The Adventures and Misadventures of a Neer Do Well Artist Living in Baltimore.

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Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States

I am a visual artist and writer living in Baltimore. I don't have any artist friends. Frankly, artists scare me, there so darn flaky. The above picture is either of me or proof that I'm a pretty decent artist. My goal is to be a self sufficient artist, whereas I wouldn't have to do something else in the day in order to eke out an existence. I also like to attend various cultural events around town. I go to plays, the symphony, etc. Also, I have Asperger's Syndrome. I found this out recently and it has explained a heck of a lot as to why I am as I am.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

This afternoon I saw the saddest sight that I have ever witnessed while aboard a bus. First off it was around 1:30pm in the afternoon when I got on the #8 bus headed for the UMAB Transit Center. The number on the inside of the bus was #04049. It was one of the new German made Neoplan buses. I hate those buses because they don’t have enough seats on them. My all time favourite buses are the NABI’s. I find there design to be more passenger friendly than the Neoplan AN440LF buses that you see on the streets of Baltimore.

Anyway, it was at the Timonium bus stop when they got on. It was these two dark skinned black women with a baby stroller. Their hair was pulled back in a ponytail. One wore a tan top, the other a dark brown top. I thought it was just a sweet harmless mother with her friend maybe coming back from the mall.

Throughout the ride, I found myself becoming deeply concerned as I noticed that they were both falling into the very noticeable stupor that junkies fall into. This concern was deeply punctuated when one of them tried to change the baby’s diaper. The woman kept nodding off in between the diaper changing. Her mouth was gaping wide as though she was about to say something. It frightened the hell out of me. It made me worry for the safety of the baby. It was a newborn baby girl judging by the scarcity of hair on it’s head and the pink ribbon it wore around it’s noggin. The sight was so sad and pathetic it made me want to cry. In fact I did cry when I got home. I cried because there was nothing concrete I could do to save the baby’s life from it’s junkie mom. I know that it would be an absolute miracle if that baby lived to see it’s 1st birthday.

Throughout the long bus ride I became sick with worry. Did anyone notice those two? Did anyone care? Would anyone call the authorities? I couldn’t make a cell phone call because I don’t own one. Maybe I was just over reacting? Maybe Junkie Mom’s are perfectly ok to care for newborns? No one else seemed to care.... Why should I?

I asked this woman who was sitting behind me, “If you saw a woman who was obviously strung out on drugs with a newborn infant is it best to ignore the situation or report it?” This was a very unusual act for me, as I rarely initiate conversations. I just had to know from a normal non-autistic person if my feelings for wanting to report the situation were out of line. The woman went on to tell me matter of factly that, Yes, she also noticed the woman. So she knew that I wasn’t talking hypothetically. Then she said, but who do you report it to? What would they do about it? Then she went on to say it was a crying shame. She told me that she was shocked by the shear number of junkies she saw in Baltimore. Apparently, she had returned home for her sister’s funeral. She told me it wasn’t like this when she left Baltimore many years ago.

I felt a relieved after talking.... well listening.... to the woman. So not everyone on the bus cast a blind on the junkie mother and her new born! They did see what I saw but wasn’t sure what to do or if they should get involved.

When I got home I immediately called the police. I wasn’t sure what good that would do because the Junkie Mother and her strung out friend got off the bus before I did. I just had to report it to somebody to clear my conscious.

When I talked to the police on the phone they asked me why I didn’t say anything to the driver. I told them that the driver knew about the situation. Every now and then he would look back at the two of them to see if everything was OK. I though that maybe he would call the police. I supposse in the end he didn’t want to be bothered. Besides the two of them were sitting right up front by the driver. I would not have felt comfortable talking to the driver right in front of them. They might have started a fight with me. Who knows they might have been carrying used hypodermic needles infected with God knows what. They were junkies after all....

In the end the police said that there was nothing they could do because the women had left the bus. I told them they were on the newer buses that have surveillance camera’s on them. That didn’t seem to interest them much.

Oh, well... All that’s left for me to do is to keep the baby of the junkie mother in my prayers. I pray that she will be safe and live to see her 1st birthday and many more birthdays after that.

link | posted by gail at 11:49 PM |


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