There wasn’t a day that he wasn’t there. If he wasn’t standing at the bottom of the stairs, leading down from our side of Piazzale Loreto, he’d be in the middle of the tunnel, connecting one side of the square to the other. Whether it was hot or it was cold, the same sock hat was always affixed to his head. Upon reflection, I can’t remember when he wasn’t wearing a down jacket, either.
I always assumed that the guy was deaf. I don’t know what lead me to conclude that. Blindness is not the same thing. Nonetheless, I’ve always unconsciously equated the two. Carrying my recording equipment through our underground station, taking pictures of the adverts, recording the sounds of the Milanese, I always found myself turning off the mic when I passed him by.
I wasn’t so disciplined with my camera. After six months, I finally gave in and took this picture last winter. Editing audio recordings I made in the Loreto tube station, I was reminded of this photograph. Somehow, I imagined, he saw me.