The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like.

The man hanging out in the shadow of the pay telephone next to the Circle K store.
It is 107F and he has on a long sleeved flannel shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

He is wearing long sleeves to keep the sun off his skin. 3 years ago he had skin cancer on his arm and he doesn’t want anymore. He is a roofer by trade but he hurt his back and can’t work right now. So he is hanging around the Circle K wishing to buy a cold drink, but doesn’t have the money. He wants to ask for money from people going by but is too embarrassed. He wishes he had cigarettes too. Tonight he will go back to the apartment he shares with 2 other guys and hope someone has dinner. They work at Labor Ready and get paid daily, when there is work. Some days they don’t get work and then it’s just tough luck. He doesn’t have a car right now because he sold it to pay his rent. He has no idea what to do to make his life better. He can’t get unemployment because he can’t work. He can’t get disability because his injury isn’t permanent or expected to last a year. He should get better eventually, but doesn’t know when. He’s hungry. “Hmmmm” he thinks to himself, “there is a lady in a wheelchair and a little girl. Her purse is dangling off of the arm of the chair, I could grab it, I bet no one would catch me, nobody else is around…” He thinks on it, then, “No, I’d better not start doing that, where would it end?”

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