On the Streets Again – 19 September 2013

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




19 September 2013

Sitting in the shade were Shark, Chris, Fat Chuck, and Frank. Shark said, “I’ve just been to my doctor, he’s also my specialist (HIV/AIDS). That’s hard to find. Usually if a doctor is a specialist he doesn’t do general practice. He’s at the Beechwood Clinic. When his contract is up I asked him if I could still be his patient. He said, ‘Sure!’ I’m really happy about that. It’s the only reason I stay in this city.

Chris said, “I went to the clinic today. They had me in one of those paper gowns. They were saying, move this way, move that way. How does this feel? I said, ‘It feels drafty.’ I guess I’m too old to be modest.

Chuck said, “Well, I’m homeless again. My landlord chucked me out. I slept at Bearded Bruce’s last night.” He threw an empty beer can toward the fence. He meant it to go over, but it was blocked by some branches. “I guess I’m going to have to get up for that. No wait, here comes Jake. He can throw it over for me.”

Jake kicked the can under the fence rail. “Somebody’s going to be able to get a dollar twenty from what’s down there.”

I asked Chuck, “Did Bruce cook a big breakfast. He mentioned yesterday that he was having a lot of people over.”

“Bruce always cooks a big breakfast. It may be at three in the afternoon, but it’s always big. Yesterday, we had chicken, steak, eggs and some leftovers he had in the fridge.”

Shark asked, “Chuck, why were you evicted. You’ve only been in that place a couple of months.”

“I guess I’m too picky. I wanted him to fix the window and get rid of the bed bugs. Then my stove blew up, twice. Then my hot water heater blew up. The basement was full of water. I didn’t care about that, but I had no hot water. He walked around my apartment and asked, ‘How did you manage to break these appliances?’ as if it were my fault. I said to him, ‘What the fuck do you think I did, go around stabbing them with a knife? The element had a bubble in it. When I turned it on it exploded. That’s what happens.’ I said, ‘I don’t like you coming around here. I’ll see you when I hand you my rent and when you come to fix things. Apart from that, I don’t want to see you.’

“I asked him, ‘How would you like to see your daughter living like this, or your son? Would you live here?’ He didn’t like that. I got an eviction notice in the mail. I said to myself, Okay, you don’t get any more rent from me. I stiffed him for two months. I was paying eight hundred a month.

“I’ve been on the waiting list for housing for five years.  All my friends, Frank, Joy, Andre and Sparky all have places. I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I need to get a psychiatric evaluation. That might speed things up.

“Shark, you’ve got a nice place. It’s just like Las Vegas.”

“Yeah, we got a good deal. We’re paying eleven hundred for two bedrooms. We’re above a store. We’ve got nobody on either side, just the way I like it. The only problem is the bed bugs. I had a nice couch that I had to get rid of. We’ve calked all the seams, but they’re in the walls.”

Chuck said, “I was panning yesterday for  four hours and I only made eight dollars.”

I said, “Shakes mentioned that he only made two.”

Chuck said, “I know. With that two dollars he bought a beer from me. He was slow in paying up, too. I had to keep reminding him, ‘Shakes you wanted the beer, now you owe me two bucks.’ I’d have to go out panning to make that up. He could do the same.”

Chris and Shark were comparing their Maple Leaf hockey caps.  Chris said, “Yours is a different color blue.”

“I’ve only had this one season,” said Shark.

“I’ve had mine for three. I washed it once, but I still can’t get the stains out.  I paid twenty bucks for this, but I bet I’ve made hundreds. I do really well when the Leafs are in town playing the Senators. A guy offered me twenty for it and a Senators cap, but I said no way.”

Jake walked away towards the bridge where he ‘worked’. Shark packed up and said he was heading home. Chuck loaded his backpack and sleeping bag. That left Chris. I left to go back to work.


  1. wonderful writing ! Heartbreaking to me~ Faithfully Debbie


    • dcardiff says:

      Thanks, as always, Debbie. When looking for an apartment I was shown some of these places. They were disgusting. As always, the most expensive places are near downtown. For people without cars or bus fare, their choices are limited even more. It is heartbreaking. ~ Dennis


  2. Good heavens! The waiting lists for decent, affordable housing is extremely long apparently in every country. And yet, they are throwing up expensive condos all over the place. The bedbug situation is out of control here in America also. And yes, they are extremely hard to get rid of. It is shameful, the conditions that the landlord expected Chuck to put up with, just as Chuck stated the landlord wouldn’t allow his daughter to live in those circumstances, so why would it be okay for Chuck to live like that? This is truly what I have a problem with. It’s okay for me to treat you like dirt, but no one is going to treat me and mine like that. This mindset is prevalent and it so wrong!

    Thank you for shedding light on it Dennis!


    • dcardiff says:

      Hi Shelby, it’s typical of slumlords in every city. Most of these people are on a disability allowance. The only places that they can afford are the ones nobody else would live in. It’s sad, but true. ~ Dennis


  3. BeachBaby says:

    A society so rich in many things, yet so poor.


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