Monterey Bay, Monterey, California


Hours before tourists would begin strolling the pier, I rolled up to the bay, unclipped my shoes from my bike’s peddles, and gazed out over the cloud-draped boats.

“Not much to photograph today,” Lawrence said. It was just after daybreak, and the sounds of heavy metal spilled from his cell phone.

“No. The fog’s spooky,” I said. “Full of mystery. I love it.” I’d gotten to know Lawrence the last few years. Gray-streaked hair hung past his shoulders and fell over the camouflage jacket he wore like a cape. He lived on the streets and most mornings sat in the same spot and watched the sun come up over the bay. When we first met, he introduced himself as Lawrence, not Larry.

“What’re you listening to today?” I asked.

“Megadeath.” Guitars and drums filled the cool air with carefully executed mayhem, layers of musical arrangement, and vocals, showing sophistication and craft. I tapped my chest with a closed fist.

“It does my heart good to hear you playing that.” My words hung in the air, and I realized … I meant it. Lawrence squinted as he looked me square in the eye and took a drag off his cigarette. I turned towards the bay to snap a handful of photos. Floating images emerged like hulking ghosts.