Cleaning out my desk today for an office move I discovered a copy of an essay I received from a student a couple years ago. I asked the class to write about a person who had had a big influence on them. I reproduce the essay here as is, with only the real names redacted.
“I had a friend that already died that did alot to help me.
“Her name was XXXX X. XXXXXXX, but everyone knew her as muffin. Muffin was born a man but lived her life as a woman. Muffin helped alot of people, But they never helped her, or even listened to her problems. I met Muffin while prostituting on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Everyone that was on the Blvd was homeless, Even Muffin. When Muffin put her ad up in the newspaper, she started making big money, so she started helping people that she was cool with, on the block. Plus, got her own apartment.
“Muffin took a guy named XXXX and myself in, from the streets. XXXX and I were both homeless and had nowhere to go, Also no food to eat. She had an apartment in Inglewood, and she allowed us to stay there. Muffin and I became very close. She even paid for my own ad to be put up in the newspaper. Soon after that I started making money. I was able to save enough money to get my own place. Thanks to Muffin I wouldn’t even had been in this classroom today.
“In 2007 Muffin had died. It was so sad. Just about everyone from the block came to her funeral. I was so sad. They had pictures of Muffin all over the church during the funeral. Losing Muffin made me realise that in this world you must be independent and do for yourself. I loved Muffin like she was my own sister.
“I wish she was here right now, to know that someone did love and appreciate her. I would have done anything for Muffin. Without Muffin I would have never got on my feet and got my own apartment. Now as I write this I just want to let her rest in peace. I will never forget you Muffin. I love you.”