I crossed the street to get into my car and leave the downtown library, but stopped in the middle of the road and turned around. As I walked back, I saw the man, who 5 minutes prior had been a stranger to me, holding his little furry dog Trixie in his arms. Richard introduced himself and offered me his hand to shake. I asked if I could take a picture of his cut pet curled up beside a close fire hydrant. During the impromptu photo session, he gave me Trixie’s full life history, along with brief, slurred snippets of his own.
Fifteen years old and blind, the dog appeared to be the only lasting friendship for the man. Richard was full of entertaining stories and, I, believed every word he said. Knowing whether what he was saying was fact or fictional was not the point. The point was to listen and know in our lies, perhaps, more of the truth is revealed than the “Truth” ever could. Ultimately what rose to the surface was a tender love between a man and his four-legged friend; so, I asked if he would like for me to take a picture of the two of them together. He liked the idea. So I did and told him if it turned out decent, I would print one for him and leave it on top of the brick column that sits on the corner of the intersection where first met.
I’m not sure if he ever got the picture. I think I’m still trying to figure it out. If I see him around town again, I will stop and ask.