The gritty years


Sometimes I look at the images that other photographers have created and I see grit and edginess in them. The human condition twisted and outside the norm fascinates me. Maybe because it is a world that is familiar to me but beyond my current peace. That wasn't always the case. The first half of my life was gritty AF. I remember running home from school after almost being caught in a crossfire between two dudes who believed they were in some sort of ghetto old west. "You thought I was scared, didn't you?" A man in his mid twenties shouted to another guy as he pulled out a pistol. About 30 or 40 yards away a response came, "Naw man! Come on!" The second guy also pulled out a pistol. I ran from between those two fools as fast as I could. On the way, I saw a cop stopped at a traffic light. I was too afraid to tell him what I saw. Snitches get stitches. Everyone knew that. So, I kept running until I was far away from the duel. It seems I never stopped running until I reached this place by the sea where living is easy and rolls by as if my past was a dream. The only grit I see these days is from the sand in my shoes. I have to go to Tokyo for that and return to life after midnight. That’s when the streets come alive as the nocturnal denizens start to move. It used to be my life too. My golden hour was 3am in a dark smokey basement listening to house music, techno, drum and bass, dub, hiphop. My bedtime was 8 am after getting home by the first train. I didn't have a camera then. It was taken from me in Seoul by some Korean gangsters. I ran up a bill and my camera was the only currency I had. It was worth 20 times more than what I owed but paying in blood was not an option. After my camera had been taken, it took me 10 years to get a new one. All those gritty years lost and faded with my rum addled memory. Honestly, I don't want to go back. It's too late for that now. I have grown past it.... Maybe. Right now, I love my serenity by the shore.

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