I love Venice Beach, LA. The boardwalk is packed with artists, street performers, a graffiti park. I feel at my best when I'm somewhere quirky, and I'm near the ocean. I was recently there with my camera, trolling for interesting subject matter, when I came across a man with a name I forgot to ask.
The man in question is a beggar. He walks up and down, singing ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, help me get drunk' (to the tune of 'Jingle Bell Rock'). On my last day, I finally went up to him and asked if I could take his portrait. Along with the picture taking, we talked and he told me about his routine.
After two months of begging, he heads off to Thailand and the beach resort of Pattaya, for a hard-earned two-month rest, after which he returns to the Venice for more jingle bells. Two months in his sandwich board, and he heads to the Phillipines, and so on.
I'm in the wrong job.
Images: copyright Alan McArthur