Abraham Woodliff
2 min readFeb 15, 2020

During the Bush Administration

Cuts were made.

One of the biggest cuts was to HUD.

Housing and Urban Development

Low-income housing falls under HUD.

I had an old refrigerator.

And like many old appliances, it suddenly stopped WORKING.

The broken fridge was owned by broken people.

Who made broken systems.

To break down more people.

To keep things…


We filed a request.

We requested that HUD repair or replace the fridge.

We heard nothing.

Nothing at all.

We stored food at a neighbor's house.

She ate little.

She smoked a lot.

She allowed us to keep our food with her.

She decided one day that she didn't want our food in her house.

She threw the food out.

After two weeks.

HUD sent an inspector.

He drove in from Sacramento.

I know, because he was annoyed at having to drive to Martinez from Sacramento.

He mentioned it three times.

He was in a hurry.

He had to pretend to fix things in Richmond.

After pretending to fix things in Martinez

For people.

People who had nothing.

He said the fridge worked.

It didn't.

He left.

A day later, my mother's social worker filed another request.

We had to store food in coolers.

HUD didn't want us to have a fridge.

I went to school.

Sometimes after school, I'd go to my friends' houses.

I'd see their working refrigerators.

I'd see their literate moms and dads.

And I'd go home, thinking about their preserved food and their smart parents.

And their living siblings.

And I'd cry.

One day, I told my friend about my fridge.

He told me it was okay and he'd help.

He stole food from his literate mother's working refrigerator.

He got in trouble.

He still did it.

He did this off and on.

For 8 months.


My mother's social worker threatened a lawsuit.

And our fridge was replaced.

I'll never forget his gesture.

His kindness.

Thank you.

I'll never turn my back on you.

I love you, Jeremy.

Abraham Woodliff

Bay Area native, Hip Hop nerd, literature and poetry enthusiast, freelance writer, gamer, caffeine addict. Follow me on Twitter.