Monday, December 3rd, 2001 8:36 pm
As long as the day lasts, let's give it all we've got.
-- David O. McKay
As a reward, Despina, Alberto and Sarita bum a ride to the library with Paul Peter that afternoon. Setting up the digital camera, she finds them a quick study. Watching to be sure they are on the right track, Despina nods meaningfully to Alice.
“Do you mind if I slip over to the sheriff’s office while they’re occupied? I need to check on the status of the rehab inquiry Mickey is making.”
Glancing over at the absorbed duo, Alice says, “No problem. Even if they should finish their task, they’ll readily find other interests.”
Stopping in at the sheriff's office, Despina interrupts him while he is catching up on his paperwork. "How goes the rehab placement?"
"Ah," he hesitates.
Despina’s lips twitch. "Is that list handy?"
Wordlessly, he hands it over to her, motioning her toward the phone on Tony's vacant desk.
Calling the first number listed, she fabricates what turns out to be a much-repeated routine. "Hi. I'm Despina MacKenzie, representing the Broken Lance Sheriff's Office. We are hunting for a placement in a detox facility for a VERY IMPORTANT PERSONAGE."
..."The son of the chief of the Stone Circles Indian Reservation."
..."I see. Who CAN authorize that?"
..."Would you spell that for me, please?"
..."Do you happen to have that number available?"
..."Well, that's quite short-sighted. He WILL eventually lead his people, regardless of his sobriety. What we're throwing away here is an excellent opportunity to affect the whole future of the people on that reservation for the rest of their lives." Despina’s chair creaks as she rocks it back.
..."Consider this: sober, working Indians will spend far more money than ones barely able to feed themselves. Consider the drop in crime, the decline in broken homes, the greater stability the whole region will experience. Can you AFFORD to ignore it?"
…”Think it over. I like you. I’d rather it got fixed quietly instead of becoming a campaign issue.”
She calls big wigs, politicos, humanitarian groups, finally going clear to the governor's office to get him placed and dried out, not from a belief that he can be saved; she's seen too many good works done to no avail, but because she has to try.
Depressed, Despina returns to the library to find that the best of the alphabet photos have been downloaded onto the library's color printer.
By the time the digital camera's memory stick limit of 100 has been emptied, and Alice's computer's memory is full, four fairly complete alphabets exist: one set from land forms and water, one from cloud formations, another from desert plants, and the last from animals, including some close-ups of some highly UNNATURAL effects created with horses' manes and tails.
Despina admires the photos, slipping them into folders Alice places at her elbow, her mind busy with uses of such high quality results, something she thinks she CAN control and is sure will be successful.
Last updated 2/1/10 Added “tells”; augmented her phone arguments. 7/23/08 - add Alphabet Soup material. 2/7/04. (Added quote)
Word Count: 505