This is Victoria

This is Victoria
This is Victoria

I noticed Victoria sitting on the steps of  a church in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC. She was surrounded by newspapers and pieces of cardboard which were leftover from her having spent the night there. I have met and photographed Victoria once before, about two years ago. Her mental state has deteriorated dramatically since then. So much so it was impossible for her to form a coherent sentence this morning. Just a stream of delusional thinking interrupted by her asking me for some food and water. Gloria would not remove her glasses as she believed that their heart shape showed she had love to give and would keep the evil away. I was able to negotiate this photograph by buying her a bottle of water and a few granola bars. Getting her to stop talking for a second was a different story. To say that Victoria is one of the “Invisible Ones” is an understatement. Given her untreated mental illness, plus her homelessness she is completely at the mercy of others. Fortunately she is friendly, not aggressive and does not appear threatening. So if kind hearted passersby stop to say hello she will engage them in a convoluted, delusional conversation. If you see Gloria around Chinatown, say hello and do what you can to help her get through the day. Both you and she will be better for it.

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