I saw him picking up change in the parking lot of a closed liquor store on a Sunday morning. I stopped to talk and handed him what little change I had. Another homeless man passing by asked me if I had anything else to spare… This man [pictured] then walked over and gave the other homeless individual the change I just gave him, plus the change that he picked up in the parking lot.
In our brief conversation he told me that he battles with mental illness 24/7. “Are you suffering from schizophrenia,” I asked. “Yes,” he told me while never making eye contact. “What do you see when you go through an episode,” I asked… The mood changed as he looked down at the ground scrunching his eyes closed. He moved his arms and hands to describe to me what he saw.
“He is a tall and hairy man, mean – my step father – my step father,” he repeated. It was obvious that his schizophrenic episodes were based on his childhood reality. I did not inquire further as I felt like he was too overcome with emotional pain. Our conversation ended as he simply turned and calmly walked away not saying a single word.