16 September 2007

I am constantly blown away by the kids I meet here, most of them know more about life than they really should. Geovani is 11 years old and he walked up to the bar last night like he owned the place. He was selling these chocolates wrapped in foil gold coins and I told him I didn't want any but if he was tired he could sit at the bar and I'd get him some hot chocolate. Just as I was thinking that it probably wasn't the best place for him to be hanging out, i realized he'd already lived a harder life than any of the european tourists i serve during happy hour ... and he could probably drink them under the table.

He's originally from Nicaragua, the coins are only his side job, he told me. He drums in the street with his father and brother most of the time. My mouth dropped and i realized he was part of the family of street performers i photographed when i first got here. I showed him the photos I'd taken of his dad and his brother and he told me he remembered watching me shoot them while he took a rest. Then he swigged down his cocoa like a man, wiped his mouth on his flannel sleeve and grabbed his coins before walking out the door.

I went back to work, and so did he.

It was kind of a rough night before he wandered in, and i realized after he left that i felt happy just knowing i would be able to find him again, two streets to the right and one street up, and there he'd be, drumming in the same spot i left him two months ago. on the face of it, life has dealt kids like him a tough blow, but i think that's too easy, the passing glance "Oh that's so sad" before you walk into a store and plop down 3 bucks on a latte, i guess the way i make it okay in my over-contemplative head is to think about it like this: they are no better or worse off than me, they've simply been faced with a different path, and sure it might be tought than mine, but I think they'll be better people because of it.

1 comment:

lackofintellect said...

Great photos, great stories, keep em coming Jessie!