As I walked on Main St., I heard Zack's voice before I saw him. He was sitting in a doorway, and I immediately remembered why I pursue strangers to photograph only in public places, during broad daylight. I knew what was coming; Zack asked for financial for lunch, as he had recently gotten out of prison. I always have a few dollars in one pocket that can be accessed without pulling out my wallet. And as I always do in these situations, I offered a deal and told him about the 100 Strangers project. Zack immediately agreed to be photographed and I handed him the few dollars before further dialog or photography. I feel that this builds a degree of trust, and opens the door for more meaningful conversation.
Zack spent four years in prison, in Ft. Myers. He was released three months ago. Upon release, he was offered a bus ticket to anywhere in the continental United States. Zack chose a town in Oregon, as that is where his mother lives. There was a layover is Sarasota where he had “three hours to kill”, (bad choice of words). He got into a fight in the bus station and was not allowed to continue the trip. So he has been homeless here, and has since gotten into over 20 fights. He explained why, using extensive profanity and racially incorrect language. Small wonder that he spends his time fighting. It sounds like a sad dead end.