The following piece is a draft intended for this (M4TH) – Monologues For The Homeless Project
Human of Chicago
[Standing on a street corner in Chicago]
I had a name! I had a name!
Jordan? Alex? Taylor? Sam? Kyle?
When you lose everything you lose your name!
Terry? Pat? Robin? Jaime? Morgan?
Now I’m known not by who I am but by where I am.
Clark. Addison. Elston. Irving. Rush.
You can help! You can help!
I don’t need a hand out, I need a handshake!
I don’t need spare change, I need to change my despair!
I don’t need a shelter’s contact, I need selfless eye-contact!
I’m not pushing bracelets, I’m pushing for embracements!
I need a name! I need a name!
Buddy? Friend? Pal? Brother/Sister?
It’s a start.
Please don’t overlook, underestimate, step-over, give-up, put-down, side-step, cast-aside, throw-away.
I am homeless, not hopeless!
Restore me not ignore me!
Help me dig-in to dignity and heal my humble humanity!
Share your wealth of empathy, your cache of compassion, your affluence of attention!
I have a name! I have a name!
But my name is like a bridge. It’s useless without a connection.
An echo can do what you refuse to.
Here’s the game, (before you get on the train) I say, “What’s your name?” And you the same. My aim is not some claim to fame or to inflame the blame but to tame the shame when I exclaim my name.
So… What’s your name?
If they ask “what’s your name”, answer with your name. If nothing, you don’t exist.