this is nothing about the bike or biking, but it is about being in the city. i’d seen hints of a story about a homeless man being burned to death in a parking lot, but didn’t read anything seriously until will campbell’s piece at LA metblogs. i’ve exchanged a couple of emails with will, but what i’m always struck by in his writing is his insistence on being there, being in a place. there’s such a strong sense of bearing witness to something larger than himself, a sense of understanding others not as types or caricatures but as people, as humans, as individuals. i have my own scattered thoughts about john mcgraham’s death, but please read will’s piece.
as a last thought: if to be homeless in this city is to be deprived of a name, then will’s piece, the way in which it insists on naming john mcgraham, is something rare.