FRIENDS (1997)

Geist - - Photoessay -

This group of peo­ple waited across the street from the place that paid for blood plasma. They were killing time, they told me, “wait­ing for our blood to clear.” A schiz­o­phrenic man paced up and down the street but­ton­ing and un­but­ton­ing his shirt while the oth­ers talked qui­etly. A man wear­ing a striped shirt asked for a pho­to­graph with his girl­friend. His ex­pres­sion­less eyes un­set­tled me. My note­book from that day in 1997 iden­ti­fies him only as “scary guy.” I car­ried a print with me for years in the hope of de­liv­er­ing it to him. About ten years af­ter this was taken, I met his fa­ther, Mr. Poe. He was in a wheel­chair be­cause he’d lost his legs when he fell asleep, drunk, stretched over a train track. He told me that his son was in prison for killing a man in a fight over a bot­tle of beer. When I gave him this pho­to­graph, he gazed at it and shouted proudly, “That’s my son. That’s my son!”

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