In remembrance of those losing the war on drugs here in U.S.

Betsy B. was on meth when I met her. She was homeless and webbed tightly with Teddy T. They stopped ‘chipping’ long enough to get housing. Small studio in Hud plan. I lived as rent adjusted elder on the top floor of the building. Plugged into low ball health insurance that most ‘professionals’ turn away from.  They say, “No money in it.” No human in it either I say. Anyway, has some spare furniture, gave it to Betsy and Teddy. They seemed happy—they tried. I visited them in their little space—they came up to my place and had coffee. Delightful kids scratching their way to the top the one I never got to but— whatever—must be great there—many try. They speak highly of it in 1% circles. The other day something changed. I got a call from Betsy. Se said she threw Teddy out. He said he was looking for another space. He did—on the bottom floor. She seemed happy to be alone, away from the guy that protected her while on the street—the guy that fixed crap that broke. It’s good to fix crap thats broken. Anyway, she called again a few weeks later. She was anxious—not feeling well—she wanted to talk. I met her in the lobby. She started to chat—it went from chat to rant pretty fast. I had to stop her—not open to ranting at my age. Ask her, “have a counselor?” “Don’t want to see her!” She gun fingered me, “I thought you cared!” “You need to stop telling me what to do!” “It’s your fault!” Stuff. No sense to it. Rant got louder more violent—fingers and fist got closer to my face. The Betsy blowout in the lobby drew the attention of the manager. He told her to leave. I went back to my world of peace and quiet. Betsy?  Not sure what world she went back to—I know she’s angry. Some say she’s ‘chipping’ and using again. The apartment on her floor came open again. May God save the Queen and Betsy.


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Grace E. Reed

I have a MA in Conflict Resolution, a BA in Drama Therapy am a mediator, published writer (Negotiating Shadows and Needs) a broadcaster for radio on disability awareness. I work with street youth, the homeless, addicted people, and have been a social activist for over 35 years. Occupy WS Portland, Oregon is a passion. Eagles World Studio is up and running. My heart responds to poetry and my head hears it in everything I do. My motto is 'stay curious, be kind and keep moving'. My new book 'Negotiating Shadows: Journey to the Sun' published by George Ronald Publisher, Oxford England and available through my website.

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