Mark in Golden Gate Park, early '90s and all is not well. His smile for the camera appears genuine, but I know better. Thin hair straggling into a ragged pony tail, smudged gold-rimmed glasses hiding sad eyes, burn blister on lower lip from smoking heroin. Threadbare thrift store jacket and jeans. He's sleepless, has pudgy cheeks from drinking, isn't bathing or changing clothes frequently enough. Unexpectedly he has a very pretty Thai girlfriend, who took this picture and has no idea.
The worst was behind, yet every day remained a struggle. Depression is like walking under water. Each small gesture requires effort.
I know how this all came to be, and, so far, I've successfully avoided repeats, even under circumstances of great sorrow and hardship.