September 23, 2017, I went walking in Baltimore. I happened to meet a man, Herman. We went for two long walks, with a break at his home. We met some people. We asked a lot of questions of each other. Talked about ways we'd made money, about problems in the relationship with my father, with his son, what fun meant for us, what our dreams were.

boy, television, street photography, baltimore, Maryland

Walking The Trash

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signs, liquor store, convenience store, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

A Choice of Colors

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woman, yellow, shadow, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Yellow Brick Wall, Not Road

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liquor store, North Avenue, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Herman Says Hi

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portrait, bicycle North Avenue, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Portrait While We Walked

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liquor bottles, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Liquor Shrine

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car wash, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

At The Carwash

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dog, portrait, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

But For The Love Of A Dog, Pt. 1

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dog, portrait, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

But For The Love Of A Dog, Pt. 2

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We'd been walking for about two hours, when he started to get a noticeable limp.

This coming from a man who had just turned around when he heard a drunk guy shouting his name and said to me, "Stay here. I'm gonna go see why my name is in his mouth."

I asked him what was hurting him, and he explained that he had been on the block a few weeks ago, when a ricochet, from a bullet not meant for him, struck him in the ankle.

tattoo, reaper, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Always, Already In Revolt

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"I'm gonna go see why my name is in his mouth."

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gunshot, wound, infected, ricochet, bruise, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

An Infected Ricochet

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yellow, theater, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland

Here, But Gone, But Bright, Yet Shuttered

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While looking out the window of his bedroom, watching kids in the street, just after smoking, he spoke softly to me about how, a few years ago, he could've killed me without hesitation. 

"I still could," he said, "But not like before."

portrait, street photography, Baltimore, Maryland
Herman, of North East Baltimore
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Throughout the day, as we'd met people, he had been developing a story about "who we were." As in, why a white kid obviously not from the neighborhood was hanging out with "Herm-Diesel."

"This is my son's friend, from college. He's trying to be a photographer."

"This is my nephew. He's a photographer, doing a project on me."

"This is my lil cuz. He's trying to be a photographer. Told him I'd show him the neighborhood."

But as the day went on his tone towards me took an ever more paternalistic note. He began to ask me about love, and life, and family, and death, sometimes making suggestions based off his analysis of his own mistakes.


"This is art in the making."

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Untitled

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In Wendy's

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There are two things he told me that day:

1. His dream is to move to the countryside, outside of Baltimore, where it's quiet.

2. That having a relationship with his son when he got out was more important than being hung up about his son's love for a man, because, ultimately, it's all about love, his love for his son, his son's love for another man—what should it matter if he has a daughter or a son, and what should it matter if they love a woman or a man, as long as the love was moving.

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