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Friday, March 26, 2010

Conversation...


The other night I stopped by to talk with Minnie. Her name tonight was Minnie for Minnie Mouse. Her name changes depending upon how she feels. If we should all be so lucky. She was too embarrassed of her looks to take a frontal photo. She said she looks terrible despite my assurances that she looked beautiful. She said her teeth are falling out so she knows she looks awful. She has lost some teeth since I last saw her. Minnie's feet are terribly swollen and somewhat infected. I asked her if the mobile human services van checks up on her. She said she sees her doctors. I found it hard to believe her but couldn't push the conversation. We talked for about half an hour. She talked about getting chased away from many places she tries to sit and rest. How the police harass her and throw her belongings away from time to time. How she tried to get home to California but ended up stuck at the Honolulu Airport for a long time until they chased her away. How she remembers growing up in San Fernando Valley and remembers a big earthquake when she was a little girl. How managers chase her away from eating establishments but how sometimes the workers come out and sneak food to her. About how she is worried about her swollen feet but is afraid of the doctors who injected her with unknown substances. About how she needs to live next to the stores that she can get food from. And which store is nice and which store is not so nice. How she enjoyed her meal of noodles the other night. She talked about her homeless friend who has lots of cats in cages and how her legs are in worse shape than hers and how she is worried for her. She told me about her pet bird named Kai who was run over by a car when she flew into the street. I told her I would check up on her again. As I left, she wished me good health. I didn't know what to say. I felt her ancestors were present bearing witness to our exchange. I know they are trying to sustain the spirit and life of their beloved mo'opuna for just one more day of life. I know mine were there too...

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