Part of the Heard

It's Monday. It rained on and off all freaking weekend, and you couldn't get your iPhone hooked up because every other trendspotter in the United States was trying to get theirs hooked up. Looks like it's gonna keep raining, and your iPhone is gonna be obsolete when iPhone 2.0 comes out next year with fifty more features and the capability to end global warming. Great. While everything's looking up, let's talk about HIV, shall we?

Or, let's not talk. Let's listen about HIV -- more specifically, let's listen to what 17-year-old Charlotte Roork has to say about it. She's the winner of this year's Hear Me Project story writing contest, and she's from Highland Village. The Hear Me Project is an HIV-awareness arm of Select Media, a sex-ed group that creates curricula for at-risk youth using both abstinence and safe-sex approaches.

But Roork's winning story uses the word "condom," a dirty term none of my teachers at good old Mansfield High School were allowed to say in my years of abstinence-only education, so I'm thinking Hear Me Project might actually be grounded in reality. In any case, Roork's story seems to be.

Roork's story, "Suicide Hotline," is more of a monologue than a story, told from the point of view of a teenage prostitute with HIV, and it's well worth a listen. You can hear it read aloud on the Hear Me Project site if you click the little red arrow five times and wait for it to load. Oh, and don't crank it up if you're at the office -- like I said, Roork strives for realism, so some of the language is NSFW. --Andrea Grimes

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