“insert four letter word of your choice”
Recently Jen did a very stupid thing (I’m talking about myself in the third person in a desperate attempt to distance myself from the stupidity). On a glorious sunny day I raced to do some laundry before heading to the beach and our deadlock door slammed shut behind me. Leaving me wearing swimmers, a scruffy dress and egg on my face.
After looking at the impenetrable fortress that is my terrace home (which only drunk and randy boyfriends seem to be able to scale) I borrowed some sandals a flatmate had left by the door (small miracles!) and tried to find one of my flatemates at the local cafe. Unfortunately she didn’t start her shift til 4.30pm. The current time – 10.15am – ####.
So the beach was out, so was anything to do with money and talking to people I knew until my flatmates returned home from work.
I gathered all the free street press I could find and read in the park, lovely. I pretended that I intended to do gardening all along so weeded like crazy between all the pavers.
I’m getting hungry
I would give my firstborn child for a coffee
Then I started thinking about all the homeless people I pass everyday. Not just homeless for a couple of hours because they locked themselves out like a total idiot, I mean proper homeless. Being exposed to the heat/cold, the uncertainty, the hunger pains but also the tedium. I could entertain myself for a while with reading, but by 3.30pm I was going a little weird in the head, similar to the isolation I experienced with no electricity in the Philippines.
An RMIT study suggests a “chicken and egg” relationship between homelessness and mental illness – in some cases mental illness contributed to a person becoming homelessness; in others homelessness caused a mental illness. The lack of certainty, control and general hopelessness I would think would lead many down the path to depression and including the circumstances of their homelessness involving domestic abuse, addiction, gambling issues and a whole host of complex social issues.
Eventually my flatmates came home, we had a glass of wine and had a good old laugh at my expense. However the experience made me really appreciate the fact that I do have a home to go to, several in fact, where I can have food, shelter and friends. I am a very lucky person.