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Monday, June 28, 2004

Flop Sweet Flop for Loretta 

I apologize if it seems that I have been neglecting my blog, but I was away in the beautiful countryside of Connecticut for my cousin’s wedding. I had a wonderful time and got to reconnect with many cousins and friends I haven’t seen in years, but I am now bone tired, jet lagged and all around fried.

At the rehearsal dinner I was seated next to a friend of the groom who is a social worker. She specializes in addiction and works in a methadone clinic. Since that is what my my job seems like at times, my cousin knew we would have lots in common to talk about. The social worker lives in Charleston, WV, and told me that Oxycontin (a.k.a. Hillybilly Heroin) has become a real scourge there, outpacing even crystal meth. Her addicted patients crush the pills to release its time release feature, snort the powder, and then spend the day woolgathering and collecting disability, much like their west coast urban counterpart, the denizens of the park near my library branch.

Happy news on the Loretta front. The city is trying to wean its homeless off of cash handouts by providing more housing and services, and Loretta has been affected by this new policy. Although the city reduced Loretta's welfare payment, it set her up in a room in a residential hotel on the other side of town. Her new residence is far enough away from the park that it is too much effort for her to visit often, although it would finally be safe for her to do so. Archie, the man who broke her finger and stamped on her foot when she refused to share her money with him a few months ago, violated parole and is back in jail, so Loretta is safe from his predations for the time being.

More later after I collect my wits.


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