“I know what it is like to live in a house, but you have no idea about living on the streets. That’s why the topic is so strange to you. Don’t tell me that you did camp or stayed in the mountains. Staying on the streets of a city is way harder than staying in nature. Why am I on the streets? Not because I have no home, but because I accept the streets as my home. This is my own choice: my home is my street. You may not believe it, but I am happy this way.”
He answered everyone’s questions as if reading their minds. Instead of telling his story, he was following a path of unanswered questions.
“You may think of us as alcoholics, uneducated and useless. This is quite wrong. There are some homeless who used to rank very highly in society, then they lost everything. Some do not even call themselves homeless. As for me, I can’t deny I have drunk a lot. I have also been involved in bodily injury and robbery cases. I was in prison for a while, for a short time did drugs. However I managed to free myself from the things that made me dependent.
“Hey, you! The one with the glasses sitting in the middle—yes, the one asking ‘Me?’ Do you know that it is not the same for you to open a pizza box as it is for me? You only open a box, while I open a treasure chest.
“Some of you call us ‘shadow people’. You are real and we are just your shadows. Really? You are very wrong. I’m homeless and I’m aware of that. I’m here with all my awareness. You have homes, but you remain homeless and you die without even realizing it. What about it? If you don’t know which street your doors open onto, you are the real shadow people. Homelessness without awareness is much more dangerous, believe it or not.
“We are known, accepted. We are who we are. We don’t have a roof above our heads, but what about your upside down roofs, relationships and worlds? Who can call them home? We are the residents of the streets, but you do not even belong to the streets because you have closed your doors on both sides. You are stuck between the inside and outside; you live in emptiness.
“I am homeless, right? And I am well aware of that, but you? Where is your home? I am the visible homeless, you are the invisible ones. That is the difference between us. You are the real homeless, not me. Now please, you, namely the real homeless people, come to the stage as I’m going home.”
He left the microphone and took a scroll from his belt. It was a yellow rag and the words were black. While he held it up to the audience, they tried to read what was written on it.
You are without HOME or YOU are HOME.