Archive for May 14, 2013

It was sunny and almost warm at the park today. I sat between Hippo and Joy. On her other side was Mariah, Heinz and his dog Shaggy. Matches was sprawled, as usual, on the sidewalk.

“Matches,” said Joy, “For Christ sake, will you sit up before we get reported and the cops come? I saw one pass on his bicycle just a few minutes ago.” With great effort, and not much balance, Matches relocated to the curb.

With talk of cops came talk of prisons. Joy said, “The worst  I’ve seen is Bordeaux Prison in Cartierville. I visited my boyfriend there. We’d been walking around Montreal and Jake decided to boost a car. He was drunk, so I said I’d crack it, but no, he’s The Man. He drove the car away, realized how drunk she was , parked it, got out and fell asleep on somebody’s lawn. He woke up a couple of hours later and took the car, but by that time there were two of  Montreal’s finest tailing him. Anyway, he went to Bordeaux. It was half H.A, half Rock Machine. Talk about tense.”

Katy said, “Hey, this leaves me in the middle. If  I go to either end I won’t be able to talk to anybody. Heinz will you make some room and let me sit beside Matches?”

“Hold on! Get out of my fuckin’ way, woman. I can only do so many things at once.”

Heinz maneuvered Shaggy’s cart further down. He wasn’t happy about it. Katy sat down between Matches and Heinz. She said to Matches, “You know, in all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never known you to get laid.”

Matches said, “I can’t afford it unless women come on to me.”

“Does that ever happen?”

“No, because I play hard to get.”

Katy said, “I guess I’m the same way. Every once in a while I get a little urge.”

Joy said to me, “Just shoot me right now.”

From Shaggy’s cart, Heinz pulled a six pack of Old Milwaukee and passed the cans around. Joy took one. “The only reason I drink this is to make me burp. Here it comes. I hate the taste of this stuff and it’s hard to hide. If a cop comes and tells me to dump it I won’t mind at all.”

I asked Joy, “How did you sleep last night?”

“I ended up sleeping on my side with the broken ribs. I managed a few hours sleep, but when I got up and tried to take a deep breath, that’s when the pain hit. This morning native Brent came by. We haven’t seen each other in ages. I said, ‘Don’t try to hug me — broken ribs.’ He grabbed me anyway. I thought I was going to pass out.

“I’m not sure if I will go to Chucks for that barbecue today. It means taking one bus then walking about five blocks. I don’t think I’m up to that. I think I’ll just go to my place and relax. I know Nicholas will be pissed, he brought those moose steaks especially for me. He’ll get over it.

“This morning one of my regulars stopped by. She asked, ‘How are you feeling now? Is there any chance you’ll be able to get a job?’

“I should have told her, ‘I don’t do employment.’ I had a job at Arby’s once. That lasted about two hours. Then I said, ‘That’s it I’m out of here.’ I had a warehouse job one time. I liked that. It was a big place so I was always moving; not like being behind a counter somewhere.”

“Hippo, do you want to come to my place?” asked Joy. ” I’ve got chicken for supper.”

“I haven’t had chicken for months. Sure I’ll come. I’m expecting a care package from home. Can we stop at my place on the way?”

Katy looked at Mo and said, “You’re not looking right. I can sense these things.”

“Well, I’ve been on my period for fifteen weeks now. I didn’t think I had that much blood in me. If I tried to slash my wrists my veins would be fartin’ dust.  Before that I’d gone five months without a period. I don’t know what’s happening.”

Katy said, “I wasn’t expecting that much information.”

Fifi asked, “Where are we meeting for Darrell’s funeral? I heard that a lot of people aren’t coming.”

I turned to Hippo and asked, “How are you liking your apartment?”

“The place is okay, it’s just the fuckin’ neighbors. If I had a gun with a silencer I’d shoot them.”

Joy was looking better this morning, at least she didn’t appear to be in pain.

“Hi Sweetie,” she said.

“How’s your day going?” I asked.

“Shitty, I haven’t even made enough for a bottle.”

“How was your weekend?”

“It was okay — quiet.  Sunday was the anniversary of my mom’s death. I picked some flowers and tossed them in the river. That’s what I do every year. My mother loved the water. When I was in Toronto I could feel her presence all around me.  It’s not so strong here.”

I said, ” She’s nearby, watching over you. I believe in spirits — I’ve seen them. I’m sure she’s proud of you.”

“I hope so.

“I saw Nicholas this morning. He came back from visiting his parents in Mani…it’s not Maniwaki…Mani…something or other. He brought me back some moose steaks. I love moose, even though it will give me the runs for three days, it’s so rich.”

I asked, “Is he still going out with Christine? I think I remember her. She’s pretty isn’t she?”

“Gorgeous, with that beautiful smile and her long black hair, but they all sleep around. When she’s been drinking sherry she really goes crazy. She’s taken a swing at me. I just grabbed her throat and pushed her to the ground. I said to her, ‘It’s okay, sweetie, it’s me…everything is okay.’ She was fine after that. She’s a scratcher and a biter. Nicholas was just trying to hold her away and she bit the palm of his hand; a really nasty bite. I said to him, ‘You should go to a doctor. A human bite is more dangerous than an animal bite.’ He didn’t go.

“Chuck wants to have a barbeque today. I feel bad, they’ll have booze and I’ll be walking in empty handed. Do you think you could buy me a bottle?”

“We’ll see.”

“You know the kind I like, don’t you? Don’t buy me any of that Pale Dry shit. That’ll really make me sick.”

“Have you heard anything about Andre? Has anybody seen him?”

“Nobody’s seen him because he’s hiding out. He was by here this morning on his bicycle. He pulled up right in front of me.  I said, ‘If you’re going to stop, at least have the courtesy to get your bike out of the way. I’m trying to work here.’

‘I said to him, ‘What took you so long to come around. At least Jake had the decency to apologize the next day, when he beat me.’ Andre said, ‘Don’t put me in the same category as Jake.’ I said, You’re worse than Jake,  he came back to see if I was still alive.’ I could see tears welling up in his eyes. He said, that he’d be leaving town for about a month. Since he spent his rent check on booze, he’s probably just staying there until his last month is payed off. He’ll be kicked out after that and I can’t see his sister putting up with him. She’s got a beautiful apartment.

“Anyway, Chuck is on the look out for him now. He, and a lot of other people want to beat the shit out of him.”

We could both see Chester coming towards us. Joy said to me, “What does that old fart want.”

Chester said, “Hello Dennis, hello Joy.”

Joy asked, “Are you going to Animal’s funeral?” Chester just shook his head (no). “Why not,  is it for the same reason the rest of us aren’t going?” He shook his head (yes) and walked on.

I asked, “Where is Animal’s funeral?”

“It’s at Kelly’s. That’s where they put all 0f us. I guess it’s cheaper. Beechwood Cemetery has a special place for us, out of the way.  It used to be that they’d pile the bodies one on top of another. Now, I think, they bury them standing up. I don’t know why they don’t just burn them and sprinkle the ashes somewhere. That would make more sense.”