My encounter with Andrés
My dear accomplices, today I am writing to you from thirty-two thousand feet high, while I am flying towards my land Nicaragua. I want to share with you something that happened to me a couple of days ago, while I was taking pictures in the downtown area of Miami.
It turns out that two weeks ago, while I was also taking pictures in a park where incredible sunsets are given, I forgot one of the filters I was using in my new facet of amateur photographer (in case you did not read my post about it, here it is). Of course, I did not realize my loss until I got home, but since I also moved from location and in both I had used the filters, I did not really know where I had forgotten it.
The truth is that I immediately assumed (which I detest doing, suppose) that I had lost it, someone had found it and that it surely would have been some homeless guy, of those who sleep in the park. I also assumed that maybe that person would not even know what that valuable object was and would throw it away. You can see the tremendous film that I made, when in fact I should have immediately returned to look for that little window that costs a few dollars. But hey, the thing is, I did not go back. The days passed and again I returned to the park to take a few pictures. As I had already predicted, the filter was not there and I resigned myself to the fact that it had definitely been lost or someone had found it and if by chance it was a professional photographer or not, he would have realized how precious it was.
As I said at the beginning, a couple of nights ago I stopped by downtown Miami, -in the American Airlines Arena specifically- to take pictures of a beautiful ship where there was a party alluding to Peru, that beautiful country that I love so much. The lighting of the ship was incredible, many little lights made it look almost like something out of a movie. It caught my attention that seemed old. The flag of Peru waved the humid night in Miami and the one that writes to them sweated to seas and died of heat, but nothing was more gratifying than to suffer tremendous discomfort for having that desired photo.
I took more than one, looking for the perfect composition, what I wanted to see in the image; I focused on the reflection of the incandescent light in the water that was born from the boat and, in addition, in a couple of buildings that served me as a spectacular background.
Once I achieved the image I wanted, and when my heart stopped beating with emotion, hallucinating before such beauty, I set out to leave that moment I enjoyed so much, to go straight to edit and see on my computer what I had achieved.
Walking back to my car, there were several homeless people sleeping under the dark sky and lulled by the sea. I passed the side of one of them who stared at me with a scowl as if to say “your steps have awakened me, can not you walk smoother?”
I quickly followed before the man got rally angry. Suddenly, I found another one who did speak to me and said: “Hey, do you know what this is? I think someone left it forgotten and I want to return it to its owner. ” I was not going to stop because it is dangerous and you never know what can happen when you walk with equipment on the street and at night, but there was something in the tone of his voice that made me not ignore him and ask him what it was that insistently showed, He told me, “I do not know, I found it”. Immediately I recognized the metal box of my filters and again, I assumed that I had left it lying on the wall for being running that night taking pictures.
Andres, as he told me his name was, asked me: “Do you know what it is?” When I saw the box I said, “Yes, it’s mine, I’ll probably leave it on the wall”. He answered “nooooooo, wait, wait, when did you lose it?” In response I told him “right now I was in that corner taking pictures”. He saw me incredulous and continued to answer, “I did not find this here, I found it somewhere else two weeks ago and I have kept it with me to see if I was lucky to find its owner. I went online to find out how much it was worth and I found it expensive and I thought I would sell it for something”.
My jaw dropped to the floor when he told me that story. I said, “I can not believe you found it in the Miami Beach park on the causeway. Two weeks ago I was there taking pictures and I forgot it and I assumed it was lost. How incredible that you have kept it with you and that tonight I did not plan to come here to photograph you have stopped me to ask me about the filter. I mean, ask me in particular, when before I saw another photographer who also took pictures of the boat and had gone before me. ”
Andres told me that he had tried to stop the other boy but he did not get it and so, amidst my astonishment, I began to ask him where he was from and if he was destitute, since he was not in any of the shelters that are nearby in the area. He proceeded to tell me that he had lost everything when the stock market went to the floor. He was selling property and the money he had invested flew. He told me, “Take your filter.” He surely saw my that emotion was sincere. I took out my wallet just when he asked me to help him with something, since a few days ago he had fainted and lost his cell phone. He showed me how the ants had stung his right arm, I swear that that image will be hard to erase from my mind.
I gave him money and when he saw how much it was, the man thanked me a thousand times. I asked him to let me take a picture and he agreed, but first he took out a comb to accommodate his blond and gray hair, showing his Croatian descent. I took the selfie and gave him a hug. I thanked him for stopping me and having saved that filter that I did not really expect to see again. He smiled at me and said “You’re welcome, no problem man, thank you for your help”.
Moral of the fable: We all have a story. Every time I see a homeless person, from long before having this encounter with Andrés, I have thought about what his childhood will have been like, if he had a father and mother, or at least one of them. Have you believed in Santa Claus, will you have asked for a toy in some Christmas? What do you believe in at this time, unlike before? Have they ever woken him up with a caress?
Anyway, I start like trying to imagine his story as a child, because that’s where I think everything starts. After this brief meeting, full of humanity and learning I was more than satisfied to have listened to this man; sometimes that is the only thing that is needed, to be listened and to listen, to feel that you care about someone and vice versa, whether it is unknown or not.
Not all people who are on the street are bad, not all those who have less are criminals. Something must have happened in their lives because I’m sure nobody likes to live like that. They are human beings in need not only of help, but of a little empathy, solidarity and above all LOVE.
And do you know any similar story? Tell me