a voice from an unseen partner hidden from us on the right side. There were words: hushed, reassuring, confident. But this man in blue still shuddered and maybe those words were sealed out by those earphones he wore.
I stood there on the public sidewalk: What? Twelve feet away? When it caught my eye like pliers grab a nail… The blood! See that crusted oozing patch by his ear dripping down into his white beard?
What to do? Then there were sirens, and an ambulance lights-a-blare screaming down the street. And I took this one image. And worried about it.
In the months since I clicked that shutter, the thing’s niggled at my conscience. You cannot make out his face. It’s not truly an invasion of an individual. Right? Right? And I’ve since seen him - healthier outside the mission waiting for the charity breakfast.
The yard behind that gate is a private abandoned space. The two people had trespassed. And I fear, I’ve trespassed here as well. Or maybe not.
What I want is to tell a story, or start one. It’s a “Once-upon-a-time” opening, or perhaps it’s an open that needs a back-story? Or a beginning that needs a resolution? Perhaps it is both of those things… or an ending? This moment, in the middle of Lancaster City, on a beautiful spring afternoon in May… that I still hear whenever I look at this image of gated despair - hear the sobbing.
GEEK STUFF: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5),1/100@f/7.1 exposure Bias value: -1.33, ISO: 100, Focal Length: 22 mm, Date/time: 5/27/06, 3:10 pm, Metering Mode: partial, Camera RAW