Kraus got a grant to buy art supplies, and a couple of his pieces are hanging on the wall at Cafe 54; he takes one down to offer a closer look at his technique, which uses paper towel, canvas, rubbing alcohol, and paint to create an abstract design. He just sold a piece. "It felt good," he says, but he would rather draw cartoons.
He lives with his girlfriend, who is on disability. She used to clean houses, but that ended. "She just can't do it no more," Kraus says. The other day, he says, she got really mad at a news story that said mentally ill people shouldn't be able to have guns. Kraus shrugs. "They took mine away so I won’t harm myself," he says.
He likes working at Cafe 54 because "it's real peaceful. It's not like you have someone yelling at you in the back."
And the food’s good, too. "Whenever I have extra money, I get the gyro," he says.