My day had begun with opening my eyes, no fuss, no rush, just the hard surface beneath me and the chill in the air,

causing me to shiver, goosebumps covering my arms and legs. It had been this way for months now, hell,

years, yet still, at that moment of new awareness, an overwhelming wave of despair had hit me, smothering me and cutting my breath


As it had every morning since my life had cracked,

then shattered.

After that I went to the shelter, as usual in my head I debated reasons for and

against going, and as usual my consistent need for food was a pro that couldn't be ignored. I had hurried in and

out of the shelter as fast as I could while still getting a half-decent meal out of it: the shelter always saddens me, men and women who have

nothing, and no-one, who have turned to substitutes of happiness, and crave after drugs they cannot afford, both with money and their

undernourished bodies.

Also it occurs to me, while watching the volunteers with fake, faintly sickly smiles serve paltry meals to nameless tired, lined, wasted faces, that I am

just like them, both in appearance and state of mind.

After breakfast I turned to wander,

exploring the streets among the masses, well aware of the efforts of most to ignore me. Once or

twice, now and

then, when the noise gets to be too much and I begin to feel trapped and

inadequate, I call out - I beg and plead for help, for security and


I have realised now, looking back, that I rarely knew what it was I was begging for.

In response to my pleadings, many walk on and

ignore me, embarrassment radiating from them like an


I know why they do this; I know they feel shame at their life in comparison to

mine, that seeing me reminds them of how good they have it, how petty their problems and inconveniences must seem from

my point of view, and that revelation makes them feel


But the worse would have to be those that look upon me with

pity, compassion in their eyes.

As usual I lost track of time and had found myself stumbling from

exhaustion and the pain in my feet, by that time it was dark and the city's

underground had pulled itself up to the surface, ready to play. I limped until I found a place that would be dry if it rained, and promptly


My last thoughts, I remember, as I closed my eyes, were of my mother.