A friend of Ken


Im sitting in a crowded city of busy people on strict deadlines that want to get from A to B and don’t have the time to deal with the bullshit in between.  I can’t say im surprised or that I can complain about the lackluster attitude of those walking by as I’m drawing a portrait of probably the most famous homeless person in Sydney, Ken.

Ken has the best location in the Sydney for the past 7 or 8 years, out the front of Myers in the city’s CBD.

Walking down the footpath towards us is a man waving a magazine wearing a fluorescent jacket. ‘Big issue guys’, so Kenny likes to call them.  From the exchange of words it was obvious tell that they didn’t like each other.

Later on, our next interaction is with another bloke who looked like he hasn’t had a shower or washed in days walked past and asked Kenny how much he owed him.  Maybe a friend of  Ken’s  after all.

‘How much do I owe you Kenny, gotta be at least more than $100’

‘Get lost will you mate’

‘You know why you’re homeless Kenny’ beginning to raise his voice ‘because you’re a fucking imbecile, a fucking imbecile!’

Afterwards Kenny explain’s the unwarranted abuse coming from that man.  ‘He continually steals from  me’.  Kenny cannot account for how much he owes him but he surely thinks it’s more than $100.

I suspect that after being in the paper and claiming to make up to $50,000 a year he’s developed some unhappy relationships with his fellow homeless counterparts.

A man comes up from behind me trying to sneak a photograph of my drawing while Kenny lets loose and brandish’s his anger at him.

‘Hang on don’t you take a photo of us! We are here to be helped not voyeur’d’ 

I turn around to see a photographer running off.  What a shame because I would have liked to have connected with that photographer.

The rain was pouring, I had made some chump change that I hope is of use to Ken.