This is Lindsey

Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC.

I heard Lindsey before I actually saw him. I was walking through an alley near Dupont Circle and heard what sounded like an argument on the street. As I got closer I could see a well dressed man and woman on their way to work lecturing Lindsey on his lack of ambition and sense of entitlement that everyone owed him a living. Unlike many homeless persons who are verbally accosted by self righteous passersby, Lindsey was defending himself and calling them out for assuming that they knew anything at all about him. Having satisfied their need to feel superior, the couple moved on and I approached Lindsey. When I asked him what that was all about he simply said, “they were having a bad day and it don’t mean a thing.” Lindsey as it turns out is a friendly and affable homeless man who says he’s been on the streets for the better part of 15 years in various cities up and down the East coast but has settled in Washington, DC because most of the time people are friendly and the police don’t bother you. Lindsey says he has some disabilities, pointing to his head but won’t talk about what he means by that. For the most part he sleeps outdoors or in store fronts when the weather is not cold. He tends to avoid the large shelters because they are dangerous and he doesn’t like to fight to protect his meager belongings. He was agreeable to this photograph in exchange for a food voucher. Dupont Circle at 19th Street is a busy commuter route in the mornings. Lindsey tends to do better than most panhandlers because he is affable and friendly. He is nevertheless invisible to most who pass him by unless of course they feel compelled to be superior at his expense.

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