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prized possession : her body


Brash and raw, Phyllis broadcasts in a booming voice, “Nobody gives a fuck about your documentary,” before participating in the project. Phyllis is a dose of insight into how painful life out on the streets can be. She was real though. The Chicago transplant found the park she spends her days in five years ago. “I thought this was my place and these were the people I was supposed to be with,” she says. “Most of these people have felt extreme pain in their lives. Nobody knows what a lot of these people out here may have been through.” She turns to the pain in her life story. “I had a family once. Then my husband died. Then my daughter died.” It is pain one cannot fully comprehend intellectually. “My daughter was an adult, and died only a few years after my husband died.” Surviving on her own after all of this time, Phyllis considers cold weather the greatest enemy to homeless life. “I’ve lost a finger out here. I come out here and I done lost body parts. It’s horrible,” she recalls with a wince. She’s witnessed even worse. “I’ve seen a man freeze to death right here in this park. No one gives a fuck.” 


Most Prized Possession: Despite the cold, or perhaps because of it, her most prized possession is her body. “I still got my body and I’m alive. No matter what’s fucking going on. I’m alive.”

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