Big Belly Guy

Back when I was still unemployed, after taking Owen to school, I would walk to Union Square with Rita, where she would catch the 4, 5, or 6 train to work. I would walk from 12th Street down to the 7th Street and Avenue B entrance to Tompkins Square Park and wait for her. I always carry my camera with me, most times out of its case, so when this fellow appeared I was ready.

I don’t have much to say about him. I’m not the sort of person who brazenly takes photos of people without their permission, unless they walk into the shot, so I had to pretend (or felt as if I had to pretend) to take photos of buildings on that corner to justify my presence there with a camera, except I wasn’t pretending. In order to maintain the integrity of my ruse, I actually took photos of the corner buildings on Avenue B and 7th — Amaran and Vazac’s. When I was satisfied the guy wasn’t paying any attention to me, and I had taken enough photos to establish my alibi, I took this one of him.

Actually I took two of him, but the first one wasn’t so good so I deleted it.

It reminds me of another time I took a photo of a big belly guy, at Malibu Beach in Los Angeles, in 1987 or 1988, whenever it was that I was there. He was a Mexican guy, younger than this one, but with a bigger belly. Sarah, who I was travelling with at the time, reproached me for taking it, but hey… taking pictures is what I do. Should only the beautiful people be photographed?


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