September 13, 2019 · Issue 1: In Transit


It’s six am, I didn’t sleep, I got a dozen phone calls on my cell. She’s ready for treatment. “I’ll meet you at eight,” she said. So I made the phone calls. I found her a bed. Treatment said, “have them here for nine.” There’s still drool on my chin. I wipe it while I drive through the dark, wet, early morning streets of downtown. Perpetually looping, because the system is inaccessible, because she is scared, because her family is emotional because her partner has to work. And she came through, meeting me at 8. High. But there. No one said sobriety was a requirement. Treatment said, “call back later, we will do an assessment.” Treatment said, “go to the ER about your mental health,” Treatment said, “get them to give you some Ativan.” Treatment said, “try again tomorrow.” But the Naloxone says, welcome back, asshole. Police say, “we’re getting tired of these calls.” Paramedics say, “you should see a doctor.” And the doctor said, “you should go to treatment.” And treatment said, “call back later, we’re full.” And treatment said, stop trying.