That boy whose picture I posted last time? You wouldn't know it from the picture, but he asked me to take it. He totally mugged for the camera, and I love his expressive forehead.
The first time I had my camera in the smoking area, he commented, "Nice camera." I thought, "Oh shit, he knows it's expensive. I'm busted." I said, "Thanks."
In retrospect I think he was trying to invite me to take his picture, but I didn't clue in, and I didn't want to intrude. We haven't really developed a friendship yet.
But last time I was shooting there, someone else suggested I take the boy's picture, and I said I'd love to, but I didn't want to approach him; again, I didn't want to intrude. Finally, he jerked his head at me and said, "Hey, why don't you take my picture."
So I did, with enthusiasm.
* * *
On Saturday at the Drop In Centre, I showed T. his pictures. I recounted his comments over at my other blog, but here's something I didn't say there. I told him that eventually I'd like to have enough pictures to make an exhibition or a book, and when I asked him if that would be cool with him he said, "Yeah, that's fine. It's like you're doing a family tree, like you're looking into your history."
I didn't know what to make of that. Maybe that is what I'm doing?
* * *
Another man always wears his headphones and sunglasses, like he'd rather not have any sensory input from this place. Apparently there is a no sunglasses rule at the Drop In Centre. I didn't know. But this man was finally coaxed out of his sunglasses, and his eyes were beautiful and alien. For months I've only known him with shades and headphones, and underneath he has brown eyes. He seems much friendlier with the shades.
He said something to me that I didn't quite hear. Something like, "You can tell you work up at the university." When I indicated I hadn't heard, he asked, "Do you ever go to the university?"
I said, "I went there back when I went to school there."
He asked me what I studied and I replied English.
He didn't say anything and walked away, having finished with the milk and sugar for his tea. I wondered if he studied there too, or what he thought of me. I've been getting more comfortable, letting big words come out of my mouth with more frequency. I suppose that's what he was getting at.
I've decided that it's ok for me to be rich. As long as I'm grateful and acknowledge the extreme good fortune I've had my entire life. If being poor isn't something to be ashamed of then surely being rich isn't either?