When my dad and I first met Misia (pronounced Me-shaw) in September of 2017 during the city’s Supercrawl event, she was outside of the Booth Centre Men’s Shelter in Hamilton, Ontario. She was busily rummaging through several articles of clothing that were scattered around her on the sidewalk, all the while having a very animated conversation with herself. When asked by my dad if I could photograph her, she politely declined. (I was very disappointed as she has beautiful, emerald-coloured eyes.) When, two months later we were back in Hamilton, we, again, ran into Misia outside the Centre. But before my dad could say a word to her, she said, “You wanted to take my picture a couple of months ago, didn’t you?” My dad replied, “Yes, we did.” Misia, then, smiled and, in a pleasant tone of voice, said, “You can do it now if you want.”
Although Misia is a Toronto native, she is of Polish descent. After completing university in 1993, she lived in Poland for 3 ½ years. She has called Hamilton her home for the past 20 years. Misia has two children, Daniel, 18, and Christina, 14. However, she has no contact with them. “I haven’t seen them in two years”, she said. “And it’s been an extremely stressful two years for me….I did see them briefly though. Yeah, I did get to see them, um, just in passing. They kind of dropped in unexpectedly, and then popped right back out, literally. Like, no, it really looked like someone put a blanket sheet over top of them and then scooped them out from under me.” For the next four minutes Misia, seemingly without pausing to take a breath, talked about such diverse subjects as: Freud, WWII, traffic congestion, pharmaceutical companies, Morse code, carburetors, and Hitler. (Unfortunately, most of what she said made no sense whatsoever.) However, the subject that seemed to interest her most was psychology. Asked by my dad is she had studied psychology in university, she replied, “No, they, unfortunately, accused me of being mentally ill, here, there and everywhere … I ended up in an institution and ended up with all kinds of questions and answers that begged the question of why I there.”

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