Archive for October 15, 2013

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man2

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15 October 2013

The Park was deserted. I saw somebody sitting in Little Jake’s place near the bridge. It wasn’t until I got close that he waved and I recognized him.

“Hi Jake, have you seen anyone else around?”

“Mariah was by earlier. She’s gone down to the Mission to try selling some weed. I think Hawk may be coming by. I’m surprised that Shakes isn’t here. He usually comes down about eleven thirty.”

I said, “I saw Joy earlier, but she went home at about nine o’clock. She was upset that her check hadn’t arrived.”

“Mine hasn’t come either. My mail was delivered at ten thirty. I waited to see if my check was there, but it wasn’t. I don’t know what the problem is.  My worker faxed all the information to confirm my address, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Did you go to any of the Thanksgiving dinners at the Mission, or one of the other shelters?”

“No, I stayed in all weekend. I was feeling too sick. I finally got my place cleaned. My worker came over and helped me wash the blood off the hardwood floor.”

“How did you get blood on the floor? Were you in a fight?”

“No, I had a seizure. There was an open pair of scissors on my coffee table and I fell backwards on them. They made a puncture wound, in my back, about two inches deep. I made it to my bed then passed out. When I came to I went into the bathroom. I didn’t notice at first, but blood was pouring out of my back. I slipped in the pool of blood, hit the toilet tank and landed on the rim of the toilet. The fall caused me to break a rib. So, it was a double whammy.

“I ran some water in the bath tub, cleaned myself off, then held a towel against the wound until I could put some medical tape on it. The blood soaked through my sleeping bag, the mattress pad and the mattress itself.

“That was the second accident I had, this past weekend. I was eating a pork chop and swallowed a big piece of gristle. I guess I took too big a bite. I started choking. I had a scary thirty seconds, before I was able to cough it up.

“I have to talk to my landlord about the bedbugs. My sleeping bag is full of them. I mopped the whole apartment with Pine Sol; hopefully that killed the ones on the floor.”

I asked, “Will your landlord have the place sprayed? Is he good about things like that?”

“Yeah, he has to, it’s the law. If I report it to the Health Department they’d force him to.

“I don’t even have television now. I owed them two hundred bucks. I couldn’t pay it, so they cut it off. When I get my check I’m going to put something down on the bill, so they’ll turn it back on.

I asked, “Do you have any plans to visit your family in Deep River?”

“No, if I brought bed bugs to my mother’s place, she’d kill me.”

Hawk and his dog Dillinger came up the sidewalk. Dillinger put his paw on my arm, so I’d  pet him. Hawk said, “I got a new rain jacket, rain pants and rubber boots. I’m all ready for a wet Fall. My other rain jacket had holes across the chest. They were there when I bought it. The first rain we had, my chest was soaked. This one I bought at Sail, they’ve got really good quality stuff. It was regularly sixty-five bucks. I got it for fifteen.

Jake said, “I’ve got to go to 507 to pick up a new sleeping bag. I’ll try to get some warm clothes while I’m there.

“Hawk, can you lend me five bucks, just until I get my check. I’m not making anything today. I don’t know if my regulars are still on holidays, or what? Nobody’s making any drops.

“I’m going to leave here and get something to eat.”

“We’ll see you Frank.” Hawk and I went one way Frank went the other.

“Hawk said, “I was trying to contact some of my friends, but a lot of them don’t have phones any more.”

I said, “I heard that Jacques took his back from Joy.”

“Yeah, I heard that too. I’m going over to Shark’s place to play some Scrabble. He and Irene used to come to my place to play TV Bingo, but Irene doesn’t want to come out.

“I got a new phone, a Blackberry. I don’t know how to text or use half the features. The guy at The Source was telling me that I can get something to hook my Blackberry to an iPad, then I could use the iPad to make phone calls. I don’t know about that. I’m paying forty-five dollars a month now, If I added internet it would be sixty-five. I don’t think it’s worth it.

I said, “These new phones are so expensive. I’ve heard that some cost over a thousand dollars.”

