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The Beautifully Chaotic Life of Brandon Smith-Johnson

The Beautifully Chaotic Life of Brandon Smith-Johnson

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Brandon Smith-Johnson, a young man from Huddersfield with British, Romany gypsy and Jamaican heritage, dreams of a successful future engaging in creativity through writing, photography, art and custom clothing whilst feeling different to everyone around him. At Leeds City College he meets Lauren and the pair navigate adolescence and enter adulthood together. Brandon inhabits many environments across West Yorkshire from his mother's house, to Lauren's family home, to B&B's home to addicts, to lost youth hostels and to troubled people hotels. The Crypt, a homeless shelter, is where the pair live from which trouble and torment follow. They are relentlessly preyed upon by the lost, criminals and addicts through manipulation and violence. Lauren and Brandon indulge in drinking and substances, exacerbating their struggles with mental health as they become increasingly unstable. They face being stolen from, overdoses, psych ward stays and arrests based on misunderstandings. But Brandon finds he can attain a sense of peace by connecting to nature through camping in the Lake District and when taking a boat ride by the Swiss Alps. Caught between pursuing escapism and wanting to break free from pain and poverty to achieve something meaningful, Brandon realises he must learn what he truly desires, who he really is, how to take care of himself and how to make life worth living before it is too late and he loses both the ongoing battle inside his mind and the relationships in his life.




Author/s: Smith-Johnson, Brandon

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