To the person verbally abusing the homeless man,

16 Sept 2016

A letter

You know nothing about me. Although, that doesn’t seem to be something that bothers you in life. 

Just for info, I’m the girl who gave you the deepest look of disgust outside St Pancras station yesterday evening. When you were verbally abusing the homeless man begging on the side of the street.

I stood on my train home from work and I wanted to throw things at you tbh. You'd just disgusted me in so many ways and created this hot anger inside of me.

Go fuck yourself.

Is what I wanted to say.

I didn’t. Not to your face anyway. I am on here, but I don't imagine my blog is a regular destination in your internet browsing.

I walk a mile and a half every day, from the station to my office. The amount of homeless people on this walk has tripled in the 18 months I've been doing it.

It pains me to admit that I walk past them every day with little recognition. Don't we all? It’s like none of us know how to truly react so we keep on walking with our heads down, hoping we don’t catch their eye. And don't we all feel horribly uncomfortable about it?

Not you obviously.

Yesterday was the first time I witnessed someone verbally abusing someone begging on the ground as we all hurried on by. That was you btw.

I walked passed him first. Black. Big, brown eyes. Dangerously thin. He caught my attention because he had an expressive sort of face. Meaning the desperation on it was particularly clear. It was a young, yet prematurely aged face. One hand was raised in the air. I don't know for sure, but the build of him, the way the blanket was wrapped around him, suggested he had some kind of disability in his legs. I felt a pang as I, almost automatically, walked passed him. I think it was his expressive face. I'd just had the desire to turn around when I heard you.


I heard you despite the fact that Bastille were blasting in my ears; my headphones turned up high as usual to block out the sound of Euston Road traffic.

'Would help if you got a fucking job. Go get a job you lazy piece of shit.'

I turned round and saw you. White. Grey. Dangerously overweight. Fag hanging from mouth. Hands rolling another.

Stereotypical judgements jumped to mind automatically. Your football shirt suggested that you yourself were not part of the throng of people rushing into St Panc station on their way home from work. Yet you were not old enough to be retired. Your slow, lumbering walk suggested you are not able to rush anywhere tbh.

I hate these automatic judgements and how they slip so easily into mind, in all walks of life. We are all conditioned with them but I try hard to fight against them when they pop into my own brain. It is one of the reasons I have chastised friends in the past for the belief that someone who is homeless has got there by their own admission. I am not perfect. Like so many of us, I do not stop to speak to those who are homeless. I rarely give them money. But I do believe you cannot know their story simply by looking at them. You don't know the mistakes they have made. The lot that life has given them. I am in the place I am because life has been kind to me. Because none of my mistakes have been catastrophic and, even if they had been, I have people in my life who will catch me when I fall. Many people are not so lucky and I believe it is a lot easier to end up in a heap on those London streets then any of us can ever imagine.

I don't like that I am assuming you probably cannot work because of your obesity. The girl inside of me that shouts about body-positivity cringes. I don't like that your football shirt makes me jump to bullshit assumptions. I know as little of your life as I do of the man you’re shouting at.

We are all guilty of these notions. Pre-conceived conceptions. Like I say, they are continuously pushed upon us and it is a lot more effort to fight against them in our own head than it is to just accept them.

But that is the difference between you and me I guess. I choose to fight against them. Like I say, I am not perfect. I could do more. But I try to not let myself be, well, you. To not descend down the slippery slope that leads to you and those similar. You choose to, not only accept those notions, but to embrace and act upon them.

I frowned at you. You caught my eye. I hope you saw my disgust. But I didn’t challenge you. And I feel ashamed for not doing so. For walking past the nameless homeless guy in the first place.

Once thing is clear: whilst I try not to make assumptions about your life, just as I believe we shouldn’t make assumptions about those forced to live on the streets, you’re yelling abuse at a complete stranger.

So, yes, I will work hard to not judge you on your obesity, your football shirt, your fag. I know nothing of your life.

But I’m sure as hell going to judge you for being a nasty shit who shouts degrading abuse at the vulnerable.

Not-so-kind regards,

The girl who gave you evils