Recently I blogged about a new project that I am starting called $2 portraits. The idea is that I will offer $2 to anyone who asks me for money from now on in exchange for their portrait.
I ran into Tommy outside the Superdawg restaurant at Milwaukee and Nagle in Chicago. Tommy asked me if I could help him out and so I told him about my $2 portrait project and he agreed to pose.
Tommy was born and raised in Chicago. He went down to Florida for school but ended up back here. He was put into jail and they told him that he could either stay in the joint or sign up with the military. So he signed up with the Air Force and went to Cambodia. He said that when he joined the military that they gave him a new social security number.
I told him I was in San Francisco and he said he'd visited and liked it. He said though that for the most part the food in California sucks. Of course Chicago has some of the best food in the world so it's easy to see Chicago as a hard culinary act to follow.
Tommy said Chicago's been tough on him. He said it's a great place to be from, but not as good a place to live. He was married for about 10 years but never had any kids.
Tommy said he mostly does odd jobs to get by. He said it's been hard though because the economy's been so bad lately. Then he laughed and said that even in a bad economy three things always sell, food, booze and dope.