|(I work the floor at an independently-owned menswear store. The owner, my boss, spends a lot of time at the shop, and tries to keep prices as low as possible to help our city’s large homeless population get good job interview clothes. A clearly homeless man is wandering around the store. The other patrons are giving him looks.)|
|Customer:||“Excuse me, sir?”|
|Customer:||“I think you may want to call security. That… bum over there, he keeps feeling the suits and muttering to himself. I’m just sure he’s planning to steal one.”|
|Me:||“Well, ma’am, I think that’s quite unlikely.”|
|Customer:||“Oh, come on, you know how they are! I mean, I’d keep an eye on him even if he wasn’t homeless!”|
|(The homeless man in question happens to be Hispanic.)|
|Me:||“We don’t discriminate here, ma’am.”|
|Customer:||“Well, I’m sure the owner would want to hear about this!”|
|(I give in and call him over. The customer explains her concerns. As a black man, my boss isn’t happy with her racism, but agrees to talk to the homeless man.)|
|Owner:||“Excuse me, sir, are you finding what you need?”|
|Homeless Man:||“Well, not really. I’m hoping for something versatile in a dark or navy wool, but most of the options in my size are cut American style instead of European, which fits me a little better. Not to mention they’re all pinstriped, which I really don’t have the build for, you know?”|
|Owner:||“I… yes, I understand. I think we may have some options over here, if you’ll follow me. How did you know all that?”|
|Homeless Man:||“Back before I lost my job, I used to be really into this stuff. I’m not looking for anything fancy, just something I can use to look good for a job interview later today.”|
|(My boss helps him find something he likes, and comes to the counter with him. The suit is priced at $87.)|
|Homeless Man:||*digging in his pockets* “Hang on, I think I’ve got enough.”|
|Owner:||*to me* “Take my card. I’m buying it for him.” *to the homeless man* “Here. The suit’s yours, on one condition. After your interview today, you come back and apply for a job here too. Got it?”|
|Homeless Man:||“I… oh my God, thank you. Thank you so much.”|
|(Two years later, that formerly-homeless man is my manager, and has a little girl with his new wife—the owner’s sister.)|
But then I realized I was holding onto something that didn’t exist anymore. That the person I missed didn’t exist anymore. People change. The things we like and dislike change. And we could wish all day long that they didn’t, but they always will.
How to get out of saying the “L” word by Victory Brinker
I almost thanked you for
teaching me something about survival
but then I remembered
that the ocean never
handed me the gift of swimming.
I gave it to myself.
I really wanna fuck in a pool. Like the possibilities are endless. My god. But it’s like. Our pool. In our backyard you feel me. Boy. Bet I be eating pussy under water. That’s some wavy next level shit. Put on my goggles. And i’m gone. That’d be some shit if i’m eating her and she’s so into it and she feels me stop and is like ” baby ? ” and i’m on the other side of the pool floating dead. I forgot I needed air. Ain’t even come up smh
Editorial for HG Issue’s upcoming themed magazine, “CARNE”. September 2013.
In psychology, it has been speculated that the human urge to kiss a lover first rose from a latent, insatiable cannibalistic tendency. The ultimate expression of love would be to consume each other simultaneously. Instead we kiss, engaging both of our mouths, tongues and teeth in a dance. And since we cannot consume our partners, we come as close as we truly can to possessing and claiming ownership of their flesh - their bodies - through acts of sex and other outlets. Their skin is sacred; it is the most honest container for these people that we love, sharing with us the timelines of their lives through birthmarks, scars, blemishes, tattoos, wrinkles, bruises, and even the marks left daily from their clothing. It is what we covet in our lovers, and what we can abuse for our pleasure.
Photography: Scout Paré-Phillips