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Have you ever had one of those? Where you talk to someone for the first time and you’re so on the same page with your views on everything you’re finishing each other’s sentences? That hasn’t happened to me for many years...it’s the first time in recent memory, and maybe the first time ever in my life, in this city. This person’s name was Chris, he was homeless, and we had exactly the same worldview in terms of the big things: capitalism, systemic prejudice, disability, mental health, workplace culture, greed, class struggle and privilege, trying to make square pegs fit into round holes so as to be money makers for the business class. He also grew up here, in an upper middle class neighbourhood, and went to the same school, but he’s ten years younger. The place hasn’t changed much, so I could relate. It was uncanny. He told me he developed an alcohol problem about ten years ago (I never got addicted to drugs and alcohol to cope but I can understand why people do), is highly sensitive and gets debilitating anxiety, and he can’t work. He gives up on jobs and walks out because he doesn’t fit. I can relate to that except the walking out part. I’ve never actually done it. My ex did. He got tired of being treated like a “stupid immigrant”, because he’s probably 10x smarter than his bosses - and he won’t be pushed around by bosses. This guy, similar. Chris told me some of the most gifted people he’s ever met are homeless and I believe it. I feel the same way, but I am fortunate enough to have housing. We were right on the same page with the attitude here in this city of appearances of being progressive, but it’s all disingenuous. He told me he hadn’t been in this neighbourhood in awhile and he dressed his best and wore a mask, so nobody recognizes him - especially as the guy who collects cans. I can relate to not wanting to be recognized by high school friends, their parents, etc. And dressing to fit in (with nice value village clothes) so people I might run into don’t know I’m poor. So, I blend in enough to be passable. It was the first time I connected with someone that much in years. And I bumped into him just as I was posting a critique of privilege in the “outrage” thread, and had been saying some of the things he brought up.