Saturday, March 5, 2011

Homeless





This camper has been on the periphery of my consciousness for a few years. During the course of my work day I visit the same lot where it has often been parked over the past couple of years. Many homeless people congregate in this area.
 Recently it was tagged for removal; having remained in the same spot for two weeks. By chance, I arrived at the same time the police and tow crew were preparing to remove it.
An officer opened the side door and ventured inside ... "They know who this belongs to." he told me, "They believe he's passed on." However,  no body was found inside, just trash.



Who was this person? What sort of life did he live? What circumstances led to him to spending his final years in a filthy R.V. ?



"Recreational vehicles" begin as status emblems and can transfigure into rolling hovels of desperation; windows clotted with filthy junk.  They become shelter for those hanging by a thread; living on the streets -- if not literally in the street. The "mobile home" is also a fantasy of freedom.  Americans are obsessed with the word freedom. Maybe this individual enjoyed more "freedom" than most. Maybe he still does.


If in fact this person is still alive, he nonetheless inhabits the zone of the "living dead", invisible in plain sight.

These images are ordinary. This could be any town or city in the United States.


If in fact this person is dead. Did I ever encounter him?  I wonder if we exchanged glances or perhaps a few words? I don't remember. Does this person have any living relatives? Will these photos be the sole testimonial to a fellow human being's existence?




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