Lost Hope

Paul Hewitson has spent the Last two years in a place he calls hell.

Violeta Fracas, the home's owner, says she has taken Hewitson out shopping at times, but that nothing makes him happy. He doesn't want to participate in the music or arts and crafts she arranges for the ladies.

Earlier this month, after New Times started asking questions about Hewitson's situation, Fracas gave Hewitson 30 days' notice. He must be out of her house by September 15.

"I don't force anybody to live in my home," Fracas says. "If they're not happy, I'm not happy either."

illustrations by Tifenn Python
Tifenn Python

Sometimes Paul Hewitson is depressed, even suicidal.

"I feel like killing myself," he says one day on the phone. "It's unreal. It's like I don't exist." He calls the North Valley Care Home a "mental torture chamber."

Hewitson dreads mealtime.

"I get what they get," he says. Most of the time, it's chicken and spaghetti, food cut into small pieces. Eggs and toast for breakfast, soup for lunch.

He wishes someone would buy him a potpie.

One of his few pleasures is feeding scraps to two next-door dogs, over the fence. The neighbor gave his permission.

But Hewitson shakes his head, his eyes welling with tears. That's not enough, he says. He wants his own pet, his own place to live. Spending money.

"This is my present, to live my future," he says. "This isn't America to me. This isn't America. My life is just this home, shared with the old and senile."

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