Meet Gerard Way. Homeless teenager. Busking on the busy streets of New Jersey. How did he end up there?
You can't go back,
You have to find a way to carry on.
All on your own,
There must be a way to make it through.
I was thankful for the warm spring nights. I lifted my head up from the blanket I’d been using as a pillow. In the winter I had to use them all for warmth, and the neck aches I’d gotten were excruciating. But this was the time of year I loved. Not too warm, but I couldn’t freeze to death either.
I stretched and put all of my belongings back into my rucksack. Well, my four blankets. I put it onto my back and picked up my guitar, glad that I had a thick waterproof case for it, or I would have no way of getting money for the small amount of food I had to live on.
I guess it was my own fault for running away. But what was I supposed to do? Just sit and watch whilst all the people in lab coats took my blood and scanned my brain and filled me with colourful pill after pill?
Of course you were. Because you’re fucking crazy.
I sighed, walking to the public toilets across the street. I switched on the tap and splashed water on my face, trying to clean myself up a little. I caught a glimpse on myself in the mirror. Bags were prominent under my dark eyes, my cheekbones jutted out from where I’d become too skinny since I’d began to live this way. I turned away before I had to really look at myself.
I used to be happy. I used to be a chubby little kid, running after my little brother in the park and annoying my mom until she bought me ice cream. Then everything went wrong. They stuck me in Hell and told me that I would be looked after. They lied. They all lied. They led me to this, to running away. And they hadn’t even come looking for me. I meant nothing to them.
You don’t mean anything to anyone. You’re worthless. Why are you even still here?
I don’t know. Maybe things will get better.
They’ll never get better. You’re nothing. Do it. End it. You have no purpose.
Maybe I should.
I left the restroom and went back to my spot across the street, putting down my rucksack and taking out my guitar, leaving the open case on the floor in the hopes of charitable people walking by.
I began to play and sing, watching business people in suits walk by on the way to the offices at the end of the street, trying their best not to look at me so they wouldn’t feel guilty enough to give me some change.
It was what I saw every day. Every single day I would play and play until my fingers ached, sing until my voice was hoarse, then I would end up with maybe 4 or 5 dollars with which I could get maybe a sandwich and a coffee. Then I would sleep on the cold floor, just to wake up and do it over again.
I wondered how people could just walk past and not care. A teenager, out on the streets, no family to take care of him. Maybe they think I’m on drugs. Or a drunk. No one wants to give money to help people’s addictions. But it makes it worse for the rest of us, the ones who just need something to eat to keep us alive.
A couple of kind looking women put some change in the case and I thanked them as they walked past. I would be able to get at least a small something to eat tonight.
The day passed by slowly. I watched hundreds of people going in and out of shops, offices, houses, just continuing on with their day. Hardly any of them even noticed my presence. It was like I had become a ghost, blending into the background, no longer visible to the naked eye. I was a poison seeping into the earth, decaying everything that surrounded me. Throwing a mist into everyone’s mind.
They couldn’t look at me without being harmed.
I packed away my things and counted up as the sun began to set. $4.63. I went into the corner store over the road and bought a bottle of water and a cheap ready-made sandwich, leaving me a few cents for change. That would come in handy on a slow day, when I couldn’t even afford my meagre portion of food.
I went back to my spot across the road and got out some blankets to sit on, attempting to make the concrete comfortable, in vain. I took out my breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack and began eating, trying to savour the taste but still finishing it too quickly. I drank some water, deciding to save half of the bottle to drink during the day tomorrow.
I just had to take it one day at a time, and maybe… maybe one day something great would come along. I didn’t know how I would get a job, or find somewhere to live… but I could always hope.
Hope? Humph. Nothing will change. Why bother?
One day they might come back.
Who? Your family? They won’t. They left you. They left you to rot. They don’t care. Have they come to find you? No. Listen to me.
I listened to you last time and look where it got me? Leave me ALONE.
Says the pointless voice in my head.
I tried to settle myself for the night, if I could only shut out the voices in my head then I would get to sleep a lot easier.
But then again, if I could shut them up, I would never be in this mess in the first place.