Silver Dies – 3 October 2012

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




3 October 2012

As I got off the bus this morning, I was approached by Metro. He had a grim look on his face. “Dennis, someone just told me that Joy is in hospital. I’d like to visit her, but I don’t know her last name.”

“It’s, Wolford,“ I said, “Joyce Wolford.”

“Thanks, Dennis, I’m not good at hospitals. There are too many sick people there, but I’ll try to get over to see Joy.”

“Thanks for telling me, Metro, I really appreciate it.”

“No problem.”

Nearly beside me, sitting at a patio table outside Tim Horton’s, drinking coffee from a paper cup, was Deaf Donald.

“Dennis, something really bad happened to me. I just got out of jail. The police, all they say is lies. My landlord phoned them last night. He said I was making too much noise. I wasn’t making a lot of noise. It’s just that my landlord doesn’t like me. The police say I assaulted them. I didn’t do that. They came to my door; when I opened it they grabbed me, put me in handcuffs and pushed me to the floor. I spent the night in jail. My mother posted bail for me. I have a ticket for disturbing the peace. It says I have to pay $350.00, within fifteen days, or I go to jail. On top of that, I’m not even allowed to go back to my apartment. My rent is paid until the end of the month, but my mother and some friends are going to have to move my things. I’m not allowed. That’s not right.

“I’ve stopped taking drugs. I can’t go to jail again. Do you know the name of a good lawyer?”

I wrote down, on a piece of paper, the name of a lawyer I’ve used in the past, and handed it to him. I said, “Contact this person, if she can’t help you she’ll refer you to someone who can. She’s very pleasant. There’s no charge for the introductory visit. She will explain the charges to you, and what your rights are. Any information needed for your court appearance can be collected by her office. If you want, she will represent you. Don’t worry, you won’t go to jail.”

“Thanks, Dennis, I’ll walk there after I go for my methadone treatment.”

“Take care, Donald.  Everything will work out.”

At noon I was relieved to see Joy. I said to her, “I’m so glad to see you. Metro said that you were in hospital. He said that someone gave him the message to pass on to me. Are you alright? Metro didn’t know your last name, but wanted to visit you in hospital.”

“I’m fine, thank him for me when you see him next.”

I shook hands with Chester, “How are you, Chester?”

“Not so good.” He then turned and walked away.

“We did get some bad news,” said Joy. “Silver died on Monday at the Mission Hospice. He and Chester were really close. Silver checked himself into the Mission, they moved him to the Salvation Army, then he was moved to the Hospice. There’s something not right there. He should have gone to the hospital, not the Mission. They have no trained medical staff there.”

Bert pulled out a photo of a very healthy looking  Silver, sitting by the canal. “I must have known him for ten, twelve years, maybe. It was strange. He had a swollen ankle, then his belly swelled up, his face became skinny. He died so soon. I think he must have had some sort of virus or an infection. I wonder if they’ll do an autopsy. I’d like to know what he died of.

“We were just talking about all the people we know who have died. Just in one year, Rip died…”

Shark said, “Rip’s still alive.”

“Oh, I meant Tim, he died at Easter, Digger died on Canada Day and Hobo died on Labor Day, all in the same year.”

I said, “I saw some of those people in a video.”

Shark said, “It was called ‘Under the Bridge’. Most of those people have left town or are dead.”

Jacques said, “I had an uncle. He retired and stayed home with his wife. He had nothing to do, nothing to keep him busy. He died within two weeks of retiring. Me, I don’t have to worry about that. I’ve never had a job, so I’ll never die from stopping work.”

I said, “That’s good preventative medicine Jacques.”

Andre said, “I out drank Hippo, he’s gone. I out drank Shakes, see he’s going fast. He’s giving me the evil eye, pretending he’s not falling asleep, He’s gone.”

“Where is Hippo?” I asked.

“He’s at his apartment,” said Jacques. “Didn’t you know? I saw his place. It’s a one bedroom, the size of a bachelor. The bedroom is so small, there’s only room for a single bed. When they brought it to him he said, ‘Hey, I wanted a double bed.’ They said, ‘There’s no room.’ He’s over in Vanier. I was there but I don’t know what street he’s on. It goes in this way, out that way, before you know it, you’re lost.”

