I hope everyone who sees this can tell why I found William Graham aka Crazy really interesting. I saw him picking flowers and putting them in his ear chain and immediately I needed to know more. It turned out we had more in common than I could have imagine. We both grew up in broken homes and we now have Moms who aren’t around anymore. He showed me the scars on his arms and told me of his suicidal tendencies and about how his anger issues allowed him to wind up in a mental institution. He now sleeps and stays in the park and he ended up being really fucking friendly. I asked him how he’s managing to stay calm and keep himself safe. He told me it was music. He constantly has music playing and even when his phone has no internet he remembers every lyric to his favorite songs so he always has the music in his head. We talked about bands and depression and if you ever see him know that he isn’t a bad guy, just left to his own devices and grew up with anger and without any guidance. He reminded me that others have a way harder time than most, and that if we take time to get to know someone it can put a smile on their face and just maybe it can help save someone’s life.
When I first met Sammy, he became one of the most open men I had ever spoken to. The only thing he wanted to share was how he had given up everything, just to be closer to God. He spent over 45 years dedicated to sins that he wanted to wash away. He now resides under a bridge, sharing his teachings to those that will listen. He was welcoming, humble, and happy to talk about his faith. He is a man with nothing, but feels, as though, he holds the world in his hands. I think we can all learn from Sammy.
Tony is a good guy with a checkered past. He told me how he has spent his life in the world of drugs and crime. How he has been in and out of jails, and how he's trying to be better. I spoke to him while he was waiting for a job interview, and he told me how hard it was to get a job. He also told me it's what he knew he had to do in order to move on from who he used to be.
Raymon is a veteran who lost his way due to his own actions with alcohol and drugs. I had first met him outside of a Chinese restaurant. He was looking for food so i gave him my leftovers. Since I have met him, I have had the fortunate of helping him more than anyone before. I had seen him around and anytime I had seen him, I would offer what I could as help. After Hurricane Matthew, he told me a tree had fallen on his tent, and everything inside of it was destroyed. Some friends and I got him a new tent and some basic things for him to be comfortable. He seemed content, and with the help others he finally took the time to do things for himself. It would take time for him to be successful, but with the right help, he can get there.
I saw a bike without a rider, and it immediately peaked my interest. i needed to know the story and I wanted to learn. When I saw the owner I sprinted over to talk to him before he rode off. His name was Mark and he told me he had sold his car for this bike. It's his only way of transportation, and everything he cares about is on it. He told me that all he needs is a new front tire and a little grease, and then he's taking it down to Florida.
Frank had approached me when I was filling up my gas tank to ask for money for food. Little did he know, one of my favorite things to do is help. There was a Burger King next to the gas station, and I told him when I was done I would get him whatever he wanted to eat. I could tell he was a humble man, because he didn't want to seem like he was being a bother. He only ordered a Whopper, and while we waited in line I asked him what he did with his time. He had told me that he had spent over 40 years as a carpenter. Due to an injury, he had to stop. Now, at 60, he works odd jobs in order to survive. He was just a man down on his luck.
I sat with Pepe for an hour in Forsyth Park. We were enjoying the weather and the sights and had an involved conversation about spirituality, homelessness, and Donald Trump. By the end, he gave me four solid facts to live by:
1. Listen to learn, and learn to listen.
2. Learn to mind fuck people in a good way, so you don't get mind fucked back.
3. Always be honest with yourself.
4. Women are either peaches or plums - I prefer plums.
I got Lonnie a burger and fries in exchange for a photograph and his life story. He told me that he had lost his vision when he was a kid because he was hit in the face by a brick while trying to break up a fight. He lost his right eye and has no vision in his left. When he was in his 20's he was sent to prison for domestic abuse charges. When he was released nobody wanted anything to do with him, and so he was left to the streets. He's 59 years old, and the only things he has to keep him going are the thoughts of his son and his faith in God. He was an excellent man, and had one of the most powerful stories I had ever heard.
I met this man walking down the street, he had asked for a cigarette to help him take the edge off. I said I would give him a cigarette in exchange for a picture. He is a Savannah native who has worked all his life. The company he had worked for was bought out, and he became inessential and lost his job. Now he's just trying to survive.
I gave Edward half a rotisserie chicken to let me take his picture. He let me sit down with him and he had told me that he was headed to DC in a few days, so it was good that I got his photograph now. We then spent the next 45 minutes talking about homelessness in America. Savannah, especially. He was a writer who drank in order to succeed, and it cost him everything. Now he has to feel washed up and alone, and he feels threatened that the moment he tries to ask for help, he'll be arrested. He is what inspires me to help others. Edward, among anyone else deserves to feel like they can belong. Nobody wants to feel alone. It was a captivating conversation about the respect of people just trying to live.