Christophe et Franck sont SDF à Bordeaux : « Dans la rue, je peux enfin être moi-même »
By Nicolas Gosselin
“A good man of integrity needs no rules except those he makes for himself. On the street, I can finally be myself and follow my own rules, not society’s. » Franck is 32 years old and has been living on the streets of Bordeaux.
“Today is a good day. Sitting in front of a bakery at the foot of Porte Dijeaux, Franck and Christophe have a big smile. They reminisce about common memories, while approaching eager passers-by. They have not seen each other for a long time and have just found themselves, by chance, in Bordeaux. They decided to beg together for the day.
Ten euros is their loot of the day. In the evening, in an alley at the corner of the H&M store, they rejoice with acquaintances. They share beers and hopefully the police won’t dislodge them.
It will be time to sleep. “There, it’s a bit instinctive”, explains Christophe, homeless for ten years. “Sleeping in the street does not exist. No one can sleep on the street. You have to be on your guard, especially if you have a dog. It happens to be beaten up in the night by cokers* (cocaine addicts) and they take our dogs away. »
Because of the alcohol, I don’t remember my evenings too much, so I wake up where I ended up. In summer, there are a lot of people sleeping in the Camille Julian car park. I don’t like being there. On the parking lot called Camé Julian, because there are only junkies.
“There is a large homeless population in Bordeaux”
“In Nantes, you get woken up by the kicks of the cops. In Bordeaux, it’s good, there are a lot of associations, accommodations and marauding. It is sure that in summer, there are people, especially foreigners. There is a large homeless population in Bordeaux,” comments Christophe.
At the corner of the shopping street, a homeless man angrily observes Christophe and Franck. It’s 11 a.m. and there are already four of them begging in the same street. Tensions are not uncommon.
“In Bordeaux, it works like this: first come, first served. Often, it’s cool, you settle where you want, but if you take the place of someone else, it can create confusion, “says Christophe, throwing an insult on the fly in the direction of the sidewalk in front.
“I have values that are important. There are many, I can’t name them all, but there is mutual aid and generosity. I’m not a brawler, but if I see something wrong, I take action, even if it’s not cool. »
Franck defines himself as a vigilante. Ring, satchel or T-shirt, he treasures objects bearing the image of his favorite character “The Punisher”. It is under this name that “people of the street” know him in Bordeaux.
Between boredom and coping
“Boredom is surely what is most difficult in the street. You’re all alone, you dwell on your bad thoughts, your troubles. You wait for people to give you a coin or a cigarette. When there was the Covid, people were super generous and human. There, it’s getting back to normal, ”regrets Franck.
At the end of the day, it’s better not to spend what you have earned, you always have to think about the next day. Me, I’d like to buy tracing paper and pencils to do a little drawing, but it’s not cheap.
Passionate about art, cinema, literature or board games, Franck likes to make boredom killers. Christophe pulls out of his bag three beers with unicorn graphics, which he “brought out” from Mériadeck. “Hold on with that, we’ll be able to play a little horse game!” exclaims his friend.
Christophe proudly shows black swim shorts. He took advantage of the sales. He is already imagining a ploy to make the belt more solid, which – he knows – will break quickly. “For the fringes, you have to think about the duration. My clothes, I keep them for years. »
“We don’t have the social prerequisites for love”
For the past few weeks, Franck has been planning to sublet an apartment. “I’m saving, I have to put 100 euros aside and I could afford an apartment. Inside there are two bedrooms. One for me, and one for a girl I like. She will have her own room. Only I can give her that and protect her. She shouldn’t be on the street,” he said.
“I met her some time ago,” he continues, smiling. I would like to invite him to the cinema. Love is what everyone is looking for. But when you’re on the street, it’s complicated. What do I do if a girl pleases me? I invite him for a coffee? And no, it doesn’t work like that, I don’t have the change. Not to mention our smell, the sweat, our clothes. We don’t have the social prerequisites for love. »
By Maeva COSME.
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