Archive for August 21, 2013




21 August 2013

Another beautiful day at the park. Mariah spread a newspaper for me to sit on the grass. Shakes was wearing a marijuana tee-shirt with the slogan ‘Live Slow, Die Laughing’. It would have been funny if it hadn’t been so close to the truth.

He said, “I may be a drunk and a stoner, but I’m still here.”

I asked Mariah, “How are you feeling since the food poisoning?”

“I feel better.  The last of the boils came out today. It was really uncomfortable sleeping; I was flip-flopping all night. They were itchy and burning.  With my sharp fingernails I cut myself a couple of times.

“Since the weekend I’ve been eating vegetarian. I’ve been popping baby cucumbers, snow peas, carrots and berries.  I love all kinds of berries, everything but meat.”

Steve said, “I can’t eat raspberries. They get stuck in my teeth. I’ve just been to the dentist.”

Mariah said, “Yeah, you really got to really crush those little suckers.”

Shakes asked, “How about ‘shrooms, Mariah?”

“No, I’m allergic to them. As soon as I eat one my tongue swells, my throat closes and I begin to itch.”

“How about the magic kind?”

“Them too. The next day I’ll be scratching all over.”

I said, “Joy has the same problem with bananas and carrots.”

Mariah said. “I haven’t seen Joy today. Frank left some cards on her table with his probation officer’s telephone number. She was wondering if she should call and see what’s happening. I said, ‘If he left them it must mean that he wants you to call.’ The police were over one night at eleven o’clock and again the next morning trying to serve her, but she didn’t answer. It must have something to do with Jake. Maybe they want her to appear in court, but she hasn’t done anything.”

Little Jake said, “Everyone was trying to get it contact with Joy. Rodent called me, I called Jacques, he called Mariah. Nobody could get through because Jake had unplugged the phone.”

I asked, “Why wouldn’t Jake keep his appointments with his parole officer? He’d know that  by missing them, he’d be going back to jail.”

“Beats me. All he’d have to do is take the number five bus, it would drop him off right in front of the office. He’s done that before.”

I said, “Even if he’s having problems with his wheel chair, he could always call Para Transpo. They’d pick him up right at his door.”

Steve said, “I’ve got a really good dentist. She’s just over there in that big tall building.”

Mariah said, “Speaking of dentists. I have to make an appointment to see my dentist. He pulled my two fangs out. That was quite a job. They were in so deep he had his knee on my chest trying to pull them out. I think I’ve still got bruises. Now I’ve got to get a bridge to fill in the missing spaces.”

Steve said, “My dentist kept telling me to open my mouth wider.  I had it open so wide I could feel it cracking at the edges. It was bleeding. She wanted to pull my front teeth and give me a plate, but they aren’t hurting me, so I don’t want to have to have to deal with a plate.”

Alphonse walked away. Shakes said, “Sometimes I just have to get mean. I get tired of people asking me for cigarettes and never paying me back”

Jake said, “I can’t imagine you getting mean, Shakes.”

“Oh, I can get mean if I have to.”

Gaston said, “I had to get mean last night. My neighbor upstairs had the music playing so loud that all I could hear was the ‘thump, thump, thump’ of the bass. I took a broom and pounded the ceiling. I said, “If I hear that music again, I’m coming in.’ He said, ‘You can’t come in here.’ ‘Just watch me!’ I said.  I’ve got a temper and I can handle myself. Charles, my bitch, is more physical, but I’ve put him in the corner. Oh, yes!”

Steve said to Gaston, “I heard they’re moving the Living Room (part of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa). I was there the other night. They’re moving to 150 Bank Street.”

Gaston asked, “Why are you telling me that?”

Steve said, “I just thought you might like to know.”

Gaston, annoyed, said, “Steve, I’m the Director. It was my decision to move to the new location. You should know that.”

Little Jake said, “Yeah Steve, smarten up or next time they won’t let you in.”

Shakes took his sneaker off and was waving it in the air. A hoard of fruit flies started circling around his shoe, everybody laughed.

I said, Shakes is the only one who can clear a room with just one shoe. Shakes, watch where you point that thing. You could hurt someone.”