Well it’s been a month since all my camera gear was stolen here in the Seattle area. I have been fighting a severe depression ever since.
All this started with a small motorcycle accident breaking my leg. Then a Navy doctor that apparently could not read an X-ray crippled me for life. I tried to have it rebuilt now all my bones are filled with titanium they can’t repair the nerve damage this guy caused. Now I have to live with nonstop pain and my leg just stops working at inopportune times causing my nose to bounce off the ground. They told me I would never be able to work again or even stand for more than 5 minutes. Not being one to give up on life I decided to take up Photography figured I could do that on my own terms. I spent the last of my money on a camera and lens and took off for the west. With my disability I figured I could just make it through the month as long as I cut back on extravagances like food. I figured what the hell my favorite thing to do before the accident was running which I did everyday for 2 hours at least. It cleared my head and left my body feeling alive so if I was not running I could eat less it would all work out. Sure it would mean I would be homeless but I had a purpose besides it amazing how fast all your friends disappear when your poor and crippled so there was no reason to stay in one place.
Well its been several years now of being on the road. I have found that with my camera in my hand I was so focused on life through the lens I could put my pain in the back of my mind. I stopped caring about what I left behind all that mattered was that next picture. I didn’t care if I had to fast the last week of every month because I ran out of money because I had my art. Whenever I was able to save money I bought a new piece of equipment all I wanted was to get better. One of the few expenses I kept from my old life was my phone. I don’t know why I call it a phone I just use it for internet it has only rang 3 times in the past 2 years. So I’m out here poor hungry alone but I was happy with my camera in my hand.
My son had a baby last year and I really wanted to see my Grandson so I sold my last motorcycle so I would have the cash for gas to get to Seattle. Arrived on the 4th of July and had a wonderful time in Seattle and shooting the fireworks while playing with the grandson. The next day we went to the bookstore and ran into Starbucks for a cup of Chai . We could not park in the handicap spots because they were all filled with cars without handicap tags so we had to park further back in the lot. That’s when my life ended. While we were in enjoying a beverage someone smashed out the window of my son’s car and stole my camera bag. We called the police when we found it and were told they would not send out a car I had to file a report online and hung up. I called back and got belligerent till they sent someone out the officer acted like I was bothering him by being robbed. I called the number the next day to give them the serial number off the camera no one answered or got back to me. I called and emailed for over 2 weeks before someone got back to me. If I could have parked in front of Starbucks in the handicap spots this never would have happened but I did not blame them until I saw the article about the customer in Florida that would ask non handicapped customers to move their cars and was banned from Starbucks. Now I say if Starbucks does not give a shit about handicapped customers boycott Starbucks.
So in the last month I can’t tell you how many times I have reached for my camera. Without it there is nothing to distract me from the pain which is just eating away at me its amazing how the mind works. The biggest thing though is that now I am completely worthless as a human being I’m giving nothing back. Yes I know all the psycho babble but I am a guy and we judge our self worth by what we do. I tried the Go Fund Me route but of all the people I know and that follow me none of them could even give a dollar except for a great young German couple that I showed around Yellowstone a few years ago when their car broke down. There is no way I can replace what I had on what little disability I get so the plans for the rest of my life are done. I have fought and fought through all the hardships that have been thrown at me clinging to what little I had left. With one broken window that little bit I was clinging to was stripped away. Now I’m a runner without legs, a romantic all alone, a photographer without a camera. I have 3 weeks left to decide where to go and I just don’t care anymore.