AMERICA LOST: Look at her hands, they are withdrawn as she is holding herself, knees locked tight. His shoulders are stooped, his strong worker’s hands lowered into his lap. His right arm’s tattoo reads ‘luck’. Their faces are resolute, yet their body language reveals their true situation. Her’s a body language of surrender, his a body language of quiet determination. Their bond, love and joy for life shows in the wonderful matching shoes and red shoelaces. They are homeless. I found them sitting on the steps of the Salvation Army on West 14th Street, their faces reminding me immediately of a Grant Wood painting or a Dorothea Lange dust bowl photo. These are classic American faces. Proud, strong.
I asked if I may take their photo, they immediately lit up, smiled and responded “sure!”, yet…when I took the photo, their faces became somber bearing their souls. He said they were just passing through. When I reached for my bag to give them something, he shook his head, refused, his broad smile came back, fist bumped me, nodded at the camera and said “hey, thanks man.” Proud, strong, American.