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When I was 27, I spent nearly a year in drug & alcohol rehab. The 1st month was spent in a hospital, then 10 more months in a halfway house (Serenity House) in the city I was born in, New Orleans. Towards the end of treatment, I was able to find a job at Tulane University, so when I "graduated" from Serenity House, I found a small apartment on Prytania & continued to work at Tulane. Moving out of the halfway house was painful & unnerving. Even though my new apartment was near Serenity House, & I had permission to come back to group classes or AA meetings whenever I wanted, my normal, daily routine was filled with a lot of solitary time. There were no more roommates, or rotating chores, or helping in the kitchen. No more late night talks with my favorite counselor on the front porch, or grocery shopping for whole house. Time mostly crawled for me, but there were times when it was exciting. For one thing, I was all alone & free to go where I pleased again. I found comfort in being anonymous, so some days, I would ride the streetcar for hours, back & forth down St. Charles from Canal to Carrollton. Sometimes, I would just drive around the city all alone. Out to the airport, or around the Quarter. I spent many hours at The Mushroom record store sifting through boxes of used cds. It was during these solitary adventures that I began contemplating my connection to the city. It was where I was born. It was where my biological mother ran to, to become anonymous herself. It was where she spent most of her pregnancy while I developed inside her.
     I began to fantasize about what things were like back then for her, what she thought about, what she did with her time. I wondered if her life was similar to my life at Serenity House. Did she room with other pregnant teenage girls at Methodist home? Did they have daily chores, or have mandatory counseling? Did she have a favorite counselor? I thought about what it was like to give birth for the 1st time at age 16. I wondered if she felt shame & if that shame created a resentment that welled up in her while giving birth or the 1st time she laid eyes on me.
     At some point, during my post- serenity house solitude, I decided I would attempt to find her & find out exactly what happened.

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