I approached the group of people standing on the sidewalk near the park. I shook hands with Hippo, Little Jake, Nicholas and Joy. I tried shaking hands with Matches who was lounging on the grass.  He pulled me down. “Dennis, do you know where I slept last night? Right over there (He pointed to another section of the park.) I passed out in the rain.”

I asked, “When did you wake up?”

“Seven o’clock this morning. Tom woke me up. He was sleeping over there (pointing behind him). Dennis, could you spare me enough to get a bottle?”

“I’m sorry, Matches. I don’t have my wallet with me. You know I’d help you out if I could.”

“Yeah, I know that, Dennis. I’m a street person. I had to ask.

” Some people look down on us, don’t give us any respect.”

“You know I don’t feel that way, Matches, don’t you?

“Yes, I know that, Dennis.” He opened his palm and showed me three grams of weed. Then he laughed.”

I said, “That should be enough to get you there.”

Hippo was wandering around in the bushes. Matches said, Hippo is incognito.”

I asked, “Do you mean he’s disguised as another animal?”

Joy said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately.  The cops were at my place last night. P.C’s Mackenzie and Tarantino. They kept asking me where Andre is.   I said, “Have a look around, if you find any green slime that will be him.

“MacKenzie said, ‘Your old man is out, he’s staying at the Salvation Army.’ I said, “He’s not my old man, he’s my ex. I know he’s out he’s been out two weeks today.’

“Anyway, They’re going to meet me at my place in an hour. That is if they don’t come by and pick me up here.”

Little Jake said, “Andre is dead to us. He’ll end up like Kenny back there. I have to take a leak. I’ll be right back.”

Joy said, “If  Brian’s got his mouth open, piss in it.”

I asked, “What happened to Brian?”

Joy said, “He was actin’ like and asshole, a dickhead. He wouldn’t stop talking.  I told him that he should go; that every guy here wanted to kick the shit out of him.” Jacques,  Shark,  Hippo and Little Frank walked away.

“I said to him, ‘Are you going to leave now?’ He just sat there, so I nailed him in the face. His nose exploded — there was blood everywhere. Then I kicked him in the back of the head. He said, ‘Joy, you broke my nose!’ I said, “Let me straighten it out for you.’ I kicked him on the other side of his head. That knocked him out. I think he’s still laying back there.

“I’m not usually like that. These guys know me as a fighter, but this is the first time they’ve actually seen me fight. I don’t know what’s happening to me. It’s been this way for the last month.”

I asked, “Did Greg take you to get your Health Card yesterday?”

“Yeah he did. I made an appointment with the doctor for this afternoon, but I had to cancel because the police are coming over.

“Everybody else got their check today, even Mariah, who lives upstairs from me.  I’ve got a suspicion that the nut case down stairs goes through my mail. I check the mail in the late afternoon. There won’t be any. In the morning there’s mail in my box. Go figure.

“Jacques called me a rat and a goof for pressing charges against Andre. I said, ‘Jake was beating me for three years. Nobody said anything when I put him in prison. Why is it different with Andre?’

It was time for me to go back to work. I shook hands with everybody, then I stopped by the other group with Debbie, Jacques, Heinz and Shaggy. Heinz said, “As you can see I’m that way again.”

“I can see, Heinz. I’ve heard that you’ve been this way all week.”

Debbie intends to write a book about her life. I had an extra notebook and pen that I gave to her.  She said, “Thanks, Dennis, I really appreciate this.”

Comments
  1. I want to connect you with a very good “reliable” freelance writing source that helps you get paid for freelance writing. Also suggest you tie into Funds for Writers and/or C. Hope Clark who is considered the “goddess of reliable sourcing for writing, funding, etc.” She has 35, 000 writers who get her information/emails. I admire your work and I spend almost 30 years working with the homeless, providing housing and services as an “independent advocate”. I did not work with government agencies, accept their money or anything so I definitely admire anyone who “gets it” about street people and the homeless. Thank you for caring.

    Like

    • I just met a guy on twitter, Craig Stone? http://thoughtscratchings.com/. Please go read him.

      Like

      • dcardiff says:

        I am following his blog. I agree with him, especially his quote, “How about, if you want to reduce the negative impact of rough sleepers, instead of taking away everything they have, you help them. You talk to them. You call around homeless shelters, you do a bit of police work for an hour, you find them somewhere warm, and safe, to sleep?”

        Thanks for reminding me to go back to his blog.

        Cheers,
        Dennis

        Like

  2. I forgot to mention, the above recommendations are FREE

    Like

  3. I love this and dialog really touches and allow those that never have an opportunity to actually sit down and talk to someone that is homeless, a chance to feel it up close.

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      My intention is to introduce the general population to my friends. If they were to spend time together, I’m sure they would find that they have much in common. I try to present reality as I see and hear it. These are just ordinary people. There is no reason to be afraid of them, even though their talk is tough.

      Cheers,
      Dennis

      Like

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