“I was floating off the ground from all the electricity running through me, then it blasted me right out the window, forty feet through the air, all the way to the sidewalk on the other side of the street. When I woke up I smelled something burning. Then I realized it was me. I was on fire!” Cricket recounts his story of how he earned his scars. He tells me he used to be a “fence jumper”, going into old buildings and pulling copper to sell. He went into a master room in an abandoned warehouse and grabbed a big ground wire while holding his wrench. “There was so much electricity in there, that the room was humming. You could just feel it. Next thing I know I’m floating off the ground and seeing neon green. Then my eyes flashed twice and I was out.” After being blasted out the window and catching on fire, he woke up again, long enough to try and put himself out, and then passed back out. Two months later he woke up in a hospital bed. He tells me the entire time he was in a coma he was having one long dream where doctors performed experiments on him, but he was still in Skid Row. Cricket lives in Skid Row currently, but he’s not a fence jumper anymore. Now he sells and trades goods on the streets like bikes and clothes. As he says, far less dangerous pursuits.
Suitcase Joe is a Los Angeles photographer who lives anonymously in our amongst. His Instagram page is an important document of our times. @suitcase_joe