November 20th, 2007.

She burns.
An unfinished 'Meanwhile.'

The following article was left unfinished and unedited and should be read as such. Notes can be found below the article.

Earlier this year a friend of mine found herself in a situation where she was effectively homeless. It was a situation that was actually not entirely of her making, though now when I look at it I find myself realizing that it was perhaps more of her doing than I was originally led to believe. Back then I agreed to give her a safe place to stay while she looked for a new apartment.

She was working as a stripper and so I was under the impression that money wouldn't be too much of an issue. She told me she could easily make in one night what I made in a week and though she wasn't one to save money, she would save the necessary funds to get herself a new place. However, what she failed to tell me was that she had developed an appetite for cocaine. Yes I know that's a total cliche, but I was taking her words at face value and believed she was trying to get herself out of a tough situation.

After discovering that she was making no effort to save money and had no plan I challenged her about her attitude to the entire situation. To be fair she straightened herself up. She took on every shift that she could get and in two weeks made the £1500 ($3000) necessary to secure an apartment that I had found for her. The day she moved in was fantastic. She was excited at this new place and I got the impression she was serious about the new start.

She has since quit being a stripper and taken a job as a waitress in a local restaurant. Money was tight as waitressing is a world apart from stripping in financial terms, but she seemed to be making ends meet and was apparently happy and relaxed. Life was good and I felt that I had helped someone get ahead in life.

Imagine then my disappointment today when I am contacted by her landlord who is desperate to speak with her about the fact she hasn't paid her rent in three months and is on the verge of being evicted! My heart sank. How did this happen? How did she let things get this bad?

When I confronted her with this truth she refused to speak about it. But later when we talked she told me that her plan that was by her own admission "not great but the only option." In order to get her financial crisis under control, she plans to take up prostitution. "What other choice do I have?" She asked, and in reality, I couldn't offer any other solution. But there has to be another option surely!?

Her life is out of control, and not in some tragic 'off the rails - girl gone wrong' kind of way, but rather in the fact that it seems that it may not have ever been under control. She burns through money like wildfire and navigates her days like a drunk driver ricocheting off crash barriers. She lacks the ability to practice her vices in any degree of moderation and shows a total disregard for the consequences of her reckless self-destructive behavior.

I've come to accept that I can't help her, which is extremely frustrating. Being involved in this feels like I've run into a burning building to rescue someone who refuses to see the flames and the imminent danger. Eventually, and reluctantly, you simply have to retreat or the flames will consume you too. And now from the outside you're standing there watching the building burn hoping that they'll come running out at any moment. There are no superheroes coming to the rescue. You just have to stand there and watch the building burn.

--- Article Notes ---

Time of death : Not specified
I didn't publish this 'Meanwhile' because I knew the person involved might read this and somehow feel betrayed by my words. In fact, this didn't even make it into the 'unpublished' archive until 2020 when I refreshed the site design.