Numbers 1-1-2-4-2-11 come to mind. One person, one tree to the right, two benches on each side of him, four pillars in front of him, two garbage bins to the right and eleven bars on the doorway ahead. A person surrounded by numbered items made of wood, concrete plastic and metal, a world without life no means of escape and an alluring doomsday scenario (I know cliche). Yet, this is a personal gloom, not something publicized on History-Discovery-Animal Planet channels. It’s a man’s path seemingly leading no where, yet, he keeps on walking, it’s solitude at it best…

Brian Gaynor Photography

On the face of it, the capture is rather simple — a young man walking in the city.  On further inspection, though, I find the image more complex and moody.

In this nondescript urban setting, clumps of leaves litter two benches in a “park”, sans grass.  Garbage bins stand guard nearby.  The man strikes a James Dean pose as he pulls on a cigarette, collar up on the jacket.  He walks with a confident gait, seemingly assured of his destination.

But what is the ultimate destination?

The subway wall truncates the eastern access, leaving the grungy alleyway as the sole means of passage.  Security pillars and bars on the wall provide an additional atmosphere of incarceration.  Is he entering the inescapable walls of the city, meandering to a destination, or attempting to flee?

Photo captured on Chicago’s North Side.  Thoughts welcomed.

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