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come undone | by stoneth
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come undone

(homeless man with head wound, sf, 4/22/06)

 

homeless roberto from el salvador. has been homeless for about seven years; when he lost his job at sfo. he tells of losing his long battle with alcoholism which he's waged from his first drink at 14. he's 60.

 

listening to him, roberto is clearly well educated and particularly well spoken. you might think you were speaking with a professor, if not for the other two senses which indicate otherwise.

 

he says he has a job waiting for him if he's able to clean himself up. but he'd have to exorcise his demons, and then he'd have to LITERALLY clean himself up. and, as he says, it would be no small task to fix his appearance and get appropriate clothing, etc. but he's confident he'll make it.

 

he tells me stories of his life of privilege as a youth, of countless setbacks and subsequent successes. he tells me of the day his son was shot dead at 17 on the streets of el salvador.

 

he says he gets seizures now, but his head isn't bleeding and scabbed because of that. he didn't fall and hit it. he was scratching it because it really itched; and he must have scratched it raw.

 

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Taken on April 23, 2006