Peter, or Pedro as he likes to be called, was sitting in Fremantle’s High Street Mall. We chatted for a few minutes and he explained he’d been homeless for 12 years. There are a number of homeless people scattered around the Mall these days.
Pedro’s clothing was clean, a tad worn but obviously comfortable. I felt the scene summed up Fremantle’s social contradictions. In the background another guy is sleeping in a doorway. On the extreme right is a boarded-up shop and a couple of likely lads walking into the Mall. On the left is a sign for an AfterPay facility while an advertising poster illustrates a couple concerned about their skin and ways to keep it perfect.
Pedro’s nails were painted bright red though the polish was chipping. There was a bit of glitter on his fingers and a few crude tattoos on his hands and wrists. I asked why he painted his nails and he laughingly replied “I’m gay … no, I’m not really … I was bored”.
Story and photograph (c) Roger Garwood 2022