You leave the latest house uncertain again as to whether you are making any difference. Another teenage pregnancy, eighteen months since her last, a different father, substance abuse issues on all sides of the extended families involved, vocalised vendettas and the usual abundance of angst in the air, mixed with the scent of sweat, stale beer, and repetitive uneasy dreams. Thankless social work trudges on regardless. Still, all that’s needed now is an afternoon coffee, some paperwork, and the drive home where there shall very likely be some dinner waiting, a glass of wine, and the one who loves humanity just so long as it never impinges on his freedom of movement, still making marks with pen and pencil all over the place, likely singing some song you’ve not heard before, while bathing your baby.

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