The Ghost Behind the Wheelchair

Front Cover

"They live. They continue to beat on in spite of smoking three packs of cigarettes each day, and having cholesterol readings in the three hundreds. They live."

On two floors, in the greatest metropolitan city in the world, in a state owned armory, live one-hundred-and-nineteen women who are homeless. They are the lost, disenfranchised mothers and sisters from our families, and the families of our neighbors. Ill with mental diseases, worn from age, exhausted from poverty and abusive beginnings, the story of some of the women, who live in this shelter, is told in Incidents from a Shelter (The Season of the Larva.)

Through the eyes of a social worker, and a client, the day in, day out dilemmas are shown. This work takes place during the last ten days that the client lives in this shelter before her move to independent living. During those days, simple therapeutic sessions are challenged by a client's inability to let go of a lover from twenty years ago. "Staircase Theresa" lives in the stairwell where the shadows become form of her family members that she hasn't seen in decades. Their voices comfort her as she sits in the midst of scraped paint.

Mandy chooses crack and sex over stability and the love of a family. The paranoid, schizophrenic, delusional, dementia-ridden flowers of another time are dying as shelter staff struggle to make changes in the lives of the lost.

Incidents from a Shelter (The Season of the Larva), is metaphorically compared to larva that hover over fruits and try to live. Similarly, homeless women are arrested in a season in their lives when they tried to begin living independently, and they could not.

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