Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I just walked down to the supermarket to get cat food and the woman in front of me, Arlene, was mentally retarded and about 45. My age. She had a $5 dollar bill and her total came to just a bit more than she had -- she also wanted to get a can of soda at the machine outside the store. So she asked me for a dime. Then her and I went outside. The machine she picked wouldn't take her dollar, so we picked the other machine and it worked fine.

20 years ago Arlene would have been locked up in an "insane hospital." And quite possibly, she was.

One of the many benefits of living in Augusta, Maine is living alongside a lot of mentally challenged or mentally ill people. Some people would not call that a "benefit" -- in very large letters -- but I do.


Sarah said...

good for you. and, I agree.

Moe Szyslak said...

I've got a neice with Down Syndrome. She has brought untold delight to my life.