Return of the barnacles

© Russell Smith, 2011

It is the summer heat that brings them, seeking shade from that melanoma-machine in the sky, that some call the Sun. Some are quiet, not looking for trouble one bit. Others are flamboyant actors, who never quite made it and then got sucked into the whole drug scene. Probably buying dope for their more successful friends. There were more than the ones I’ve pictures of. The concrete hole is attracting more and more homeless, like shallowed waters full of river reeds. ‘Cept these reeds and barnacles have ears. And don’t forget their mouths. There not just for feeding anymore!

© Russell Smith, 2011

Some of the barnacles really do resemble bivalves clinging to a sinking ship. They’re in their bedrolls, curled up against the morning sun. Then there are the loud ones who go to bed drunk and wake up drunk. Throw in a little crack or meth and they are quite lively indeed at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Irish (left) and Raymond (right) ©rs2011

The fellow who identified himself as “Irish” was loud and obnoxious. He was speaking in a fake Irish accent. I’m quite sure that if you tossed him into a pub in southwest Ireland, he wouldn’t know how to communicate with the folks- even with a gun to his head. He says he appears on a gossip t.v. show where he’s fed bogus lines of b.s. about B-list celebrities, half of whom I’ve never heard of. Or that’s the story he tells of himself, “Even though we’re homeless and everything, you know…” He trails off, as if his jumbled words constituted a resumé of some kind. That and the fake accent has me looking askance.

He says he’s lived in Hollywood for twelve years and that’s about how long I’ve been here- since the summer of 1999. So that adds up to twelve years for me as well.

What do you think I’m trying to say with the SPACE FOR RENT sign?



About Russell Smith

I was born at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. I find inspiration in the lives of so many people from Joan of Arc to Oscar Wilde. While my primary avocation is photography, I also enjoy philosophy, theology and most of all, history. My beloved wife, Robin Anne Smith, who passed away in 2013 is also an inspiration to me. My beloved partner, Dana is also a great support and inspiration to me. I'd be remiss if I did not mention my cats: Natasha, Maxwell, Tigger and Nigel.
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