Rubber Dick – 9 October 2013

Posted: October 9, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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bench

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At the park the sun was shining, weather was warm, another day of the summer we never had. Sitting on the curb were Little Jake, Mariah, Jacques, and Little Chester.

Mariah said to me, “We heard that you were sick. Joy is at home sick, too. She has a migraine and her stomach is upset.”

I said, “I heard that you weren’t feeling well.”

“With me it was back pain. I have no coccyx. It was removed because of an accident in my wild youth. I’ve also got two fused disks L1 to L2 and two herniated disks between L3 to L4 and L4 to L5. I was wearing a heating pack for thirteen hours yesterday. It feels better now. It’s something that’s always going to give me trouble.”

I said, “Joy told me that Hippo had some problems at his apartment.”

Little Jake said, “Yeah, one guy was evicted, now everyone is down on Hippo. They think he had something to do with it.”

I said, “He also had a problem with two women outside his apartment. He heard them say that they were going to break in as soon as he went out; so he was afraid to leave.”

Mariah said, “Joy was really pissed off about that. Here’s a big guy who chases after cops with a hammer and he’s afraid to deal with a couple of women. He wanted Joy to come over and settle it. She wouldn’t come over and I wouldn’t either. I didn’t do it for my son, who was having trouble with a woman. Why would I do it for Hippo? I’m not going to risk jail time for that. I can get into enough trouble on my own. He’s acting like a baby.”

Little Jake said, “You should have seen me this morning. I stayed at Shark’s place last night, so I just had a short bike ride this morning. When I woke up I was still high. I only had my jean jacket with me and it was really cold this morning, especially with the dampness of the fog. I needed money so I was panning at my usual spot. I was sitting hunched down with my arms around my shins trying to get warm.  I was shivering so much, my chin was banging against my knees. Jacques laughed at me and gave me this coat.”

Jacques said, “Yesterday Bell fixed Joy’s phone. I don’t know what they did. Today, they call me and ask me if her phone is working. I called Joy this morning to see if she was coming down, but why is Bell calling me? I said to them, ‘Her phone is working, but don’t call me again! Call her!’ She has one of those wireless phones. Nancy gave it to her. I think, maybe, after a while, the battery is not good. I don’t know.”

Andre rode up on a copper-colored bicycle. Mariah hadn’t seen him since he battered Joy, and put her in hospital. She said, “Do I greet you the old-fashioned way, or do I give you a hug.”

Andre said, “I’m in no shape for anything but a hug.”

To me Mariah said, “The old-fashioned way is either a punch to the gut, or up side the head.”

ANdre said, “Look what a guy gave me this morning. He said I was… what’s the word… inventive. It’s a mini basketball backboard that some guys use in their offices with nerf balls. The hoop just fits my cap. I sit there and say, ‘Take your best shot!’ People throw loonies and toonies (one doiiar and two dollar Canadian coins). I’ve made two bottles, two grams, a pack of smokes and a couple of bags of chips. When the cops come I just fold it up and sit on it. ‘No officer, I’m just sitting here. I’m not panning.’ I show them my bad ankle and say, ‘I couldn’t stand if I tried.’ They let me go with that.

Jake said, “That looks like a fast bike!”

Andre said, “It’s the old red and black one I had; I just changed the color. It sure is fast, alright, it’s got thirty speeds. Count the sprockets, three in front, ten at the rear. It’s fast enough to clear three construction workers.”

I asked, “What do you mean?”

“I was coming down that hill on King Edward towards Rideau. My brake cable came loose. I could see this big pile of gravel ahead, but I couldn’t even stop for the light. I just cruised right through. I kept trying to pump my rear brake but it wasn’t doing anything. I hit the pile and sailed right over these construction guys. They were shouting at me, but what could I do? The bike went right between the electrical box and a hydro pole. I managed to jump the first concrete median with my front wheel, but the back wheel caught. That’s where the bike stopped. I kept going; ended ended up on my back sprawled like a beetle, arms and legs waving. I didn’t have a single scratch on my arms or my hands, but I broke my ankle. There was  cop near by. He came over and said, ‘Yep, that’s broken.’ ”

I asked, “Did he take you to the hospital?”

