Know the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover?" This story is a twist on that. Typically, that idiom is used to imply hidden good or bad. In this case, it's about pain and misfortune — and whether it's masked or in plain sight. I'm so impressed by the brilliance, creativity, and substance of this video. Take three minutes to see why.
Narrator: A price tag is a lot prettier than an expired ticket. Bus passes expire, and today my outfit is wet as fuck. H&M skinny jeans, button up shirt, Urban Outfitters sweater, beaded bracelet on one wrist, snap bracelet watch on the other, golden whistle necklace, liquor store beanie and Guess leather boots. I'm walking from downtown Berkeley to a couch in east Oakland that does not belong to me.
When I see him, on the corner of Alcatraz and Telegraph, his blackened prints smudging his empty Burger King cup, I tell myself, "I am not one of you." A price tag is all in me. A bus pass once had a destination, and my legs are not as tired as they will be in an hour and 30 minutes. My legs refuse to mimic his shuffle. I'm a Cadillac painted gold, with no interior, hoping my windows are tinted just enough.
Hey young blood, you got a dollar for the bus?
Uh, no, don't let the clothes fool you.
When an old man's face become a game of craps rolling snake eyes, you can hear him calling bullshit, even in silence, I stop in my tracks, turn to him and say, "Besides, how do I know you spend money wisely?" "How do I know you don't spend money wisely?"
And, suddenly, we are both the same vehicle. Me a shell painted gold, him stripped of enough parts to replace pride with survival, shamelessly. Like an expired buss pass, a price tag is paper, can weather when left with elements and time to do what is only natural. They can both tumbleweed the same. I pull out the dollar I was saving for my next gig.
"Nah, its cool, how far are you walking?"
I've got a ways to go.
"All right. Stay up"