Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Josean Garcia at Hamburger Mary's

Josean Garcia and I met at Hamburger Mary's on Church Street. I was there first. I didn't know what he looked like and he didn't know what I looked like, but we found each other. Hannah Miller who founded AdoptOrlando, was meeting us as well, but her car got rear ended by some guy rubbernecking rather than paying attention to traffic. She arrived shortly after Josean and I had met.

I was seated by the waitress at a round table in the center of the room. I thought a booth might be better, but accepted the location offered. He felt uncomfortable when he arrived, with his back exposed to a room full of people that he couldn't see. We moved to a booth close to a back exit door. I felt more comfortable and so did he. He now always thinks about possible escape routes anytime he is in a public place.

Josean has experienced an incredible amount of loss. First, he lost his mother, Deserie Garcia, and then on June 12th he lost his best friends Amanda and Mercedes at Pulse. He escaped from the nightclub that evening. "It's been two months since my best friends , my sisters joined my mother in heaven." he said on Facebook on August 12th.

Josean is an incredibly talented singer and song writer. His R&B music often addresses the darker side of life. Since the horrible shootings at Pulse, his life has been on hold. He can't believe this happened in Orlando and that he was there. I love that he feels Orlando has gained a new found "weirdness" along with the incredible outpouring of acceptance. Rainbow flags are still seen everywhere. He will start creating music again when the time is right. He is thinking that New York City could be where he should go to further his career. When we got our wines, he insisted we toast. His grandmother always said the you should toast anytime you are with friends to celebrate life. We all need to feel a connection to friends. He knows how to celebrate life while remembering his dearest friends lost at Pulse.

You can donate to the Amanda Alvear or Mercedes Flores GoFundMe accounts if to would like to help.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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