"In every crowd are certain persons who seem just like the rest, yet they bear amazing messages." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I was photographing in downtown Augusta, Maine when Fred passed by. Weighed down by plastic grocery bags he looked more frail than possible. The next time I saw him he greeted me as though he'd been expecting me. I began visiting him regularly, mostly on weekends. Some days we'd go out but usually we just stayed in his room and talked about whatever. At first his hopefulness and generosity seemed incongruous with his impoverished surroundings. But this disparity was really caused by my own preconceptions about how someone in his position was supposed to behave. To realize "what a man can be...what it could be like for him," as Fred once said, those preconceptions had to go.
*All captions by Fred Falvo.