Thursday, July 01, 2004

Street Legal Part lll

We didn't hear from Sally for about two weeks, and we hadn't even seen her yet. All our conversations had been by phone. But other relatives in the city did hear from her. Another brother-in-law lived in the city as well. He told Sally's father that she was welcome in his home, but he wouldn't give her any money she didn't earn. She could come and help his wife (Sally's aunt)with housework, and he would pay her for her time. At first I thought that seemed mean-spirited for an uncle, but actually it was a very good plan. Sally did make her way over to her uncle's house, but the plan did not work out.
When she arrived, she was dirty and strung out on chemicals of some sort. Sally is a fine boned very small girl who would normally not weigh more that 100 lbs. But she had lost a lot of weight since she came to the city. Nose rings and other piercings are mainstream now, but all these adornments do not look good when the body is not clean. Our Sally had many of these and most looked infected. Now my brother-in-law has a 4 year old who had just recuperated from a serious lung infection. She was healthy now but they needed to take care in order for her lungs to get stronger. One look a Sally and that was enough to scare them. She never was invited back again.
I received a call from Sally shortly thereafter. Sally was no longer living in the fetid apartment I described previously. She had a fight with the occupants and left to sleep in the park the day after my daughter and I delivered our groceries. The park was certainly more sanitary that that apartment. In fact the rent had not been payed and everyone was thrown out. The baby was also living on the streets by this time.
Sally was living in a park in the inner city soho area. This was a very "in" street where good outdoor cafe's were situated next to junk furniture stores which were next to avante garde artists stores and others. You know that area, every city has them and they are very popular for a few years until another area takes over. There are quite a lot of parks around the soho area and Sally's home was one of them.
I got the directions for her home park and was told that I should just show up and ask anyone if they had seen Sally. She would be found for me. That summer my weekly drives into the city looking for Sally and talking to many homeless kids (and adults) became a part of my life, and I a part of theirs. This is where my new role as "Sally's Aunt Maddy" came into being. And oh yes, please don't forget to bring a chocolate bar or two, preferably milk chocolate with peanutbutter.


At 4:23 AM, Blogger Esther said...

I hope things eventually work out well with Sally. It's just sad how some teenagers end up like this.

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Vadergrrrl said...

Maddy - you are such a Beautiful person. I think everyone could us an "Aunt Maddy" in their life. I know I could. xoxoxoxo
Good luck with Sally.


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