YOUNG HOMELESS MAN BEAVIS, SAN FRANCISCO, AUGUST 2006
young homeless man beavis shooting up in the tenderloin. he picks his scabs to find a good spot; and tries a few locations before he gets a vein. he has the "love" and "hate" tattos from "night of the hunter" on his fingers. he's showing "love" with his right hand as he sticks the needle in.
beavis knows everyone on the street. he is tremendously literate and articulate and a really great artist. beavis is one of the reasons i take pictures of the homeless.
i met him in october of '05 (10/6/05) near union square. he was hurriedly moving along the sidwalk checking for change in the pay phone, sifting through trash bins, etc. he looked over at me and just had an amazing presence in his eyes. i continued walking, and then had to turn back and ask if i could take his picture.
he told me how he used to have a big mohawk and how he used to let tourists take pictures of him in fishermans' warf for 15 bucks. we chatted for a short bit and had a great rapport. when i was leaving, he told me to check out the time magazine from november '94 (11/21/94); said there's a picture of him in it as a streetkid (about 14 or so) in la.
the picture i took was crap (bad lighting) and i never posted it, but i emailed it to the time magazine photographer (steve liss) who had met beavis so many years before. steve was amazed to hear about beavis and said he has the portrait of him hanging in his home (i've included it in the comment below). he'd lost touch with beavis over the years. he said if i ever see beavis again to put them in contact.
but i didn't see beavis again until june of this year (6/5/06); eight months later. i saw someone that looked familiar on the sidewalk one morning hunched over. i walked up to him and, recognizing him better, asked if he was beavis. he said yes. he said he was just waking up and he needed a fix.
we talked for a long time. then his friend james (photo: "life and death") came over and beavis introduced us.
since then i see beavis most days. we always chat and he introduces me to his friends.