February 16, 2001
When I worked at Non-Profit Agency #1, a lot of the town's homeless people meandered through the building. We didn't usually mind their being on the premises, since what they usually wanted was a place to sit for a few minutes, and a restroom to use, and occasionally advice on the resources the town had for finding jobs. We did what we could to help.
But there are some people who could not be helped by what we could offer. One such was a woman who took a liking to our building. So much so that she pretty much lived there. No, it was not equipped for anyone to live there. But this woman was resourceful, and figured out how to take care of her needs. Among other things, she did her hand laundry in the restroom sink (and dried it in the sun, on the shrubbery---which is what got her banned from the building, by the way).
This woman would come into the agency office occasionally, just to talk and pass the time. She would always start off telling something as ordinary as how she had passed the evening before by having dinner at the local soup kitchen and staying to help with the clean-up. But then she would get off on a tangent.
One day the topic of conversation at the beginning of her visit was that the local drugstore had her favorite shampoo on sale that week. But somehow in a sentence or two, she was telling me that she had given birth to septuplets and needed to get home to the ones that lived. But that was going to be a while, since she was in town on a mission from the CIA. And they had implanted electrodes in her brain, to make it easier for them to get in touch with her, which is why she was partial to whichever shampoo---it didn't interfere with the transmissions since it rinsed completely out.
Let's just say that her credibility was nonexistant.
And credibility is important when you're asking for help. Or even for moral support.
This woman died several years ago, after being in and out of the state mental hospital a number of times. But if she were alive, I bet she could still tell incredible tales.