Archive for September 17, 2013

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womanbox

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17 September 2013

Summer is definitely over. The temperatures at night have been dipping precariously close to freezing. Gardeners are warned to cover their tomatoes.  Joy was shivering on her box.

“I need a pair of gloves. I went rooting through my stuff and was only able to find two left-handed gloves and an assortment of different colored mittens. I’m not much into fashion, but I do like to have a pair that matches.

“This morning on the bus, I got so pissed off. An old lady was trying to exit the bus by the front door and two kids were pushing on either side of her to get on.  I said to them, “Off first, on later.” They made some wiseass comment to me.  I don’t know what’s with kids today. When I was young, I’d never talk to elders like that.  I was about to go to the back and throw them out the window. A guy saw me and said, ‘Don’t waste your energy, they’re not worth it.’ He was right, I probably would have ended up in jail.”

“Did the bus driver see this? Didn’t he say anything to the kids?”

“He didn’t do anything. He’s a new guy, one of those that jerks every time he hits the gas or the brake. I nearly fell before I reached my seat. The least he could have done was waited until I sat down, but oh no.”

I said, “It’s particularly bad now that school’s back in. Either the bus passes me by because it’s full, or I manage to get on and stand all the way.

“Have you seen Marilyn lately?”

“I saw her about two weeks ago. She came over to my place. Her boyfriend is a real jerk, he doesn’t want her associating with any of us. She had a really bad accident a couple of years ago, that’s why she has the scars on her face and no teeth. She was in hospital for nearly a year. A month after she got out of hospital she had a fight with her boyfriend. He tried to throw her off the bridge. The only thing that saved her was she got her knee caught in the metal railing.  He was still trying to push her over. Her knee swelled up like a grapefruit. Nothing was broken, but she still has trouble walking. Have you noticed her limp?

“I told her she should dump this guy. She said, ‘You’re one to talk, you’re still with Big Jake.’ I said, ‘I’m not with him, I put his ass in jail.’ She said, “Well, we’re getting married.’ I can see how that’s going to end up.”

“I asked, “She’s still not drinking, is she?”

“No, her boyfriend won’t allow it. I don’t think he drinks either. It’s all for the better, when she drinks she gets a little loopy, wants to fight everybody.  She starts with Vox flavored vodka; downs about three, then switches to beer.

“I’ve got no phone now! I was down there yesterday and told them that I wanted Jake’s internet shut down, because I can’t get into his computer. They cut off my land line, the internet is still working. I can’t call anybody, nobody can call me. I have to go upstairs to use Mariah’s phone. I need my own phone because of my health, I may have to call an ambulance.”

“Wouldn’t it be better to get a phone in your own name?”

“My credit’s not that good. That’s why we arranged everything in Jake’s name. I don’t even know where he is. They moved him to Joyceville, but that’s not permanent. I don’t know where they’re planning to move him next.

“Mariah said that Hippo came by when I was out. He may have some mail for me. I hope he would have had the sense to slide it under my door or something.

“I’m too cold to stay here much longer. I may go over to Jacques place, but it’s so far. I don’t know if I have that much energy today. I’ve paid all my debts. I just owe Hawk fifty bucks for pot. He’s doing okay now, He quit drinking and has his income from selling cigarettes and weed.”

“I was thinking that I’d see Chuck’s father around today.”

“Does he drink?”

“I don’t think so. He has a pension, but he said he paid a bill of three thousand dollars for surgery on his dog, Scotty. That’s stupid! We’re covered for companion dogs. Wolf and Weasel never paid any vet bills. Both Shaggy and Bear were hit by cars. Even when Bear was put down there was no charge.

“Well, I’m heading off. I may be at the park at noon, I may just go home and keep warm. Anyway, if I don’t see you this afternoon, I’ll see you tomorrow — same bad place, same bad station.”

At noon the only ones at the park were Jacques and another man who looked familiar. He said, “I can’t remember your name?”

“I’m Dennis. I forgot your name as well.”

“It’s Maniitok, it means wise man. I come from iqualuit, but I was born north of there in Pangnirtung.

Jacques handed me his folded jacket to sit on. He said, “That’s near where that military helicopter crashed, isn’t it?

“No, that was farther north. The helicopter was being pulled by a ship, Something happened and it crashed. Three people were killed. Even the captain of the ship was on the helicopter. He was killed too.

“Do you know what an ultralight airplane looks like? My brother-in-law, Dave, had one.  It stalled in the air and crashed. He was killed.  We were never opposed. We always got along with each other. I miss him.”

I asked Jacques, “Did you go to the Mission today for breakfast?”

“Yeah, they have their big breakfast today — eggs, sausages, home fries and toast. Later I’m going to 507 for a bowl of soup, and a loaf of bread. They have good bread there, the kind that’s good for making French toast. I have some eggs and milk, so I’ll have some tomorrow. I like that.

“Do you know what the latest electronic gadget is? Look, I have one? Do you know what it is? It’s an electronic cigarette. Watch.”

Jacques inhaled, the tip turned orange and smoke came out of his mouth. Then he spat.

“Did you see the smoke come out of my mouth? It’s like mint, with a bit of a nicotine taste. I think it’s for those who want to quit smoking. They’re expensive. I think they start at about fifty bucks.”

“Where did you get yours, Jacques?”

“I found it. I thought it was a pen at first, but I couldn’t open it from either end.  I saw that little hole, I cleaned it, sucked on it. I was surprised when smoke came out  I think, maybe Mariah wants it. I phoned her. She said she was coming down, but I haven’t seen her.

“Did you see Joy today?”

I said, “Yes, she was at her regular spot. She even mentioned that she may come over to your place. She doesn’t have a phone.”

“Usually, before she comes over she uses the pay phone, but she didn’t call. I hope she isn’t heading to my place now. Oh well, nothing I can do.”

“She wasn’t feeling well and was cold, so she may have gone straight home.”

“Cold? She’s always cold. There’s going to be a lot of that before long. I have something for her. It’s like a jumpsuit with a hood. It’s too small for me, but it would be perfect for her. I forgot to show it to her when she was over.

Shark and Loon stopped by. Shark said, “I had to come down today to pick up my pills, Irene may be down later. Did nobody else show up?”

Jacques said, “There was a big bunch, but everybody took off. Try my electronic cigarette. ”

“Shark looked at it and said, “What do you do with this?”

“Put the white end in your mouth and toke from it.”

Shark tried it, he coughed and said, “That’s horrible. I’ll stick to pot.”