Originally uploaded by Unbowed.

For respite, clarity, and vision, I take pictures.

Last week I was out, planning to take a trip to the cemetery to get some shots in during the golden period–that moment during the day where the sun produces beautiful golden rays. On the way to the cemetery I drove by Druid Hill Park–for the old heads, the park that Dru Hill took its name from.

It was packed. Cadillacs, El Dorados, Escalades, Yukons, Superhawks, Ninjas, tricked out with dvd players, bass heavy stereos, and Sprewell rims. Moving at a snails pace as drivers profiled. On both sides of the strip of road running through the park a sea of black men and women hung out, checking out the rides, and each other. Some brought pit bulls, some brought babies. Some brought their A games, testing their mettle against Baltimore’s best pickup basketball players.

Meanwhile, men with motorbikes, scooters, and four-wheelers popped wheelies around the lake. They are notorious for doing tricks in traffic, sometimes through traffic. No helmets. No leather jackets. No traffic lights. Speed, danger, and freedom.

When I found out that the cemetery was closed I tried to get back to the park with the quickness, parking on the outskirts because I knew that it’d take hours to get out of traffic if I did otherwise. I got off about a hundred or so shots, easily.

A group of sisters came up to me while I was taking pictures. “Take one of me and my girls,” they said. I shot a few.

Then one of the sisters wanted me to shoot her with one of the bikers. I did, with the brother pictured here. I didn’t know what their relationship was, and didn’t say more than a few words to the brother.

Last night I got an email from the sister.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but I was wondering whether you had any other pictures of me and the boy with the bike? He was killed yesterday.”

Speed, danger, freedom.

(edited to add: i just received a response back. he was shot, walking to his car.)