Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC.
When I first met Helena. She was sitting quietly on a bench located on busy Connecticut Ave just South of Dupont Circle. She was simply holding a small tattered cardboard sign which read, “Homeless & Hungry.” When I asked her name she said, “they call me Helena.” Helena agreed early on to allow me to take her photograph in exchange for a monetary donation. The conversation deteriorated rapidly from that point. The more Helena talked the angrier, pressured and incoherent her speech became. I quickly became part of the large conspiracy involving the police who steal her belongings and the Federal Government who has been persecuting her for more than 40 years. At that point, I told Helena that I didn’t want to continue to upset her so I was going to be on my way. Helena most likely has some serious mental health issues that are well hidden unless she is engaged in conversation. Perhaps this is why she uses a sign to communicate her needs. It is safe to say that as the weather turns colder Helena will have more problems as it appears that she is not dressed for the colder weather. If you know someone like Helena, do what you can to help them out, at least say hello as you pass them by on the sidewalk. You’ll both be better off having had that experience.