He is schizophrenic. He spends a lot of time on the front patio sketching, sometimes he's quite good, sometimes it's clear his heart isn't in it. That day he was struggling with potent inner demons and using the sketchpad to prop up his will. I believe he failed, so he disappeared out into the night with his shitty cigarettes and trench coat. She came home from her second job only to find the above on the sketchpad they use to communicate. She left the note in the corner in case he circled back, and went out to look for him instead of relaxing in her room, eating dinner, watching tv.
My first cousin is schizophrenic, and his parents made constant sacrifices in order to be able to afford the drugs that kept him in a state where he could interact with us and have fun at family reunions. In the past, without drugs, he had attacked his mother and brother.
It is eminently clear from her living situation that my neighbor cannot afford drugs for her son. Instead she uses a sketchpad and cheap cigs and it doesn't always work.