Audio Stories

‘Your Normal’s Not Normal’ by Paul Atherton FRSA

Reported by Paul

Published on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Accommodation Creativity Stigma
Audio Stories

‘Your Normal’s Not Normal’ by Paul Atherton FRSA

Written by Paul

Published on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021




Your Normal’s Not Normal  

People say to me
You don’t have a house…. that’s not normal
You don’t sleep inside… that’s just weird
You don’t have much money…why aren’t you working
You don’t do what I do … that’s why you’re feared.

Well I say to them
It’s your normal that’s not normal
I mean… look at you all…
Rushing around, trying to all be the same
When it just takes a glance to know you’re insane.

I see you, march to get freedom
To queue in cars in the rain,
To do jobs that you hate and think are a pain,
So you can earn money to make, someone else rich
That to me, just makes you, a corporate bitch.

You buy things you don’t want
With money you don’t have
You’re listening to advertising,
In my world you’re mad.

You say your house is your home
But that’s simply not true
A mortgage is a loan, so it’s the bank
That owns you.

You hold onto the precipice
of a life that’s not real
Line of duty is the only thing
that’s ever made you feel
Talking about fictitious stories you know
Like somehow you’ve forgotten,
the whole thing’s a show.

You pull down statues of old slavers,
You throw in a dock
Which you record on slave made iphones…
You’re a laughing stock.

You buy food you don’t eat
A 1/3 of it’s waste
But pass a rough sleeper,
You travel with haste.

The thing that scares me, the worst of it all
Is you believe money is real, not a concept to fall.
That your success, whatever that means,
Was achieved by hard work
& not luck,
mate, you live in a dream.
Your a bit of a F…

Forgotten that your parents were great
You went to a good school
You had the right brain
To not make you a fool

Picked the right uni
And chose the right job
One choice different
could have made you a slob.

Your place in life has little to do
With the things that you’ve done
Or the things you’ve been through
It’s all down to a simple cruel twist of fate
One way disaster the other way great.

So don’t come telling me
I just don’t fit in
As if I was committing
Some mortal sin.

Every decision I’ve made, comes with wisdom
And brain.
Not cos I had to
Or because I’m insane.

I sleep at Heathrow because rents are all nuts
I’m not playing that game, I am nobody’s klutz,
Why would I give someone else cash
To spend on things, just to make them look flash.

My state insurance hasn’t paid me what’s due
And my illness is what makes me different from you.
There’s that fate thing, that wasn’t my choice
But don’t ever think that, will ever silence my voice

While you’ve given up living, I live life to the full.
Your too exhausted come the end of the day,
While I’ll be at the theatre watching a play
Or seeing an opera, or enjoying some art,
While by 30 you’re behaving like an old fart.

The dinners, the openings, the premieres too,
Aren’t paid with money, the way that you do.
My currency is time and I spend it well.
Not collapsed with TV in my own living hell.

I’ve written things read by hundreds of thousands.
Hosted events all filled with names,
Made history with films
And worthy enough for museums they claim.

When I die I can say I’ve had a good life.

Can you say the same or will it all have been strife?

So your normal’s not normal
Don’t think that it is.
When you judge, don’t fudge
That it is you whose all wrong.
Because one day, I hope we’ll sing the same words to this song.

Monday 3rd May 2021.

Written by Paul

Paul Atherton FRSA is a social campaigning film-maker, playwrightauthor & artist. His work has been screened on the Coca-Cola Billboard on Piccadilly Circus, premiered at the Leicester Square Odeon Cinema, his video-diary has been collected into the permanent collection of the Museum of London, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was selected as one of the London Library's 2021/22 emerging writers during covid lockdown, where he is currently writing his memoir.

He achieved most of this whilst homeless, an ongoing experience that has been his life for over a decade in London. In the last two years he’s made Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 his bedroom and became part of what he coined the #HeathrowHomeless before being moved into emergency hotel accommodation for the duration of Covid-Lockdown in Marylebone on 3rd April 2020.

In the past ten years he’s experienced every homeless initiative that Charities, Local Authorities and the City has had to offer. All of which clearly failed.

With the end of “Everyone In”, Paul has no idea where his next move is going to be, but he expects he’ll be returning to Heathrow.

Read all of Paul's articles


Accommodation Creativity Stigma