This is Susanna

Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC

I noticed Susanna sitting in a small park area in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC. As I watched her for awhile it became clear that she was quite mentally ill, having an animated conversation with a number of unseen entities about all manner of conspiratorial issues. I sat down next to her on the bench and for a moment it seemed as though she didn’t realize I was there. She then announced that her name was Susanna, Queen of the United States. My sitting next to her had no impact on the conversations she was having in her head so there is little that I know about her beyond the obvious facts that she is mentally ill, homeless, in need of a shower and clean clothes. Surprisingly, when I asked her if she had eaten recently she said that she had not. So the exchange of a food voucher plus a bottle of water for a photograph was acceptable to her. She wasn’t entirely willing to look directly at me, so I took what I could get.

I would estimate that Susanna is in her 50’s if not older. Her delusional thinking makes panhandling virtually impossible so it seems she spends her days consumed by her own thoughts and like most mentally ill street people, largely invisible to all who pass by.

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