Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Crisis at Christmas: a blurry picture

There are balloon sculptures all over the place.

Sky, with long pink hair, is doing ashtanga yoga: 'Their bodies are brittle. When they lie down they put their hands on their front to protect themselves. And their feet are very hard.'

If someone wants a conversation, you talk. After an hour you might try to move on - recommend an activity or a meal.

'We would flock home for lunch,' he says, talking about his childhood in what was then Ceylon. Flock. His rapid discourse is elegant and precise. Cricket, Shakespeare. He tells me there has been a disproportionately high number of Sri Lankan presidents of the Oxford Union.

A young Eritrean tells me he doesn't understand Kandinsky.

This is my fourth Christmas at Crisis and I feel a wave of concern that so many of the guests are regulars. But how do you fix homelessness when it can slip in through the keyhole and turn everything inside out? How do you fix mental illness and addiction? Amy, a resilient and cheerful activities officer wearing a Christmas pudding costume, reminds me that some guests rely on the annual Crisis reboot.
Guest's drawing

And while I am drawing I am falling, falling and I have a home, somewhere to crawl around in when I'm too ill to stand up. That makes me queen of the world.

He grabs my paper and one of my pens and the pen top flies off somewhere. Ah well, I think, that pen's a write off. Shame. I get them from Japan via the internet. He does this drawing on the right.

He says: 'Bla bla bla! They're all just saying bla bla bla!'

'Did you see my pen top anywhere?'

He goes and retrieves it and hands it back to me.

More pictures if you scroll down.

1 comment:

  1. You have captured the moments brilliantly ...