While in her embrace, I slipped my right hand under her left arm and placed my hand on her heart.
Tapping and keeping in contact with her arms, I gently eased out of her hug until we were holding hands, face to face, and staring at each other again.
What happened to you, Darling?" I asked - already knowing by her appearance and vacuous stare.
I'd seen this catatonic state too many times before, when I used to work on the Psychiatric wards of civilian and military hospitals.
The patients were zombie-like, suffered from uncontrollable, jerky eye and neck movements, and interacted with chronic audio-visual hallucinations.
Unresponsive to most verbal and physical stimuli, the patients required strong medication 24/7.
In her case, the condition was the result of a longtime crystal methamphetamine addiction.
And sadly, when the money dried up - and it always does with drug abusers and alcoholics - her physical/mental health was further degraded by the sexual abuse from drug dealers, pimps and Johns.
These scumbags lived for any chance to prey on the poor and vulnerable addicts like her - living hand to mouth on the streets.
They easily traded their drugs, alcohol or money for whatever they wanted to do to her body. She was now over-jacked and tripping out of her skull.
"What a shame. What a shame, indeed. Her mind is fried!" I said to myself...
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Excerpted from: Suckers and Samaritans. Same Thing? JaiChai 2017. Revised 12-29-2020. Simultaneous multi-site submissions posted. All rights reserved.