Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Someone who needs help

A Day in the Life

by jurassicpork

Mon May 08, 2006 at 09:03:17 PM PDT

....So, let's pick a particular, something and someone not so remote and untouchable, something or someone identifiable that touches on several abstract but still-salient issues. What we need is a synecdoche, a small particular that's representative of a larger whole.

Here's one: Let's review a day in the life of 71 year-old Lee Sevilla and her little dog Sandy.

Every morning at seven, she wakes up and walks her dog. Then she goes to the bathroom to groom herself. If it's a work day for the 71 year-old, she goes to work. If not, she'll drive to Playa and take in a million dollar ocean view. Later, she'll go to the local library and dabble on her laptop and make prints to order for $60 apiece. At night, she walks Sandy again before retiring for the night.

Sounds idyllic, no? If that fails to tug at your heart strings, then some context is called for. Now let's play tug-o-war with those heart strings:

Substitute the expected bed with a driver-side bucket seat of a Dodge Neon. You heard me right. She's been living in one car or another since the Clinton administration, eight years ago this Christmas Day, to be more exact, which was the day the son who'd been putting her up had committed suicide.

The bathroom she uses is one at a nearby Chevron gas station (she has to take sponge baths). Every Sunday, she goes to church then treats herself to a $45 a night motel room that affords her the only bed and bath she'll see all week.

Her job pays $10 an hour but only for sixteen hours a week. Between this, her Social Security check and her tiny print business, she still makes far less than she needs for even a modest apartment. "If I could figure out how to make another $500 a month, I think I'll be fine," she says. Look at the sentence again then remember her age. At 71, she's already nine years past the point where many women begin collecting their social security. Why should anyone in their seventies have to scratch for another $125 a week just to stay off the streets?

Even with a heart condition, she doesn't go to the doctor because she can't afford the Medicare co-pays. It stands to reason that her dog of ten years, perhaps named after Little Orphan Annie's dog, hasn't been to a vet in a while.....

...I don't know why this hadn't occured to me earlier. There are many bloggers, obviously, who are adept at setting up paypal accounts. So far, this blog posting has been seen (mainly thanks to Mike Finn at Crooks and Liars. Belated thank you to Mike.) by over 1000 people. Odds are it'll be seen by at least another thousand more. If just 125 of us would agree to have a dollar taken out of our bank accounts or if we can be trusted to mail a dollar a week in, that would be enough money to set up Lee Sevilla and her dog Sandy in a small apartment. Add to that an occasional print order and I imagine that would guarantee that she would eat well, too (with no kitchen in which to cook, I imagine that's she's eating out every night except when she makes spaghetti on her hot plate at the Motel 6 every Sunday). If any bloggers reading this know how to set up a paypal account that she can access (I'll write to Lee to see if she's amenable to the idea of me setting up an internet-based email account for her, like Yahoo, for instance), let me know so we can hammer out the details. Flowery prose and hand-wringing can't be deposited at the bank but money from a paypal account can. My email address is, if you haven't already seen it on my profile. Thank you whatever you decide to do. Anyone who wishes to buy prints and/or hand-drawn postcards from Lee can send a photo or other request to Lee Sevilla at P.O. Box 5484, Playa del Rey, CA 90296 (Read article for information on how to order/help.)