Here's one that you would not find being broadcast into the homes around the Queen City on one of those sexy local TV stations that employee journalists not journalists with nice cars and sweet hair cuts.
Last evening I left the house for what was supposed to be a quick trip(over an hour time warp) to the closest gas station for 2.5 gallons or roughly 10 dollars of petroleum for my mower and then up the street from there is the Spanish Mexican produce stand where I was going to get 20 limes for 2 bucks(lime aide is cheaper and better than lemon). I hate mowing the grass, deep down I always have and even though I push it out as far as I can, sometimes 3 weeks between it is still inevitable and I still disdain the act.
I pulled up to the Circle K which is less than 2 miles and 2 roads from Dooleyville, as I got out of the car I was immediately approached by a beggar. Not quite like the basket cases(literal bread basket in hands extended for charity) I have seen in far away off the continent poverty but a different American urban version. His tall frame was clad in work stained khakis, a stained white t-shirt and sneakers. He was on me as I made my way around the back of the car and at first I was sort of thinking that this was going to be the minute that something goes down. He was twitchy, clean under the dirty and not wanting to make eye contact after he realized that meant I was going to be looking into his soul. Out of the side of his mouth he asked me for some help to get some gas. My eyes reached for contact with his as I gave a dollar for him to get 1/4th of gallon, he asked for more but I told him that I couldn't.
As I stepped around the pump and on to the curb to enter the establishment a woman approached describing herself as an author in need of help. I told her that I would be back in a second as soon as I paid. At the counter a woman in line with something else on her mind asked me for 50 cents. I gave the register man a 10 asking him to put 9.5 on my red tank and leave the lady the rest. On my way out I stopped to chat with the author in need of help and when I made eye contact with her it was a lock. She looked more in to mine than I could have possibly seen in hers yet it was mutual. Meet Marlo Chapman, born and call it raised in New Bern North Carolina in December of the same year of my birth. I listened to her story which was extraordinary and she gave me a flyer where she clearly states that she needs help which is supported by a paragraph as to why. I looked at a few pages in the book and the sentences were simple, short and sounded like her voice which I had just been introduced to.
I could not afford her book, the only money I had left was for the berde limons(limes) so I excused myself to fill the red tank. I could not stand it so after the 2 minutes it took to pump the gas I parked the car and went back over to Marlo. I asked her if it would be okay if I took some pictures of what was really happening and asked her some questions for my blog. "What's a blog?", she smiled honestly. I asked her to tell me about her book titled CHANGING FACES and she replied, "It's about me.", oh your biography?, "Yes, it is my biography". This woman who dropped out of the school system in Craven County in the 5th grade went on to one of the most horrifyingly real not dramatized life scenarios that one could imagine. She grew up in a house with 2 brothers, 1 sister, a really, really mean drunk dad and a mother that did not do anything about it until it was way too late. Marlo was abused on all levels starting as an infant when the bonding that should have been taking place to support her little growing brain was replaced with drunken uneducated debauchery. That transfer combined with on going physical abuse from her brother caused this girl to go in to her formative years completely reckless. After dropping out of school in the 5th grade she started using drugs, alcohol and sex as a way to fuel her constant need to fill her perceptions with what is real. By the age of 16 Marlo had had sex for money, free and sometimes even without her own consent with nearly 1,000 men. That is when the money and drugs she could buy with that money first landed her in jail.
Over the next 14 years until she became clean 4 years ago she had 6 children of which two she was not even sure of the father and the other 4 were from different men. She spent some of that time in and out of the system and her kids in the care of the county. For the past 4 years she has remained clean enough so that she has earned her GED and can now obviously read and write. It took her 4 months of making notes and then another 5 months to put together the manuscript which was recently published by Black Ink Books here in Charlotte. I have not read Changing Faces yet but I did scan a few pages and I am interested enough find her in the next day so that I can purchase a copy.
When I asked her ultimately what caused her life to be such a self loathing nightmare she replied simply with one word, "Ignorancey"