I was fighting tears after seeing Jerry.  His first name was all the information I could find out from him.  He didn’t appear to understand what I was saying to him.  I had to use gesture to ask him if it’s OK for me to photograph him, to which he nodded his consent.  He’s obviously not deaf or mute, for he heard me when I asked, “What’s your name?” and said his name, albeit only first name.

I had a lot of questions for Jerry that will go unanswered.   Looking at the length of his finger nails, hair, and beard, and how dirty they were, he appeared to not have been cared for in a long time (either by himself or someone else).  He was smoking, and there were a lot of cigarette butts around his feet.  I wondered where he got the cigarettes, and how long he had been at that spot, all alone and ignored.

He seemed to be suffering from some kind of mental illness or developmental disorder.  I wondered, given his apparent age, if he was cared for by someone who’d passed away, and now there’s nobody to care for him.  Or did he get lose from a mental hospital?  One way or another, a person in his condition should not be left to face this world alone.  He didn’t appear capable of  finding help for himself.   He looked so confused and lost. . . and lonely.

2 Comments on “Jerry”

  1. Laura says:

    Sadly, many many of the homeless are dealing with some mental health issue or another. The closing of residential facilities resulted in many being put out on the street with no help.


    • Sophie Doell says:

      I agree, Laura. It’s the only explanation I could think of for someone like Jerry to be all alone in a city like this. Heartbreaking! He was once somebody’s child. . .


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