Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Three Foot Kindness At The Crack Motel


by James Jarvis
excerpt from Offline Journal Of The Damned

   A three foot, blond-haired, blue eyed moptop named Emma lives next door to me in room 117. The adorable 4 year old is taken care of (the best they can) by her dying grandmother (who is hardwired to an oxygen tank) and an overworked grandfather.

    Most of the day the little cutie pie wanders barefooted around inside the crack motel courtyard, challenging and playing with anyone who passes through: pimp, whore, drug addict, slimeball, creepo, latchkey kids . . .whomever.

    We all look after her.

    Every time she comes to my door, I make her hold still while I wash her dirty face with a warm washcloth. Creepy gives her candy.

    Last night, Emma was walking around the courtyard with a small bag of garbage. She seemed a little confused as to where to put the trash.

    "Where are you going, Emma?" I asked.

    "I have to find the dumper," she answered cheerfully.

    "Wait for me," I said, "I'll go with you!"

    I really didn't want to put my shoes back on to my swelling feet, but I had to. The dumpsters are at the back of the parking lot and crackheads drive their cars too fast back there. They'd never even know they had baby juice on their tires until hours later when they came down off their frenetic highs.

    I took her hand and walked her out to the dumpsters, explaining to her as best I could that she should never go out to the dumpsters by herself. A car almost ran over us as proof of my point.

    "Always wait for me," I told her, "so I can help you watch out for the fast cars, okay?"

    "Okay. Fast cars!"

    Why didn't I just take the garbage out myself, leaving her in the courtyard? Whaddo I look like? Your butler? Besides, the little girl enjoyed her accomplishment. Everyone wants to feel useful, even four year-olds.

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