I didn’t stop and take the photo, I wanted to, but I knew the story so I did not stop; I couldn’t help. It was a picture of a boy and his dog along the side of the highway. He was alone sitting at dusk as a long line of cars and trucks drove past, no one was going to stop.
I’d heard the stories of the guy, I’d been a volunteer helping those that had gotten lost. Lost souls would find the tent, it was by the medics. The Loco Ocos were there to help those that were too high to find their homes or their friends. People came at night and by day the landscape had changed so drastically that no landmark provided directions. It’s a kind of lost that one rarely gets to experience. One fella we helped had a tattoo of a compass on his arm. Fate he would learn is not always kind.
I can’t just go do a bunch of drugs and dance and fuck, without giving back — I’m not a lazy person and I have the discipline to love a lost soul in a place with many. I’d spent most of time there lost, so I understood the feeling as I arrived without any friends. As folks began to leave the lost ones needed to leave too. The Loco Ocos would drive folks around looking for their camp, talking in calm tones, asking questions and just being someone that cared about the lost one’s well being.
So after having my fun I decided to help out with the Loco Ocos. In between finding paths for the lost ones there were stories; and this is where I herd about the man and his dog. I won’t use either of their names, but apparently the man had been very abusive to some women and the community around him took some actions, buy cutting the gas lines on his car. The cops came and said you can be arrested or leave. He eventually chose to leave on foot with is dog.
I am unsure of all the decisions the man made, but it was a day for better choices. When I saw him he was no longer a man, his dog lay in his lap dead as he sat by the road thinking about his life. The image burning, I refused to take the photo.