Lost and Found

Baby Girl has one last chance at a new life.

Like her mother did for her.

A couple of days later, Baby Girl was waiting to step in front of Judge Marcucci. The woman already on the stand was so high she was incoherent, and the bailiffs had to be called in.

"I need counseling," Baby G told Marcucci right off the bat when her time came.

 
Mark Manger
 
Lois Clayton, manager of the Chrysalis Project, is on 
call 24/7.
John Johnston
Lois Clayton, manager of the Chrysalis Project, is on call 24/7.

"I can see that," Marcucci said.

"I just want to tell you that this sitting-in-jail time and sobering-up thing isn't really helpful to me right now," she said, "and it sounds like, shit, it sounds bad, but right now I need to talk to somebody behind what I did more than I need to sit here and boil and let it fester. To sit here in jail now is not what I need."

Lopez suggested that Baby G be allowed to stay in the program but also remain in jail another three weeks. She was concerned that Baby G wanted out so badly.

Marcucci said he'd see Baby G the next week.

She threw her hand in the air as she walked away from the judge, headed back to jail.

This vision, it came about a year ago. And I wasn't quite ready, I guess, to become whole.
But see a year later I still didn't change, and look where it got me, same dorm, same bunk,
Now ain't that strange.
Life, it's full of choices and chances,
But we have to learn who we might dance with.

"I need some counseling," Baby Girl told Clayton when she visited her in jail.

"No shit," Clayton replied, making Baby G smile through her tears.

"Like I was doing before, with you, before I messed up," she said softly.

"I knew the wounds were open and gaping," Clayton said.

"I know, and on top of those wounds, now I got this little slip."

"Baby Girl is gradually growing into the real you. Baby Girl is hurting right now."

"I feel bad I was so mean to you, Lois. You know why I didn't want to go back with you was because I had crack on me. I had just bought it, and I wanted to go smoke it."

The police didn't find her pipe and she took it to jail with her, but she abandoned it when she couldn't find a lighter. "I just need some help, and I can't do it on my own anymore, not like I used to be able to," Baby Girl said.

"Welcome to treatment, baby," Clayton replied. "What you don't understand is that you can't cover the wounds with old bandages."

Baby Girl said she didn't remember her relapse, just that drinking led to crack. She'd been in a fight, gotten chased at some point, and then someone else had stolen from her. It made her want to buy a gun. Then a friend told her the cops were looking for her for murder. A dude she'd been smoking crack with had had a seizure. She'd left the woman she was living with "for dead" after she kept seeing hallucinations of angels.

Clayton asked how she felt now.

"I'm disappointed, because I'm better than that," Baby Girl said.

"Better than what?" Clayton asked.

"Better than all the crackheads," Baby Girl replied.

When Clayton first met Baby Girl, she saw a scared little girl. A girl who grew up without a mother. A girl who claims she doesn't remember her childhood.

Clayton believes in sanctions. But to take someone like Baby Girl, a woman who's never experienced a healthy lifestyle, and just lock her up isn't fair. "Then you just make a better criminal," she says.

The dance with the devil is wild and fun,
But the dance with the lord has always been the right one.
Sometimes the lord's dance, it's hard and demanding, but you'll live a glorious life, when it comes to the ending.

While Baby Girl waited in jail, other Chrysalis women went to court.

One day, a blond, blue-eyed woman about the same age as Baby G stood in front of Judge Marcucci. The day before, she'd overdosed and ended up in the hospital. She had no shoes on her feet; her white socks were dirty from walking the street.

The judge knew that the woman could behave when she was on her medication -- but she only stayed on her medication when it was provided to her in jail. She'd been accepted into Chrysalis, but she'd run twice. Marcucci said he wanted to help her, that Lopez wanted to help her and Clayton wanted to help her, and so did all the other people at Chrysalis. But she couldn't run anymore if she wanted to be helped.

Two days after her court appearance, she ran. Hours later, she was arrested for an entirely new prostitution incident. She pleaded guilty the next day, and Marcucci gave her 360 days for that case, which she'll serve concurrent with the 300 days on her outstanding cases.

One 28-year-old woman has to walk to the stand on crutches each time she sees Marcucci. She was an alcoholic at thirteen, an addict at nineteen, a prostitute at 22. Family members looked to her to be the crack provider, so she started hoing. She took a spill doing the Colfax shuffle one day after too many sleepless days and nights -- she's not sure if she fell asleep standing up or if someone knocked her over -- and broke a bone. She walked around, high, on her bad leg for a couple of months, and now it will probably have to be amputated.

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