“Life had been so wrong. Everything had broken down ”.
It's easy to take what we have for granted. A job, a home, a girlfriend and a few bucks over at the end of the month.
I am writing this to remind you of the beauty of having our own name on a door behind which we actually live.
A home is the biggest. Something to return to to rebuild power for the next day. Our runway. Pulse and shaft lowering castle. The protected place where no one comes to us, where time and breathing is ours and nobody else's. An absolute confirmation of identity.
A fantastic thing to never forget. Then pinch your arm.
For me it hasn't always been that way. My own living has at times been nothing but a distant dream I hardly dared to dream.
January 2000, Hornsgatan went down at Södermalm in Stockholm. Looks like a man going into a tobacco shop.
As soon as he crosses the threshold, he prepares for a 500-ing from the wallet to pay according to plan.
I think "someday I'll have one there too".
The same day I walked to Norrtull myself where I hid a bag of deposit bottles.
I was 39 and had just lost everything. By definition homeless. Everything was gone. My home, my finances, my love, my friends, the paper right to my own child.
I drove my days wandering. It was life without a key in the pocket, without food for the day. Troop, hope, courage and power shone with their all too evident presence.
It was also winter and the extraterrestrial was mercilessly cold, in so many ways.
Every morning I went to the Maria Clinic and picked up a bag of 3 tablets. There was 1 painkiller, 1 soothing and 1 for sleep.
Life had become so wrong. Everything had broken down.
That 500 nobody became the driving force for me. He had something I didn't have, but wanted. He probably also had the room heat and maybe even someone longing for him.
Totally unknowingly, he came to be my target image.
I had also been able to dislike him for his prosperity and in this nail myself into the misery.
But he became my driving force. My motivation. I just wanted to get back into the heat, cross the line to the inclusive side of life.
3 months later, malnourished and scary alone, I dared to swallow my pride and sought food through social. After all, I had paid taxes in my life and thought that "maybe I can ask Sweden for help".
Little did I know that there I would meet what became not only survival but also life. A man with a cold. A young Social Services woman who brought her heartfelt, responsive and giving gift to the job.
She not only saw me, she also believed in me. And she gave me the chance.
The road back was tough, filled with mental war and total sacrifice. Even today, I do not understand that I did. But the dream of one day being able to have a banknote again in my pocket, a key to my own door and maybe even of love in my life, yes it had been nourished.
Two years later I went into the said tobacco shop, there on Hornsgatan on Södermalm in Stockholm ..
I took a 500-ing out of my pocket already when I crossed the threshold.
It was the biggest of days for me.
For now, there was also a door somewhere in a Stockholm suburb on which Per Holknekt stood.