Sunday, October 3, 2010

What you doing is you wasting yo' time...

I wonder if this is true. Yesterday I made someone mad, irate even, when I was out taking pictures. I stopped at a median gathering on Tupelo street, introduced myself, sat down in the dusty grass and told them I was here trying to understand  what makes a community. Then I asked what has become my standard question this trip, "What is a community?"  I got a few answers from the men sitting there on the median. "This here," they said, "This is a piece of Florida." Then, flat out, "You wastin' yo tiam." 

Is that so? 

When I made the mistake of pointing to the 16 oz bag-wrapped can of beer he held in his right hand, suggesting he was having his version of fun, and I was having mine, I got a tongue lashing.

"Don't we all need something to do with our time before we die?" I asked myself.  

What he got out of my finger pointing at his beer can was that I thought photography was an improvement on drinking.  "You making me real mad," he said. "I do have a job, I'm a working man. Where am I supposed to go to enjoy myself?"

I'm not sure where he should go. Maybe right here. Other people want parks, want pools, want schools and businesses to invest in the lower 9th ward so that people do have places to hang out other than the Orange store and the street medians.

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