Sleepers | is narcolepsy a disability

While riding the train with Elliot I noticed this guy sitting in front of us—his head leaning against the handicap preferred seating sigh on the wall.  I thought to myself that he looked interesting enough to photograph and I liked the juxtaposition of him and his headphones against the sign so I leaned over the seat and framed up.  At that exact moment something must have startled him because he jolts up and looks around.  I lean back before he sees me and after a quick look around he leans his head back against the wall resuming whatever dream he was having.  

A couple minutes pass.  He’s snoring so I decide to try again.  I lean forward, camera to my eye and the exact same thing happens again.  He jolts up, I lean back, he looks around and then goes back to sleep.  I kid you not, we do the same dance three more times before I decide that this isn’t going to happen and settle in for the rest of my train ride to Seventh street station.

The guy starts snoring again and I realize I just can’t let it be.  He’s a scab that needs picking.  I’m already focused so I palm the camera with my left hand and maneuver it over the seat in front me to what feels like eye-line and snap the image.  He doesn’t wake up and FINALLY I’ve finally got the shot.

As I’m retracting my hand a fellow passenger sitting on the row opposite the isle from me gives me the thumbs-up and mouths the word:


Shot on the Leica M7 with the 35 Cron on Kodak Tri-X at 800. 

Using Format