You don’t meet much street begging here.

There have only been a few cases in my Montevideo travels where I was hustled for money.

Turning a corner off Colon street, near Roberto’s antique store and studio, I come across a sleeping man in an alcove. He is out of the way of pedestrian traffic, looks comfortable, isn’t causing trouble. There are no wine bottles. There is no cart to show he has been on the street a long time. His clothes aren’t dirty.

His chest moves as he breathes.

There are similarities between sleep and dying. One you wake from, the other you don’t.  One is temporary relief and the other is permanent.

I go back and forth about taking his photo. If an awake person doesn’t want their photo taken they can shake their finger or say no. He has no say in his present condition.

I leave him where he lies and snap his picture.

If you snooze, you lose.

 

 

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