Part 2 (see Part 1 here)
I had hoped to learn a little more about Morgan and her background. In a way, one could say I had made her acquaintance. When I approached her lying in the grass on Sunday, greeting her with "Morgan Maginnis," she jumped and ran as if she had seen the devil incarnate. It took some conversation and persuasion to convince her that I was the man who had photographed her only a few days earlier.
She told me a little about her past - that she was from Los Angeles and that her parents had died from a combination of alcohol and an auto crash. She said that she was a college graduate with two degrees and has a job in demolition. I was told that she had just been featured in Vice Magazine and that this was her big break. Her pet rat had already died.
I told her that I had written part one of a crustie story, that I was featuring her and that I had referred to her as "cuddly and disgusting." I hoped she was not insulted, but it was my honest reaction to having her arms encircle me from behind while correcting an email address. She was charming, cute and filthy all together.
She and her friends laughed and found it an apt description. One said that they were all disgusting. Perhaps, in her world, cuddly, even with a qualifier, was quite a complement, because she seemed rather pleased, repeating the phrase several times to her friends.
On Sunday, however, things took a turn for the worse. I looked for Morgan to speak to her and glean a few more details of her life. When I found her, she was crying and recounting her day. Trying to get more drugs to supplement her methadone. Food stolen, as well as other incidents common to the homeless. Morgan is clearly angry and frustrated.
A confrontation with a black man spun out of control. She grabbed his bag, throwing it at him as well as away from them. She accused him of being like other blacks who had raped her. The ranting, vulgarity and drama escalated. She was running through the park, screaming and throwing things. Bystanders were running scattershot in fear of being a victim. I was wary myself. Although the acting out was largely drama, Morgan is not incapable of inflicting bodily harm and I learned that she has been arrested numerous times.
Like those who naively believe they can domesticate a wild animal, I left feeling a little foolish, thinking that a relationship approaching normalcy could be had with a drug addicted crust punk. I had descended to the bottom, and I am saddened by what I see there. Drugs are unforgiving, and their allure is a cruel mirage. It's a world of false promises of peer respect and the charm of nihilism and anarchy.
The future is dim for these individuals, and their lives will likely be quite short. No one wants to invest time in fanning dying embers. They are the trash of contemporary society and the only talk I hear is where to relocate them. They are filthy, disgusting, and violent, so get them away from here. Only the sanctity of human life and the 5th/6th Commandment prevents many from suggesting the simplest solution while asking the rhetorical, Crusties are People Too?
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