Another voice in The Homeless Library:
My Nan was a traveller, my great great great Nan - the only person in the field. She had a 4 x 4 next to her caravan. She went to her cooker turned it on and the whole caravan went boom! Not even a skeleton a bit of finger here, a tooth there. I never met her only saw photos, she was called Queenie. Then she turned on her cooker one day - boom.
She had curly hair, bushy. She saw me as a baby but I never saw her. Would have called herself a gypsy. She always protected herself: baseball bat, shotgun (licensed). She always had extra shells she took no messing.
I'm more easy going deep down - my friend said if people hit me I should hit them back twice as hard, but I'm not a fighter I'm more a lover than a fighter. I take after my mum, who I lost when I was nine - almost 20 years ago, it destroyed me, destroyed my life, my brain. My body was telling me grow up, my brain was saying stay as you are. Psychiatrist said because it was such a big shock I got learning difficulties and other kind of things. My dad says why do I go around the houses when I talk, but I don't have an answer. Well I have got an answer, but it's me mum and it would upset him. He still loves her and I still love and miss me mum.
It's not easy to get past it, there'll be times when I have a drink and think of me mum and get upset. I go out and cry me eyes out. Me mates give me a cuddle and ask what's wrong with me. My mate brought me back in the pub to cheer me up, it made me feel better but sadder too.
My mum dying, it affected my brain in a big way; people can explain things in the simplest way, I won't have a clue what they're saying.
You talk about a compass to give your life direction. A compass gives me a picture, long grass either side of the path - looking ahead as well as looking at your compass. At a point ahead you can't see any further, you can't see into the future. Tyre tracks tell you, you must be going the right way but basically you're lost in time and the only way to get down that path is to focus. The only way to look into the future is focus. Where does this path go? Disneyland, the past, the future, another life? The only way for you to find out is to walk it and use the compass.
I don't need a compass in my hand, I know north with my brain. Most winds blow north, if you've got strong winds coming at your face, you're heading north; if they're behind you you're going south. I slept in a tent for two months that was enough, I need a house. The cold just seemed to be getting colder and colder and eventually I could see into the future, see blue hands. Made me feel for rough sleepers. If I could, I'd drop a receipt into a rough sleeper's hat, a receipt for a hotel.
I've explained my life to people and it brought a tear to their eye. Feel that in your chest? (Hits chest hard.) That is pain, that is my life. Pain, learn to ignore it - pain isn't just a feeling, pain is a speaker. It'll be there and go and then come back and say do you remember me?
I don't like the place I've been jail it's not a good life. I did three years, three was enough, woke me up as if to say what are you doing here? Do you see my life in that?
I'm good at doing the voices in movies, I get the sound of them in me head. The Matrix, it made me think: we are all in The Matrix. The Matrix is something you'll never decide. As Morpheus in The Matrix said, "I'll show you the door, but you're the one who'll have to walk through it."