Yesterday started off by going with Linda to her favourite local cafe, Forbes & Burton, for breakfast where I had my usual Eggs Benedict. The sad part of this experience is that I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer eat my favourite breakfast any more as it is just too rich for me. I really hope this is not a getting older thing. Anyway, enough about my breakfast woes.
Today I had planned to walk the streets around where I am staying and take some photos but I didn’t get far from Linda’s apartment before I came across four homeless guys. In another life I might have just walked past, ignoring them, or in an attempt to feel good about myself I may have given them a dollar to share…oh what a good person I was!
But that’s not what I did today. One of the guys asked me, ‘”You got a spare smoke fella?” This guy is named Joey. I didn’t just hand one over, I gave each of them a cigarette. My intention was to continue my journey through the streets but then we started to chat and I was asked if I would like to sit down and join them, which I happily did. It wasn’t long before the guys, Joey, Tomo, Darren (who likes to be called Mick Jagger) and Nikko had consumed the rest of my pack of smokes. They told me their stories and I realised just how close I had come to being just like them. If it hadn’t been for family and friends who knows where I would be today?!
Tom told me how he has lived on the streets for the past 18 years and he sleeps in a little cave down by the rocks. Darren doesn’t even know exactly when he was born as he has never seen his birth certificate. He proudly showed me where he sleeps at No 98 Oxford Street.
Today I’m going back to see my new mates and take them for a coffee, which I am really looking forward to.
I have never taken the time to talk to homeless people before, but I will now. They are just like you and me but due to different circumstances, they are now living rough. So please, next time you pass a homeless person, take just one minute of your time and share a couple of kind words with them. Give them some loose change. They will more than likely put it towards their next drink but before you suggest, “You’re just helping them with their problem”, ask yourself how far removed you are from being just like them? But for the grace of God, whoever that may be, it could have been you or I sitting on the pavement! So just take a minute and think about it.
Bye for now