I said, “He told me he was moving to Lavergne Street.”

“Yes, Yes that’s the name, Lavergne Street.”

Joy said, “That’s the place I should have gotten. I know why I didn’t get it, my worker told me. They thought I was a hooker. If I was a hooker, I wouldn’t have been wearing that cheap, polyester dress.

“I told Chester I wouldn’t be coming home tonight. Last time, he waited up for me. I said to him, ‘Chester, I’m forty-six years old, nobody has to wait up for me. If something is going to happen, it’ll happen. If I’m not home by eight o’clock, figure that I’m going to be gone for the night.

“He’s invited Raven over, can you imagine? She’s worse than Loretta. At least I won’t have to deal with getting her out of the apartment.”

I asked, “Have you seen Loretta lately?”

“Not since I threw her out, Monday. I took her down in the elevator, bounced her around the walls a bit. Nothing was broken. She was able to walk away from the building.”

We saw a fire truck pull up. Jacques said, “We better leave, soon the police will be here.”

Firemen came over to Shakes and tried to wake him up. Shortly after, a Paramedic truck pulled up. It was time for me to be back at work. I expect that Shakes will be taken to Hope Recovery, at the Shepherd’s of Good Hope. He’ll be allowed to sleep the night, and will be back in his usual place tomorrow.



  1. Michael56j says:

    Sobering thoughts


  2. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    I hope Joyce is OK…..I do understand however what Metro went through with the police, landlord, and his Apt, which I may have shared before, we lived in Downtown in a big Apt. above a closed commercial building……so we would get some homeless people in our parking area a lot, at night looking for a place to have some peace and sleep. I’d see the police drive through the area an hassle them ALL THE TIME……and they weren’t doing a thing wrong!

    Regardless if Metro was at of line at his Apt, the way Police treat the homeless is outrageous. They are taken advantage of often. IF Metro’s rent was paid through the end of the month…..I’LL BET to say his Landlord won’t give him his Money back for the unused rest of the month???…..Another person taking advantage of Metro. THE TREATMENT at times of the Homeless by others is ANOTHER *STIGMA* in this country around the issue of the Homeless……SAD,….. Thanks Dennis for another great post * Update on them!

    Catherine 🙂


  3. Very sad. I’m so sorry to hear about his death.


  4. NZFiend says:

    Is hard to press a “like” button on such a post. The post itself is likeable, readable and shows your usual empathy and flair. So therefore I guess “like” is appropriate.

    I don’t like police. I don’t like my friends and family dying.

    I like your posts.


  5. Rene says:

    I do hope Joy gets better. Did you mention why she was there in the first place and I just missed it? I like the banter of this conversation: the preventative measures Jacques is using so he doesn’t die right after he stops working, and the if Joy was a hooker she wouldn’t be wearing a polyester dress. Very insightful today. Thanks Dennis.


  6. noorainsobiya says:

    cheers to your helpful nature.!


  7. papilloncoaching says:

    Wonderful blog, Thank You.


    • dcardiff says:

      Thanks for your kind words and for the work you do. I took the liberty of quoting the following from your blog:

      “Practising a little compassion every day is good for the soul, and the more of us that catch this habit the closer we will be to changing the world!”

      I agree completely. ~ Dennis


      • papilloncoaching says:

        Hi many thanks Dennis, I am very new to blogging and it is lovely to hear from people, I am glad the words struck a chord with you. Have a lovely weekend – Tracy


  8. Angel Face Foundation says:

    Sorry to here about your friend Silver.


  9. Thank you Dennis for this post. A lot of emotions to deal with and to reflect upon times past.


    • dcardiff says:

      Thanks, James. I’m impressed that you documented communities living in rural poverty in Goa. As tourists we very seldom see these places. ~ Dennis


      • You are very welcome Dennis and thank you for the comment regarding my work in Goa. It is still very much a heart wrenching experience as I had an opportunity to be involved with several communities at grass roots levels. Witnessed family losses and children fighting over where to sleep. It is still all so very raw and I have not revisited these images and written accounts for a long while. Time will come I suppose.


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