Tyrone was a trip.
I met him on the red line T as I was heading home late one night with my friend Noah. The minute Noah and I walked into the car, cameras slung around our shoulders (yes, we usually have them with us), he told us to take pictures of him. He struck various poses with his friends, then with strangers, then danced up and down the train car.
His conversation was like improvisational stand-up. His movements, gestures and facial contortions provided more than enough entertainment for every single person - yes, every single person - he stopped to talk to.
When I met him again for the photo, I met another side of Tyrone. He talked about the challenges he faced growing up as a young black male. He told me he is determined to not be part of a "statistic" and wants to make something of himself. Walking from the street to the CCTV station in Cambridge, some people called out his name. He was quite the local celebrity. At CCTV, workers, and other show hosts greeted him like surrogate family members. He records a public access TV show every Wednesday. Community is important to Tyrone, and I saw that with his interactions with people.
He recited a very moving poem to me that he wrote when he was 16, about a girl who died of a brain aneurysm [listen to it]. Who would have known that someone you'd run into on the T could be such a unique and talented person.
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