Crazy Sunday laundry- part 2

so I recall my first run in with a metally Ill drug addict, that was not a family member.

I was little and taking the bus to my nanas with my mother from the ferry. I must have been three or four tops.

The door opens for us to get on and ugh it stunk, I asked her why it smelled and she said sit in the front, don’t talk it’s just “dirty Diana.”

Now dirty Diana and I had these run ins for the next, oh, 15 years. That’s when my mother taught me how I should act when I’m in this situation. There was no mobile psych, no cell phones, lol, you smoked on buses back then. What she told me was…. If you can, don’t get on the bus, wait for the next one. If she gets on mid route, stay near the driver, they can get the cops there and you can get off the bus quick.

Diana ruled the back of the bus. She cursed, screamed, cried and laughed at the same time and she was homeless. She also had an obsession with body fluids, she’s act as a monkey and literally throw crap at people. She was constantly kicked off, arrested…etc

Some how, I guess do to the pharmacology changing, in the late nineties, and some serious mental healthcare reforms in my area, diana got help.

 All of those years terrorized by her, I get a job that puts me in charge of giving her her daily Meds. 

She was a totally different person, sweet, kind and oddly friendly. Too many years on the street had taken its toll on her. She contracted hiv from the dirty needles she used to get high. She was long gone before they got her any help, but for the last few months of her life we chatted daily.

She had a sad story of abuse and illness, But that’s not mine to tell.

She told me towards the end she liked our conversations and one day she would be able to place how she knew me. I never said a word. I never ever told her of the hundreds of times I stood in the cold or heat because she was on the bus and her stench would make me sick or of the times I watched her get arrested. I said “I just have a familiar face”. 

She died less than a year after getting clean. I went to the wake, never telling my mother. There were only about 5 people there. All from where I worked, no friends, no family, not even one of the bus drivers! Sorry, had to say that. 

Sometimes you just get it too late…… Or is it, you get it when your ready? 

The woman today was no Diana, she was clean, cared for….. But something needs to change.

I get there are those that will never get clean, but it seems to me that it gets worse, year after year. This woman looked like a soccer mom. Until her outburst you could have past her on the street. Long gone are the days of the homeless addict. 

Example-Diana wore a tutu and pigtails at the age of 30. This woman had a designer coat on and more cash in her pockets that I do.

So is it the drugs causing the illness, or vise versa. Either way, I’ll make sure to keep an eye out, know that I have a new Diana.

2 thoughts on “Crazy Sunday laundry- part 2”

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