Josiane Keller - Basha painted looking at me
Basha painted looking at me (20)

“I originally began supporting myself at 15 or 16, but worked full time and wasn’t homeless. I moved to San Francisco when I was 18 and did well having a catering business for hotels and hostels but began drinking heavily. I managed to stay off the streets there only because the places I cooked for would give me a hostel bed, but my alcoholism was slowly becoming apparent and disruptive.
My mother was quickly horrified with my actions even though I went through detox and was staying sober. She then refused to see or talk t me and I began couch surfing here. (…)
I’m trying to control my drinking and go to school, but have been blessed to get to stay with friends and couch surf. I just recently began school, but it only pays for tuition, so three days a week I go to school (…)
I try to eat healthy, so I go to local markets and ask if I can go through their compost, some health food stores let me have their rotten produce. I also can cook so I trade people a meal by cooking them one with their ingredients and I get to have a serving. (…)
Health has been a big issue for me this year because I had a lot of injuries, there is a free clinic, but I’ve had two infected wounds and it’s hard keeping them clean when you can’t control where you stay.
I also had a concussion recently, which messed up my going to school.
I go to massage school to become a massage therapist. Everyone at my school has a really stable life style, it’s a small school and based on the profession there’s an expected level of cleanliness and professionalism. It’s probably the biggest reason I don’t ask for money on the street anymore, even though I need it. I’m scared someone from there will see me. I also put so much energy into finding clean clothes and being able to clean myself, but I get there and feel so dirty and uncomfortable, sometimes I just want to go back. (…)
My anxieties have been off the scale, I consistently feel dirty and like a I have a secret in there, like I’m trying to act something I’m not and they’ll find out. At least there’s a unity I had before in my struggle. Now I’m alone among my surrounding and it creates a strange shame.”

*When I was hanging this show I heard that Basha had dropped out of massage school.

Basha painted looking at me | 2012 | Each reflection of myself echoes a different emotion at me - 20 Heroes from the City of Roses | Tags: ,