Take my picture, he said.
Realizing he hadn't asked nicely, he tried again.
Please. Would you please take my picture?
I moved him into the light.
And then he started chatting. He explained he had been at a party to celebrate the end of his buddy's life last night and that's why he smelled of alcohol. And he did. He reeked. He apologized about that. Seeing the concern on my face he quickly explained it was a bachelor party, bad joke. He apologized again.
He continued on, he was a tattoo artist in Kent and was in law school too perhaps? Not sure. The details are kind of fuzzy. The details were flying and there were lots of details. There was something about a Russian connection, a dance competition and a woman who's entire body he had tattooed. Everything. Everywhere.
As he was talking I was taking pictures and had a chance to study him. Slowly he came into focus for me. His lip was split and if you look closely you can see he has a shiner under his right eye. When he took his hat off he had an angry red gash on the top of his head. Polite. Self aware. Nice smile. Cool jacket.
He invited me to come take pictures at the tattoo shop when it opened. He told me the name but I've forgotten it.
Sure, he said. You have a nice camera and seem to know what you're doing.
I do? Ok. Sure I'll come.
And as quickly as he appeared he was gone. Except for these images.