After watching the silent antics of Buster Keaton at the Paramount this evening, we passed a young man who lay sprawled asleep in the gutter around the corner from the Baltic Room. I whipped out my cell phone as Viv and Spencer paused. I framed the shot, got it, and moved on.
Viv and Spence began to chat with one another in surprise – apparently they had assumed I was getting my phone out to call the cops, or something. Embarassed that the very idea had not even remotely occurred to me – the entirety of my reaction to the sight of the man was a mild amusement – I turned around and walked back to the fellow, beginning to dial 911.
As I approached the third digit, the thought occurred to me that perhaps the guy would rather not have to deal with the cops. So I called out “Hey Buddy, are you alright?”
He instantly opened his eyes and in a moment was able to say that he was fine. I asked him if there was anyone we could call or if he needed help getting somewhere, and he averred he was fine in the same strong Australian accent he’d first spoken in.
We continued up the hill.