When I took my first photo of him he quickly backed up as he thought I was focusing on a nearby building... I said, "No, no - I'm taking a picture of you." He then proceeded to tell me, "Okay, you can do that."
I asked, "Are you homeless?" He told me "Yes, but I have a place to go tonight." He bent to the side and his scarf cam unraveled reveling a tattoo on his neck. If someone passed by and saw the tattoo they may think it is some kind of a gang marking diverting their eyes from him and failing to read it. Of course, the passerby could not be more wrong if they only assumed he was a gang member.
The tattoo on his neck was in cursive writing and I read it aloud, "Ruby... Who is Ruby?" His menacing stare turned into a slight smile, "My mom... She was my mom who adopted me, I got this when she died." Do you have a photo of her," I asked? He told me he once had photo(s) of her, but he gave them to his brother who is, as he described, "her color."
I asked him if he had any mental hang-ups that slow him down in life... Without putting a name to anything he said, "I use to take medicine for my mood swings, but I did not like 'not' having my own emotions." He told me the medication he took made him not "feel" his emotion. I think he described to me in that one short sentence why others with mental illness quit taking their medications to equal out what chemicals may be inaccurate in their body... "I did not like 'not' having my own emotions." Of course, this is a sign that the dose was not correct. Sometimes it can take a year or more to figure out what the proper dosage should be. One reason, it takes 4-weeks or longer for certain medications to start working.
As we continued to talk he grew increasingly agitated cursing at the wind. There was no one around, but he would look to his right as if someone was standing next to him, angry and snarling he would cuss then look to me and apologize saying, "I said I wouldn't do this." I simply said, "It's okay - we all get angry - want a sandwich from Jimmy Johns [50-feet away]?" "No, that's too expensive, they have gourmet sandwiches, how about Subway," he said. I told him that Subway was currently closed. We then walked to Jimmy Johns only to discover they too were closed. I gave him a few bucks to purchase a sandwich elsewhere later in the day.