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Today I took a bus I don't usually take, into a part of town I don't usually go. It wasn't the most efficient way to get where I was going, but I wanted to see what it was like, so I went.

I saw a woman get on the bus who was missing her front teeth. She grinned a lot, seemed quite happy, and the effect was unsettling.

Once on the bus, she stated talking to another woman who she clearly knew, who wasn't missing her front teeth, she was just missing major parts of most of her teeth. it took me a moment to realize I was seeing what Meth can do to one's mouth.

In that moment, it was like that strange sense of focus they do in the movies sometimes, where the lens goes zoom at the same time the camera dollies backward. I realized what a sheltered life I've lived. Is this what Siddhartha felt like when he ventured outside the palace and saw old and sick people for the first time?

For a while now, I've been thinking that the real problem with the 1% owning so much of the world, is that they can wall themselves off from the people whose lives they impact. That's all well and good to think in a theoretical sense, but being confronted with the 'cure' today was unsettling. I'm not in the 1%, but I could easily have gone my whole life without seeing a meth-mouth for real. I'm not as sure that I know what to do about it, not like I used to be.


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February 2017

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