Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The timing couldn't have been any more impeccable. I'm not a full-fledged believer in the law of attraction and manifesting reality and all that, but there are certain times where I'm more of a believer than not.
Cut to Sunday morning: I took myself to a café for a coffee and photo editing session (weekly portraits of the mutts), and I wound up blogging about falling back in love with the city and all it has to offer, yadda yadda, and mentioned how I love wandering around downtown alone and coming across new things. I should have included "and new people," because not only is that true, it would have been really really perfect timing since...
I got bored in the afternoon and decided to take myself out for a walk. I chose my normal dog walking route, sans dogs, plus camera. I thought it would be an interesting perspective change, hopefully seeing new things from behind my camera lens. On the dog walks I admittedly don't see anything at all. I only pay attention to potential run-ins with other dogs, not leaving room to observe much else.
I start walking.
A woman yells after me when I pass her. "Excuse me, miss?" she calls out. I'm embarrassed that I didn't even notice the three people I walked by, since my eyes were glued to my camera's viewfinder. I stutter something like "U-uh, m-me? Yes?" She asks what kind of camera I have, and after I answer "a Canon," I hear her whisper something to her friend about a class assignment. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty flattered she thought I was still in school. I was also dressed in loungewear, so if not the face, my clothing might have alluded to a younger appearance.
"Will you take my picture?" her friend interjects. I was caught off guard, since I'm usually the one (nervously) asking permission to take someone's photo. I happily obliged. She introduces herself to me as LaTonya, and tells me she once had an addiction and lived on Skid Row, where the gentleman of the group currently resides. They want a photo together; I took three or four.
I didn't catch his name. I was so engulfed in his eyes, these incredibly deep soul windows, I couldn't pay attention to anything else. He points to my arm and for a minute I forget about my tattoo, an outline of the world map, still intoxicated by his eyes. He shuffles a bit closer to me and touches somewhere in Africa. "I'm from there," he says proudly.
LaTonya proceeds to tell me that she was once the subject of a photojournalism story during her time on Skid Row. When the photographer's assignment was complete, he offered her an opportunity to enter a rehab facility, to which she greatly appreciated but declined - she wasn't ready. He told her he'd have to shelve her story due to an unfinished ending. She was okay with that.
She hopes to meet him again someday, she confessed, to give him the ending he was looking for long ago. To "finally close that chapter of my book," she said.
I really hope she does.