He approached me from across
Vine Street at that celebrated
intersection of Hollywood & Vine
(see the fine book "Hollywood Remembered,"
by some guy named Zollo, for explanation
of this phenomenon).
He was very diminutive, kind of hunched over,
and with only one eye. When he crossed the
street, I asked him if I could take his photo,
and he was happy to give me this
opportunity to capture the beauty and
sadness and street wisdom of his special face.
He told me he was doing okay, though he'd
been living on the streets for years. He said,
pointing to his missing eye, that "this was the hardest
part." I asked how he lost it, and he said he was
in a car accident many years ago. He was sitting
parked in his car, and another car came out of
nowhere and slammed into him, and his eye
got punctured, as so did his brain.
He was in the hospital for many months. If it
was a brain injury, it must have been extremely
serious, though he talked about it like talking
about a broken leg. He said he won a settlement
of $50,000 but after medical and legal expenses,
ended up with about 15 grand.
They fit him with a glass eye, he said,
but not so long ago his body rejected it.
Despite this, amazingly, and despite the
fact that he is homeless, he was quite cheerful,
talkative, warm, and amiable. He told me he had
a good friend named Paul, and I told him
my grandfather's name was Ray, which it was -
had he not come to America from Poland
at the dawning of the previous
century, i wouldn't be here on
hollywood & vine today, talking
to this one-eyed man.
I took several
photos, which he happily posed for, and we
agreed to meet up again. I hope
And i know
that in hollywood,
everything that happens,