Harm reduction image; drug users deserve dignity and care.


Wayward Writers Write/Share Zoom Sessions

A group of us are meeting Thursday evenings and writing together. It’s a balm to the soul, a relief in a time of hopelessness. See more about these sessions here! Join us if you are, or ever have been, part of the Literary Kitchen. (Or if you are a friend and can respect the agreements.)

Prompt: Duty calls – eight minutes

Harm reduction image; drug users deserve dignity and care.I have a job that makes people literally want to kill me. They imagine me as a drug dealing enabler. I work in harm reduction. I’m the ED (executive director) of a harm reduction agency in a rural town in northern california. 

What I am coming to know is that every job feels somewhat like war. Is it just every job I’m drawn to? Because honestly, I would rather be in a job bound by duty than one motivated only by money. By survival. 

But the fucked up thing about capitalism is that each job literally is motivated by survival. 

I lived the first number of years outside the system, doing what I “wanted” to make money. Writing and teaching and coaching. But even that became a yoke, even my highest duty became an albatross. 

Capitalism is rotten to the core. 

I like to think that this field, harm reduction, is abolitionist; in even the most idealized world I can imagine, harm reduction still has its place. I am working in a field that is of benefit. And I love the battle parts of it. The activism parts. 

If only money were not the motivation, and time were not the grandmaster. 

I don’t think people were designed to specialize. To do one thing for hours at a time. I think we were designed to hunt and peck, to hunt and gather. 

In the most idealized world I can think of, no one has to work eight hours a day or more in order to survive. And for most, eight hours worth of pay is not ample. So we glamorize “busy.” We make friends with the side-hustle. 

I have been in school for five years, working toward my MSW. I am at the precipice. For the first time in my life, coaching and writing, of course, included, I am about to maybe not need a side-hustle. 

And I’m scared. Duty is my identity. Busy is my ballast. I joke that being an overachiever is my trauma response, only it’s not a joke. We are bound to this hustle, for survival. 


See more about Wayward Writer Write/Share Zoom session sessions here