(Newser) – A man mocked online after being recorded shaving at his seat on a NYC commuter train says he was just trying to clean up after days in a homeless shelter. Anthony Torres, 56, tells the AP that people judging him on social media don’t appreciate his struggles. “My life is all screwed up,” he says. A fellow passenger on a Thursday evening NJ Transit train took video of Torres sitting in his seat, steadily swiping away at his lathered face and tossing the shaving cream from the razor onto the floor. The video, posted on Twitter, had 2.4 million views by Monday. The self-grooming earned its share of negative comments, with insults like “slob” and “nasty.” Others humorously lauded his steady hand with a razor, while a few cautioned against passing judgment. The truth, Torres says, is the video (which he didn’t know was being filmed) captured him at a vulnerable moment.
He’d been homeless, staying in a NYC shelter, and had reached out to his family for help. A brother gave him money for a train ticket, which he was using to get to another brother in New Jersey. He says he left the shelter before having a chance to clean up and wanted to look “presentable.” Torres has had a hard life, says his brother Thomas Torres, 57, whose house was where Anthony ended up. They grew up poor with four other brothers on a farm in Hammonton, NJ. Anthony Torres says he worked a number of different jobs, including construction, and moved to wherever work was, like Florida, where his adult son lives. He says he’s slept in motels or bus depots, and that he’s had two strokes in the past two years. “It’s hard to see the life that he’s lived,” Thomas Torres says. “Maybe people will have more feeling knowing what this kid’s been through.”
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