Pushed to my brink, I gave up everything I had. For the respect of all who struggle to survive in the street, I took $2000 out of my bank, and gave it away. My intention was to say, that if you see someone sitting on the ground asking for something, and you can afford to give, please reconsider walking away. I try to love and respect people of all sexuality and color, and pushed to the brink I became homeless by choice. I demonstrated a common human bond that I share with people from the street.
When I left the warm and loving home I grew up in around age 16, I ran away to Portland, Maine, with a suitcase full of paintings, I made $200 cash sitting in front of a Starbucks. This is not to say that I didn’t grow up in a great home, but occasionally my lifestyle was hard for my parents to understand. I learned at that age, that I could depend on the skill in my hands and mind, to guide me through anything I encountered, whether it be the law, addiction, or sobriety. I love my family and thank them for providing for me everything I could ever want over the years.
Above all, I appreciate the value of hard work that has always been central to the family I grew up with.
This brings up the notion of family in response to what I have done over the past week or so.
Family can grow far beyond the reaches of the bloodlines you are born with. The bonds of trust that you develop with those closest to you grow far beyond your father, mother, sister and brother from birth. As my best friend Jenova 7 once put it as we boxed each other and tore apart various things in my apartment, “friendship is forever.”
This is what I have been standing for over the course of my career as an artist, and over the past 9 months have intensely dealt with between my blood family, and the greater community of music and arts that I have offered a safe haven to create in and feel at home.
To have just one night to sleep in a warm bed, take a shower, and eat a hot meal can do wonders for the psyche of anyone, but especially the mind of anyone that has spent day after night roaming the streets of an urban wilderness. Wandering the streets is to navigate the psychosis of what brought one there in the first place. So I say, do not look down upon this creature, but look across to them as if seated at a dinner table sharing a meal, and understand that your love could put them back together.
I spent 3 days with a Gulf War veteran I have known for 3 years. He is an honest man. Between us, the PTSD and sleepless hours last longer than a lifetime, and I trust him like a father. For a moment in time I felt like he was all I had.