Winter is just around the corner, but as the days slowly pass by it feels as though it is here, as though it has been here forever. I cant feel my ears, my fingers and thumbs or my toes and partly that is my fault. I dared to fall asleep for just a moment. In that moment a silent bandit came upon me and took my hat and my shoes right off of my body. I know, I know, that sounds unbelievable right? But when your entire body is as numb as an icecube with nothing but a a shirt and jeans to keep it from melting into oblivion, I’m telling you, you cannot feel the touch of another’s human hands.
The rain and winds throughout the day are difficult. I do wonder if I am invisible sometimes. I often get cigarette butts flicked to me. Not out of generosity or nothing, I don’t smoke. It is probably by accident, or out of ignorance. Rarely do I get the odd angel who gives me a food voucher or some change. That’s nice.
One time I popped into McDonald’s on the Strand for a cup of tea and a muffin and they told me I could only order if I agreed to get a take away. I turned around and pointed into the rain. But that wasn’t convincing enough to them. ‘customers will complain’, they said. I laughed and left. At that time of the morning there were no customers.
I slipped into my already soaking wet sleeping bag and drank my tea.
I no longer have a sleeping bag though. A few weeks back when I left my stuff to go into a café and pee but came back I could not find my sleeping bag anywhere.
So now, I live without any provisions. I have been praying to God to help me, but then I realised… and this is why I write my plea. You are the answer to my prayers. You can help me. With what little you might have, you can help.
If you have a hat, I’d be pleased for it. If you have some spare socks that would be a dream come true. If you have, although its unlikely, an unused sleeping bag, that would be heaven.
If you’re unsure about what I might need or be grateful for just ask. I’d be happy to have a moment of your company. You can find me at the end of your road, and around the corner from your work, sometimes, I sit by the train station and the homeless person across the road from your gym, that’s me too.
I promise I am not pulling your leg, I am putting out my plea because I am in need. Please, please, help me as I endure a homeless winter.
Love, your fellow human
By Chaneen Salako
For the A Homeless Winter campaign 2014