George came into my life five years ago, during a trip to Coney Island shortly after I had moved to New York. I was 18, painfully awkward, and having trouble making friends—especially with people my own age. He approached me on the boardwalk and asked me to help bury him in the sand.
Living on a disability pension, George is ill and has a huge scar on the side of his body from surgery. He is in constant pain, but for whatever reason, the pressure of being buried in the sand or walked on gives him temporary relief. After I dug him out of the sand, I followed him back to his apartment, and we’ve hung out together ever since: taking pictures, getting wheatgrass shots, going to the park, stuff like that.
Obviously, George has a lot of problems to overcome on a daily basis, but he is also capable of an incredible lightness. Like many other friends I met during this transient period in my life, I haven’t seen him in a while, but every so often, mostly on holidays, he’ll call just to say hi.