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Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Sad Voice

1st June 2012
Dear Cassi,

There are times in the doing of my job that voices come from the darkness. Each voice has a story to tell and none are happy tales of wonder. All too often when I lift the receiver to my desk phone the voice on the other side needs to tell me the horrors of their life.
Such was the case not too long ago when a woman called apologizing for not having money to donate to the homeless. This is a funny thing about working with the homeless; those who hold a tender part in their hearts for the folks I look after are often odd folks themselves. 
On the phone this woman with such a deep pain within her that she had to lance the wound and let it drain into strange fabric of the night watch spoke. She was an aging hippy with the withered sound that the hard party lifestyle in her voice.
She told me of how she had been kicked out of her family home the night of her high school graduation by a mother calming to be protecting her. She was given a fifty dollar bill, that was a lot of money at the time, and told to make her way before her father took her life. This was back in the seventies before I was born and it was a different kind of world.
Unable to find work she had turned to friends who viewed her as an accessory to the lush accommodations of the era. She kept her place by satisfying carnal appetites. To live with herself she took drugs and lived in her ugly dream for an undisclosed time.
This had left her body ravaged and her womb broken. The injuries to her body left a hole in her heart where should have lived a child that she could never mother in biology or household. Those, the unfortunate, had become her children and I shepherd to that brood. She had no idea if it was staff on that phone of client and said “if your homeless, god bless you”.

Live with who you are, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal