As I saw it, this was not me doing Justin a favour but rather the opposite. It was lunch I could afford him today and in return I wanted to quench my curiosity. How was it a young man, whose age and appearance were comparable to mine, how are we so close but so far apart? Justin was happy to sit and as I plied him with food and beverage I enquired as to the journey that brought him to this proverbial intersection in Vancouver.
And so it went that Justin spoke of hard times, of a love gone bad, of a troubled family and finally of a heroine addiction so strong that he’s sworn off rehab.
He spoke softy and clearly. Articulately. He spoke in a manner that gave you the sense he was the kind of man who didn’t have a bad bone in his body. He spoke honestly about his addiction and his consistent relapses. He admitted to having a hit not 15min prior to me meeting him and that once he made another $13, adding that to the $7 he had, that he would go and get another hit. This would repeat all day he explained until he slept. Then it would repeat the next day.
Justin was not remorseful but was adamant that this is not what he wants for his life. He’s at a loss though. Rehab has continued to fail him, or he it, to a point where he’s sworn never to go back. He spoke of doing a detox but was also certain that wouldn’t work long term.
I enjoyed my lunch today with Justin. As I see it, I was not the charitable one today, Justin was for agreeing to take the time to talk with me and for sharing so openly. I asked to take his picture and if it would be ok for me to share his story. He agreed.
In parting I gave Justin the $13 he needed to get his next hit, took his picture and wished him luck.
I do hope I see Justin again.
Written by @daniel_heroculture, photography by lorenanderson.photography