“No, I hate hospitals.  I just rode away. I’ve got it wrapped in a tensor bandage. I’m able to rotate my ankle, I just can’t walk. I’ll have to ride the bike wherever I want to go. You should have seen when I had Mary on the handle bars and got up to top gear. She was shaking and holding on to those bars like her life depended on it — and it did.”

Sylvain came by and sat with the group. He pulled out a beer and opened it. Little Jake said, “Would you mind hiding that. We come here every day.”

Mariah said, “We call Sylvain and Yves the pair of chickens, because they covered their balcony with chicken wire to keep out the pigeons. What else do you call people who live in a chicken coop?”

Jake said, “I think I’m going to dress up on Halloween as a mime. I can’t talk so good anyway, because of this sore throat. With HIV it’s not going to clear up soon.”

Andre said, “I think I’m going to put on a dress and go as a transvestite. It won’t even surprise people. Most have seen me in a pink dress with a black and white polka dot bra. When a cop stopped me the other day he said, Where’s your dress, Andre?

“A couple of years back, I made a costume out of chicken wire shaped like a beer bottle. I made a cap out of styrofoam, wrapped the chicken wire with brown paper, then used markers to make the label. My arms stuck out the sides. I made two of them. I went as Labatt Blue, Mary went as Labatt Light. We came in second place.

“First place went to a guy dressed as a rubber dick. Under his costume he had a squeeze bottle attached to a tube. He also had some Alka Seltzer and water — you know how that stuff fizzes when they’re mixed? Remember the commercial ‘plop,plop, fizz, fizz’?   When he was on stage for the final showing, he squeezed the bottle and it started spurting and foaming from the head and running down the side.”

I asked, “Did they award prizes?”

‘Yeah, a thousand for first, we got five hundred and a guy dressed as a werewolf got two fifty. His costume was good. For us it was free drinks all night and some left over.”

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Comments
  1. Jan Wilberg says:

    A very real cast of characters. I can hear them talking.

    Like

    • dcardiff says:

      Hi Jan, these are the voices of real people, as best as my memory can recall. I try not to edit or omit any of the dialogue. These are my friends, warts and all.

      I loved your article, “Fury Cannot Touch Me”. I am a grandfather of two girls; one two-and-a-half years, the other fifteen months. We have similar worries to the ones you expressed. You seem to have a very good approach to the situation. ~ Dennis

      Like

      • Jan Wilberg says:

        Funny – I was just revisiting the gist of that article today. The struggle to focus on the right thing continues. I love your blog. I work with the Continuum of Care here in Milwaukee — the coalition of homeless service agencies — but always feel too far removed from the real deal. Glad I connected with your writing.

        Like

  2. Rene says:

    Thanks. So, Joy was beat up? I wasn’t sure why she was in the hospital, I must have missed it. I hope she is doing okay now. Hey, also sorry about Silver. I forgot to mention him in the comment, and remembered after I signed off. Callous of me I know. Reading this dialog reminds me of when I had a guy working for me who was basically homeless. I had a friend who knew where he hung out and would bring him to my house (when I was married 1,000 years ago) to do work. He was so cool, had great stories of his life. He would read all the books I could give him, and then we would have great conversations about them, and then lead to others. Then he started to heroin, it was harder to find him, even to check on him much less for work, and conversations were lacking and mixed up. We finally lost track of him entirely, although he did mention going to Arizona where he knew some people. Reading this dialog reminds me of him a lot. Some people think the homeless are all drunk, drug users, and can’t even have coherent conversations. I have heard a lot of people put down the homeless and it always makes me sick. Thanks for sharing today.

    Like

  3. This is incredible and I hope it is okay for me to say it is funny as well- this life and the people who belong to it are so foreign to me yet so close to home!! Thank you!!

    Like

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