Last Monday, after I had secured my spot on the Woodland Street bridge and spread out the legs of my tripod, I sat back and watched people. Out of the crowd, I noticed this man in a suit walking towards me, smiling like we hadn’t seen each other in a long time.
It had been a long time. Around oh, say, never before.
I greeted him with a smile and said hello because I tend to do that with strangers, especially ones who I know are coming straight at me.
He said his name was Rosco and that he used to be a boxer. After we talked a while, I asked him if I could take his photograph and he said yes. Almost instinctually, he stepped back into what seemed a very comfortable pose.
If you look at his right hand you can see his pinky finger folded up under his other fingers. He told me he broke his hand and that ended his career. I believe it. The pinky on that hand lays almost sideways across his palm. Go ahead, look at your own. Ouch.
He told me about his rise in the boxing world and how he met Don King. He spoke of some family issues and of some legal troubles he went through. I told him about some rough spots in my past and that seemed to surprise him.
I told him about all the internal fighting I had done for most of my life. How it wasn’t worth it and didn’t pay off in the end and how those battles never produce a victor.
I think he understood what I was talking about. I hope so. I guess what really matters is that I understood what I was talking about.