Granola Bars – 5 September 2013

Posted: September 5, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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cops

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Granola Bars

5 September 2013

This morning ,  as I exited the bus, I was greeted by Metro and Dave,  “Good morning Dennis!”

Dave handed me a free newspaper, Metro gave me a Quaker Harvest Crunch granola bar as an advertising promotion. Dave said, “I keep telling him not to run out into the traffic, but does he listen to me? No.”

Metro said, “Hey, I’ve been doing this all my life. I know better than to get hit by a car.”

Half a block down was a police cruiser. One cop was driving, the other was squatting on the sidewalk talking to him.

In Joy’s usual spot was Francois. “Hi Dennis, have you heard from Joy. She didn’t come down this morning. I talked to her yesterday. She seemed down.”

“She has pneumonia. I tried to convince her to see her worker to get her health card. I don’t know how that worked out.  Jake left her with a lot of bills that she doesn’t know how to deal with.”

“Yeah, I heard that too.  See the cop car down there? They told me to move along. I said, ‘Give me ’till nine-thirty.’ The cop said, ‘You got ’til ten, then I’ll be back with a ticket.’ He continued,  “I just came from court. I won,  they gave me ninety-five dollars in court costs.”

“What were you charged with?”

“Panhandling. The ticket was for a hundred and ninety-five. Those charges are always thrown out.”

I said, “That sounds like a good way to make money.”

“After three tickets they can put you in jail. I think it’s only for a few days.”

I said, “Shakes mentioned being in a week, for panhandling. They threaten Little Jake, but they never take him in.  They stay away from him.  He’s probably more trouble than he’s worth.

“I don’t see you at the park. Do you go there at all?”

“Oh Yeah, I go there lots, but I don’t like the drinking. If a guy has a couple of beers I don’t mind, but after that they turn into assholes. I’d just as soon stay away from them at that point.

“Do you want a granola bar. I don’t want them.” He nodded to a pile of about a dozen bars beside him. “Take them all if you want.”

I said, “I’ll trade you. Here’s a card from Tim Horton’s. You can buy yourself breakfast. I’ll take the granola bars.”

“Sounds good,” said Francois. “I’m just heading off to take a piss.”

“Have a good day, Francois.”

At noon I met Shakes and Little Jake. I said, “I was talking to Francois this morning. He said he went to court on a panhandling charge. They found him not guilty and he was awarded court charges of ninety-five dollars. Does that sound right?”

Shakes said, “He got paid to go to court? I’ve never heard of that. I went to court on a panhandling charge a year ago. They found me guilty before I even got in the court room. I was sentenced to six months probation with no restrictions. I asked my lawyer, ‘What do I do now?’ He said, ‘You’re free to go.’  My probation ended last February.”

Jake said, “I’ve only been to court on drinking charges. Like Shakes I got probation, but wasn’t allowed to be caught drinking for six months.”

I asked, “Did you stop drinking?”

“No.”

I said, “I was talking to Joy yesterday. She has pneumonia.”

Little Jake said, “Since I’ve had HIV I get pneumonia every fall. The last time they took me to the Montfort. That has got to be the worst hospital in the city. They were giving me really high doses of Demerol.  At seven in the morning this great beast of a nurse came in to give me a shot. Do you know how she woke me? She banged her clipboard on the bed rail. I nearly freaked. I could have had a heart attack. I said, ‘You stupid fuckin’ bitch, go back to the islands where you came from.’ I was mad.”

“What did she say to you?”

“Oh, I don’t know, ‘You can’t talk to me… blah, blah, blah.

“They had a tube coming out of my lung to drain it and they stuck a wire in my chest, close to my heart. Is that weird, or what? When it came time to take it out they said, ‘This won’t hurt a bit.’ then they yanked it. Christ, that hurt.”

“Shark came to visit me, and was going to give me a bottle of sherry, but the stupid fucker stuck the open bottle in his pocket upside down. He was leaving a red trail wherever he went. He was smashed. They got him out of there quick. Another time he brought me in three grams, but I was so drugged and paranoid I told him, ‘No, no, no, you take it. They’ll find me with it.’  I sure regretted that when I came down from the drugs.”

Shakes said, “Last time I had pneumonia they took me to the General. Lots of people came by with booze, smokes and pot. I hate hospitals, I’d always have to go outside in the cold to smoke a joint, or even a cigarette. They had a catheter in me, I didn’t friggin like that one bit.”

I asked, “Has anybody else been here this morning?”

Jake said, “I went to Shark’s place at ten-thirty — I had to get some smokes — everyone was there, Jacques, Loon, Hippo, Mariah, Irene of course. I did a beer run for Shark and came here about eleven-thirty, same time as Shakes. I got a bottle for him, that’s it.”

I said, “I haven’t seen Wolf for a while. Is he staying at home?”

“He’s got a broken jaw. Some crackhead hit him. He was letting them sell out of his apartment.”

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