“Yeah” said Hawk, “then when somebody stops you to ask you the time. You pull out your phone and they grab it and run. That’s happened to a lot of people.”

It was time for me to go to work, so I gave a pat to Dillinger and said good-bye to Hawk.

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womanbox

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15 October 2013

Joy was looking glum, sitting on her box.  In Canada it was Thanksgiving weekend. I asked, “How was your weekend, Joy. Did you go to the big dinner at The Mission?”

“No, I don’t go to those things. I can’t stand in line, it’s too crowded, too many cooties. You never know who you’re going to be sitting beside. Mariah took Charlie, just so she wouldn’t have to feed him at home. The lines start at nine in the morning and go all day.  She had her meal, Charlie went back eight times. You can do that. Once you’re finished, or have eaten all you want, you scrape your plate into the trash barrel and can stand in line again.  That means that eight people who might have been able to eat, will do without. It doesn’t seem fair.

“I haven’t eaten all week. My weight has dropped to a hundred and fifteen pounds. My check didn’t come in Friday. Jacques has his deposited directly into his bank account. It wasn’t in today. There are other checks he was expecting that also haven’t come in. He’s really pissed off.

“I guess you heard that he had a run in with Little Jake. Jacques was talking to a dealer who Jake owed thirty bucks to.  Jacques owed Jake fifty dollars, so he gave this guy the thirty that Jake owed him. Jake was pissed off because he needed that money for his bus pass.

“Yesterday Jacques came over to my place and banged on the door. I let him in and he asked, ‘Where’s my phone?’ then he started rooting through my electrical stuff. I said, ‘Hey dude, back off. I’ll get you your phone. I thought this was one you didn’t need, since you have your land line.’ Anyway, I gave him his phone and told him to fuck off.

“I was talking to Mariah about my upstairs neighbor. The one that stomps around all the time. She said he’s a full-blown crack head. She said, “Don’t say that to him. You never know what he might do.’ I said, “I never know what I might do. I suppose whatever I did would put me back in prison.

“Another thing, my P.O. (Probation Officer) was by this morning. She said that  Big Jake will be getting out November 26. When he first went in they said he wouldn’t be released until January, then it was two weeks before Christmas. I really don’t want to know about this shit. I’m just trying to forget about him.

“On the other hand I still love him. I know that’s kinda sick, considering what he’s done to me. My P.O., Mariah and a bunch of people say that I could do better, but look at me, I’m forty-eight years old, look at my lifestyle. I don’t think I can do better.

“Mariah should talk, she needs to get rid of Charlie again, and she showed me how.

“My apartment is barely big enough for me, let alone that fat ass. When he sits on my love seat I’m squished way over in the corner.”

I said, “He broke your love seat, didn’t he?”

“Yeah, I’ve got my roasting pan and some blankets under it now so it doesn’t sag so much. I’ve got to start sleeping in my bed. I always fall asleep there and it’s bad for my back.”

Chuck Sr. , in his wheel chair, stopped by with a long-haired woman.

Joy said to me, “This long-haired woman, I can’t remember her name,  is going in for surgery on her thumb this afternoon. She’s some kinda relative of Chuck’s. We’re all related, kinda inbred.”

To the woman Joy said, “I wish I was you, getting all those drugs. You’ll be flying this afternoon.”

“No, I don’t think I’ll even be  getting Tylenol 3.”

“That’s a bummer!”, said Joy.

They moved on. I asked, “Why did Chuck move from his usual place on the corner?”

“He has a couple of spots. Originally, when I came to town in ’93, he used to be down the street in front of the library, beside the book deposit machines. I said to him, ‘Look, dude, I’m just starting out. I need money to get something to eat. I’d really like it if you’d move somewhere else.’  He said, ‘Well, I have my regulars. If I move, I’ll lose them.’ I gave him a few bucks. He was happy with that. He said, ‘Most panhandlers would just tell me to fuck off and push me out of the way.’ It was the same with Silver, rest his soul,  I gave him a few bucks and bought his spot. So, when I finish here for the day, Chuck moves to his spot in front of Tim Horton’s.”

“Why does he wait until you leave?”

“Respect.”