A while back, I went to a Starbucks in Buckhead, the only seat in the whole place was next to this old man. There was a set of big leather chairs back in a corner and the two chairs were very close together. I think living in New York City you develop a built in defense mechanism, a kind of hard outer shell that enables you to ignore others and avoid eye contact. I took the seat, hard shell in place and started looking at my new Koenig book. The old man was kind of muttering to himself and moving around a little erratically. I was hoping he would just leave but then, with out warning, my shell evaporated and I turned to him, showed him one of Koenig's houses and said, "Isn't this amazing?" A huge smile appeared on his face as he squinted his eyes and looked at the page, "Why yes, isn't that just marvelous!" he replied. We ended up talking for over an hour, covering World War II, Beethoven, Tolstoy, Howard Hughes, Hassleblads and even marriage and family (or the lack there of)!
I snapped a few images of my new friend David, with my iPhone, which I am pretty sure he was unaware of. There are many lonely old souls out there, with great stories to share, he really was very sweet and I could tell happy to have someone to talk too. Of course, it was my soul that reaped the rewards, as I continue to allow the New Yorker in me to soften under this Southern heat.
all photos & content © Lara Rossignol