A little while ago I decided to see if life on the street was the same as 30 years ago. I was shocked at how I felt sitting in town on the ground begging or should I say not begging just sitting and being ignored. I didn’t need to spend the whole day to gage the homeless situation and what it is like to live on the streets because I had been there over 30 years ago, but it was a different ball game then.
This is my days events
11am left home and caught the bus into town. 11.23am took a seat outside Clas Olsen on Broad Street. Luckily at 11.30am I saw Hannah and Suzanna and we had a little conversation. At 11.55am Jason the Big Issue seller arrived and we had a chuckle about me keeping his seat warm. I decided to moved to the alley way next to Cath Kitson. 12.05pm I sat down on top of my sleeping bag and said good morning to passer-bys and wished them a good day. Many said it back however the majority looked at me as if I was mad or deluded. It was not a nice feeling but I could cope with that so I thought. It soon came apparent to me that I suddenly had become invisible and for me that was depressing, people just stopped saying hello and it was as if the Oracle was having a sale and everyone was in a rush to get in line. I thought to myself I have to move so far I have not made any money, which may I state now, anyone who offered me money I told them what I was doing and why I was doing it.
13.05pm Leno came by trying to dodge the police. For me it was apparent that this was a daily occurrence and quiet a pain in the behind. This was an irritation for many of the homeless on the streets trying to genuinely beg for food or in many cases money for drugs and alcohol to get them through the mundane madness of life. Freckles also know to people by the name Lee suddenly appeared with a bundle of NME free magazines and started to sell them to unsuspecting walkers. I have to say I found him to be very bullish, rude and down right unfriendly. This I witnessed first hand as he decided to set up right next to me. After five minutes I could not take it any more I had to move before I gave him some unpleasant comments. Time to move to a new location. 13.15pm I walked over to Smelly Alley thus known for the pure stinkiness of fish and meat. I sat down thinking how disillusioned I felt and so very depressed at life in 2016 on the streets. Then suddenly from no where Ruth Dalfsen appeared and my faith was reassured but then again not really. I posted on several Facebook pages that I would be in town and for people to come and take a picture and put it on Facebook. So far I had two pictures taken one by Hannah and Ruth being the second. We had a natter and she even went to McDs and bought me my first drink. She then left and next thing I knew a young man gave me a peach. I explained what I was doing and he said to me well you must still be hungry so please enjoy. My faith in human kindness was restored. At 1.50pm I could not believe it Sally a very old friend was right in front of me. She was a breath of fresh air. She was so different and happy and her daughter so very beautiful and she had three other daughters. I thought to myself, it is good to look up as you never know who you would see. We Had a long natter, she bought me a cuppa tea from…………..yes you guessed it McDs.
Sally had to go and she made my day as well as seeing my other good friends too. Soon after she left me another lady I knew from Oak Tree House came and said hello and she was at first taken aback and immediately thought I was homeless to which I explained my situation. My pain in my legs are beginning to become very irritable and I tried my best to sit through the pain which made it worse. I had to ask for help to get me up and after a few minutes the numbness in my legs soften.