Nomad, 23, born in Kentucky; was sent to live with grandparents in California, then back home at age 13, where he “saw some horrible things at home,  I saw someone go through a wood chipper on my birthday. I had paranoid schizophrenia after that and went to a mental hospital.”

From there he went to a group home and school in Fresno, finishing high school. Still paranoid schizophrenic, he thinks people are talking about him.

While living with his father in Oregon, he and his girlfriend had a son. He ended up with custody because the mom was using drugs. “She stopped even trying to be a good mom,” he said. “She missed Christmas, she missed his birthdays. she just stopped trying. I forced myself to not care and move on.
“My son would get dressed every morning, run to the door and pounded on it, saying ‘Mama bye bye, mama bye bye.’ Once I got him to finally stop doing that, I had to get myself to stop crying over it.”
His stepmother was incensed that Nomad got a job she was hoping her son might get, and so she forced his father to kick Nomad out, “in Oregon, in the winter time, with a three-month-old child.”

He then tried to live with his mother again. But Nomad said she forged his signature on a document and took custody of his now two-year-old son.
In spite of that, he tries to maintain a relationship with her. He’ll fiercely defend her if someone insults or hurts her. She and he were arguing on the trolley once, wherein she was trying to get him to stop smoking spice. A man intentionally pushed her as he was leaving. Nomad went flying after the man, until his mother pulled him back. “I talk mad crap to my mom all the time, but if someone else says something, I want to fight them. ‘That’s my mom Homie!’ and I took off after the guy as he got off the trolley.”
He’s still angry about his mother’s husband who beats her, even though she says the bruises are from falling or some other excuse.

Street people call Nomad the philosopher. He likes to empathize with others. When he was a child he would close his eyes and imagine what life was like for blind people. He even tried learning to read braille. He writes poetry, though some of it can be pretty dark, he admits.
Nomad doesn’t trust anyone on the street. He’s asked people to watch his stuff only to come back and find them going through it. One night while he was sleeping someone stole his dog.


Men, YouthPeggy Peattie