I’ll call him Mr. Suburbia because he had to move a long way out of the city to find an affordable room. At some point he developed brain damage – he believes caused by Paxil, though the frontal part of his head looks as if he’d been in an accident that could well have affected his brain function. In any case, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that life has been an incredible struggle ever since, with a bipolar disorder thrown in to spice things up.
He’s one of those people you come across in coffee shops who keep talking “to themselves” and can’t seem to stop. So he is avoided. A few of us had the opportunity to listen to him for hours yesterday, which in turn enabled him to wind down and I think finally feel heard – and he began to listen to others, a bit. Transformation. It’s a fascinating thing to see that “one of those types” can be impacted by the simple act of listening.
He had the chance to talk about his aching body, his endless interactions with medical or government agencies in trying to solve his basically unsolvable problems. He believes there is ‘genocide’ going on against the poor. In a way, given a certain interpretation of life, we could say he’s right. The ‘homeless’, for example, tend to die on average in their forties.
Does this surprise anyone? What if we gave them homes?