I came across Robin sitting on the sidewalk near Dupont Circle. He was playing his harmonica and panhandling. I watched for awhile and noticed how truly invisible he was to the busy office workers crossing the street to the circle. When I approached him I noticed he had nothing at all in his paper cup despite being at this spot for more than an hour. When I asked about that he said, ” I guess people are busy this morning.”
Robin is an Iraq war veteran and a has been a chronic alcoholic for at least 20 years by his own recollection. He has been sober for a few months but is not terribly confident that he will remain so. Robin has been involved with a variety of services for the homeless in Washington, DC but is rather vague as to why those haven’t worked out. He says he currently has a place to stay but doesn’t know how long that will last. Clearly there are aspects of Robin’s history that he chooses to keep to himself. What is clear is that he is out there on the streets of Washington, DC playing his harmonica in the hope of being less invisible if even for a short time.