Flashing Lights – 12 September 2013

Posted: September 12, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




12 September 2013

Flashing Lights 

It had rained this morning, so I wasn’t expecting to see Joy. A patrol car, with its lights flashing red and blue, was parked at the corner, as it was yesterday. As the crowd parted I could see Joy sitting on her box, hands holding her head.

“Hi Joy, how are you feeling today?”

“Those damned flashing lights are giving me a migraine.  I’m epileptic and flashing lights can trigger a seizure. Earlier, I started feeling woozy and fell off my box. A woman came over to help me up. I told her about the flashing lights and my epilepsy. She asked, “Do you want me to go over there and ask that they turn them off?’ I said, ‘Go for it, fill your boots!’

“I got even with Buddy yesterday.”

I asked, “Do you mean your upstairs neighbor?”

“Yeah, that’s the one. He was stomping around, as usual, so I got my transistor radio, tuned it to a really annoying Jazz station, turned the volume up full blast, then with the radio facing up I taped it to the ceiling. Then I went out.

“When I came back a few hours later he asked, ‘What’s with the noise?’ I asked him, ‘What’s with the stomping. I can play dirty too. If you want to act like an adult and walk a bit more quietly, I’ll turn off the radio.’ He was quiet for a few hours, then, at about 10:30, he was back with the stomping again, So back on with the radio.’ His girlfriend came down, I get along with her, she said, ‘The noise is really irritating upstairs and it’s right under his chair.’ I said, ‘I’d be happy to turn the music off if he’d stop stomping on my ceiling. In fact, I’d like to turn it off;  I can’t hear my television programs.’ She went back up and it was quiet for a while. Then at 1:30 he woke me up.

“I have to go pee. Do you mind waiting here with my stuff? You can keep my blanket warm.”

Rachelle stopped by. She asked, “is Joy around?”

I said, “Yes, she’s just gone for a few minutes. She’ll be back shortly. Your  name is Rachelle, isn’t it?”

“No, Michelle, and you’re Dennis , right? I just stopped to put my dollar in Joy’s cap. I’m on my way to work.”

“Sorry, I’m bad with names.”

“So am I.”

When Joy returned I said, “Michelle was here. She dropped you a dollar.”

“Who’s Michelle?”

“She’s one of your regulars. She’s pretty, with streaked blond hair. You said she prayed with you once.”

“Oh, is that her name?  Yeah, she wrote me a poem once. It was all about me being me and to be the best me I can, I was loved,  that kind of stuff. I keep getting her confused with Catherine, but she’s mulatto, kind of olive skin and black curly hair. I haven’t seen her for a long time.

Joy had a third of a roll of toilet paper under her jacket, “I’ve run out at home. It’s not like I broke in any place. it was just sitting there.”

To a woman walking by Joy said, “That’s a beautiful dress. It really suits you. ” To me she said, “I love giving out fashion advice.”

I asked, “Have you heard anything from Jake. You said he was being moved to Joyceville.”

“Yeah, he’s there for a while, then they’re going to move him. I don’t know where.. When he was at Millhaven they kept him in the hole for the first month. I guess it was because he breached his parole, by visiting me. I don’t know. He says he wants to go to his mother prison, that’s Collins Bay. He’s only got ninety days left. By the time they get through all the paper work, he’ll be ready to be released.

“Ontario has about eight prisons, most are in Kingston. I was in P4W (Prison For Women), but they tore that down. It was all mouldy inside. The bricks were deteriorating. It’s a good thing they tore it down.”

  1. 🙂 there’s so much that needs to be done to help.



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