Shelly injected gold leaf into her veins. Her thinking was that as it settled out she would become both more valuable and less vulnerable. Instead, she nearly died from blood poisoning. Her skin turned the color of tarnished copper. Her insurance refused to pay for chelation therapy. Her boyfriend dumped her. Her boss fired her. She returned home to a stack of unpaid bills and a dead cat. In due course she was evicted. Now she roams the streets, turning tricks to get by. “All because I tried to make something of myself,” she explains in her more lucid moments.