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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dorothy's Drop: It's Clean

The doorbell rang a few minutes ago. Thinking it was Dawn, I stashed my college beer mug full of freshly-poured Corona in the fridge and went to the door. It was Dorothy.

She didn't wait for me to get the outer door unlocked. "I went to my meeting. They dropped me today," she said proudly.

"Hunh?" It took me a minute, but then I realized what she meant. At first I thought she got thrown out or something, but she was saying she took a urine test. "And you came up clean?"

"Yeah." She smiled, face shining.

"Good job! That's great," I said, coming out the front door. "How do you feel?"

"I feel good."

She has to go back again on Friday. I think they'll test her again next week? Every four days? Something like that. The only thing she doesn't feel good about right now is her lack of reliable diapers/underwear. And she really needs a 7-day el pass to get around.

"You know that was my last five dollars, right?" I was lying. I cashed a check at the grocery store today and got some money, but this month is closer to more month than money than I have seen in quite a while, and I'm trying to hold the line somewhere. "Remember I said I was broke until May? I know my broke is not as broke as your broke," -she looked at me knowingly- "but it's trouble for me."

She took this pretty well, actually. Less crabby than yesterday, I think because she realized I wasn't thinking she was lying to me about how she was going to spend any money I gave her. The news of the clean drop did help my confidence about that.

By the end of our chat, I told her to stop by tomorrow night. If time and money permit, maybe I will get her a 7-day pass. "It's nicer now, I can ride my bike," I told her. But I didn't promise.

"You're doing great. Keep strong," I said as she was closing my gate.

"Thanks to you."

She left before I could say, "Nuh-uh, it's all you," but I thought it. If all it's taking for her to get clean is this half-assed kind of help, it really is all her.

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