In Love, Married - And Homeless (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

In Love, Married — and Homeless

MR. JONATHAN WILSON

00:00:10
Welcome to "Metro Connection." I'm Jonathan Wilson, in on this snowy winter week for Rebecca Sheir. And today we're going to dive head first into a topic that just seems unavoidable at this time of year.

MR. MATTHEW MACFADYEN

00:00:22
My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

MS. RENEE ZELLWEGER

00:00:27
You had me at hello.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1

00:00:29
Why do you hate me so?

MR. JAMES STEWART

00:00:29
I don't hate you.

#1

00:00:30
Oh, I suppose you love me.

STEWART

00:00:32
No. Why should I? What have you done to make me love you?

#1

00:00:34
Well, I don't want you to love me.

STEWART

00:00:35
I don't.

MR. CLARK GABLE

00:00:36
You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1

00:00:40
I'm in love with you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2

00:00:42
I'm so in love with you.

WILSON

00:00:45
That's right, this week our focus is on Love.

WILSON

00:00:57
And not just romantic love, for those of you who might be a little burnt out on the chocolates and flowers routine, we'll also hear from people who are passionate about their work, from a veteran Go-Go musician…

MR. DONALD TILLERY

00:01:08
I'm look at as just a working musician now. In this business you never know. You know, you can be down one time and up the other. As long as I'm working, I'm cool.

WILSON

00:01:20
…to a waterman trying to bring back the oyster industry in Maryland's coastal bays.

MR. JOHN APPLE

00:01:24
You've got to put a lot of money out. You don't have too much coming in. Like we're seeing today, you've got to deal with the elements. You've got to be ready for anything.

WILSON

00:01:39
But first, we begin our show with a story of love flourishing in some pretty inhospitable circumstances. Bryon Hawkins and Davinia Miles-Hawkins met on the streets of Washington D.C. They've both been homeless since about 2009, and first met that very year. After four years of getting to know each other, they pooled their very limited resources and got married on Valentine's Day of last year. But their first year of marriage has been even tougher than they expected. It included spending nights apart from one another after Bryon violated his parole.

WILSON

00:02:14
They met me this week at Miriam's Kitchen, where they often go for a free breakfast. We talked about how their romance began, and how they've found an antidote to the isolation of homelessness.

MR. BYRON HAWKINS

00:02:28
It was all love. I first walked through the park one day and my wife was sitting on the bench and she said something to me. She rolled up to me. She was the one who pursued me and kind of threw me off because most men always pursue women. And she hit me with if I leave the park then I'll take a piece of her soul with me. I was looking at her like, is this woman all right? But I could see she had a smile on her face and I thought she was just playing.

MR. BYRON HAWKINS

00:02:50
So I told her, I said, "Okay. Well, just hold tight, baby, I'll be right back." Because I had to go get to the store. And so I came back from the store, she came and sat down beside me. Me and her started a conversation. From then on, that was all love.

MS. DAVINIA MILES-HAWKINS

00:03:04
Something about his smile -- and so we hung out and we talked. And then I took him to my daughter's house and let him stay over there with me for a while and get to meet my grandkids and my daughter. She loved him. We've just been together ever since.

HAWKINS

00:03:22
We just stayed together constantly. We was always together, doing everything. Going to the movies, going out to eat, going to different places, showing her museums, you know, thing like that, things that people don't do anymore. You know what I mean? I mean that's just what we started doing. And we've just been together ever since.

MILES-HAWKINS

00:03:40
We panhandled the money. We got it together. And we decided we gonna go do it on Valentine's Day since everybody's birthday is in February. His birthday is the 17th, mine's the 20th, why don't we just have everything big happen in one month. So we got married.

HAWKINS

00:04:05
I've been on parole for almost 26 years. It was for distribution of crack cocaine when I was a kid. I didn't know any better. I mean I know better now, but I didn't know better then. Me and my wife was walking down the street. And I grabbed her by her coat and told her to come on. So the police officer thought that we were having a fight or whatever.

HAWKINS

00:04:28
So they took me to jail -- whatever the case may be -- it stepped me back for a couple of months. They put me in Federal City. It's a place where if you don't have a place to live…

MILES-HAWKINS

00:04:34
A transition house.

HAWKINS

00:04:35
…a transition house. You don't have a place to live, that's where they put you. And my wife couldn't come with me.

MILES-HAWKINS

00:04:42
Well, we have a tent at 15th and M, at the overhang where the curb is we have a tent. We put this down every night, but we have to pick it up every day. It's nothing like having your own home. I would have to build everything that he does. I would have to do it myself.

HAWKINS

00:04:58
And this is by cardboard.

MILES-HAWKINS

00:04:59
This was my tent. This is cardboard, you know. And I would have to build it. It might not be as tall…

HAWKINS

00:05:08
And comfortable.

MILES-HAWKINS

00:05:08
…as my husband would like it, but it would be around me where nobody would be able to invade my space.

HAWKINS

00:05:16
So we've been through -- I don't like to say it on the radio -- but hell. You know what I mean? But we made it. We're still here. We're surviving. People always keep saying, "Man, how can two homeless people be on the street and be that much in love?" Well, I love my wife, dearly, most definitely. I would never cheat on her, never do anything wrong. I will always show my wife the love and respect that she's supposed to have. Because the one thing that we never had in this lifetime, living on the street, was respect.

MILES-HAWKINS

00:05:38
We don't look to be on no pedestal. We're not the greatest couple in the world. We have our problems. We argue, we bicker, but the most important thing that we do best of all is we know how to show each other love. We know when one is not feeling happy, if something's on one's mind, we can look at him, "Bryon, what's wrong with you?" Or he'll look at me, "Are you okay, baby? Do you want to talk about some things?"

HAWKINS

00:06:11
If you find somebody that you truly love, stay with them. You know, no matter what the problem or situation is. If you love that person, that loves going to be there. As long as that person loves you like you love them, that's true love right there. You can't get away from that. You know what I mean? If you walk away from that, you are a fool.

WILSON

00:06:30
Davinia and Bryon are still without a permanent roof over their heads. Right now, home is a tent they set up each night on the corner of 15th and M Streets in Northwest, but they're both looking for work, and hope that will soon change.
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