Restraining Order – 22 October 2013

Posted: October 22, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




22 October 2013

I was carrying my guitar this morning, because I have a lesson at noon. Joy asked, “Do you have a new hobby?”

“It’s not a new hobby. I haven’t been playing for a while, so I thought some lessons would get me back in the groove. It well also get me away from the computer for a while.”

“Do you still have calluses on your fingers… Let me see… No, smooth as a baby’s bum. I used to play a guitar. My step dad bought it for me. He bought my step brother, who was four years younger than me, a set of drums. I used to bang on them them in the garage. Finally, my step father got tired of the noise and said, ‘These are going to my ex-wife’s place.’ ”

“Did your step day play guitar?”

“No, he didn’t play a note. He wasn’t really my step dad. My mother never married him. He was just around.”

“How were you on the guitar? Did you take lessons?”

“No, I just banged around on it. It was a junior size start-up guitar. When I grew out of that, he wouldn’t buy me another one. It was like trying to play a ukelele. Speaking of which, see that lady that just passed? She was carrying a ukelele.”

I said, “I didn’t see you yesterday. Did you stay home because of the rain?”

“Yeah, I’m still feeling sick. I haven’t eaten since Friday, so rain or not I was determined to come down here. Tomorrow,  Thomas, my worker, is supposed to come by my place with a bag of groceries. I hope there is no weird stuff. Last time they gave me cous cous and falafel. I didn’t know what to do with them, so I just tossed them.”

“They don’t have much taste; a bit like rice.”

“Yeah, I watch some of those cooking shows, that’s what they said,  but I’m too old to start trying new stuff.

I said, “Angeline was in your spot yesterday.”

“Yeah, I heard. I have no problem with her, as long as she is sober. She gets nasty when she’s drunk.”

“I saw a tall guy with a beard and baseball cap standing about twenty feet away. Does that sound like her boyfriend?”

“Probably, he’s a really weird guy. He’s got these spooky looking eyes. He frightens people away if he stands too close to her.”

“I heard that she stabbed somebody.”

“Yeah, that was her former boyfriend Al.  She went to prison for that. I think she did six months.”

“Have you sorted out your phone and television?

“Yeah, one of my regulars gave me a phone. I hope it’s not wireless. I have trouble with those… Nope, I see it has a cord attached. I phoned Bell on Hawk’s phone and asked for another bill. They said it was up to four hundred bucks now. The account is still open, but I can’t drop the internet, because everything is in Jake’s name. He’ll be out in a month, so he can worry about that.

“I still haven’t been able to log into his computer. Hawk gave me a set of headphones that I can charge through the lap top, so it’s not completely useless.

“I also contacted Canada Care about Jake’s electric wheelchair, so that’s all sorted.”

“There’s still a restraining order against him, isn’t there?”

“Yeah, I tried to have it removed, but because he’s had so many charges, all against me, they won’t recind it. Mariah had a restraining order recinded against Charlie, but his charges were varied. There was no problem, Domestic violence they really take seriously.”

I asked, “If he moves in with you, won’t that be a parole violation?”

“Yeah, if anybody finds out. It’s not as strict as probation. He just has to report once a week. There won’t be any piss tests.

“I don’t even know if the landlady will let me stay after my lease expires in November. She should let me. I’ve only had one complaint the whole time I’ve been there. Just after I moved in, I was pounding on my ceiling with a broom handle when asshole was stomping around.”

“So, are you going straight home after this, or are you going to the park?”

“Not too many people have been going to the park lately. Did I tell you, the guy upstairs threw out an oil heater? I grabbed it. It works well. When it starts up it sounds like chips frying.  There’s a bit of an odor, but I don’t mind that. I turn it off before I go to sleep. Now my place is toasty warm. If only the landlady will fix the back door before winter. Snow piles up and it won’t close properly. It stayed open about two inches last year.”

  1. This is a touching dialogue, i would like to read more!


  2. BART Station Bard says:

    Really like these slices of life.


    • Hi Rose, thanks for visiting. I’m glad you enjoy these conversations. They can be frustrating sometimes; seeing a woman who has been routinely beaten, by the same man, inviting him back into her home. It’s her choice.

      I love your singing. I play guitar and sing for myself. ~ Dennis


  3. Ben Naga says:

    Now one of my daily reads.Thank you all.


  4. Planting Potatoes says:

    I can remember dialogue like this when I was homeless….


  5. j.h. white says:

    These posts are holding my attention, and in a way they remind me of a piece of my life when my children were toddlers and we lived in California. The town we lived in had a VA hospital and there were many homeless, just-home, Vietnam vets living in the bushes and on the streets. It was an odd place to raise small children on a budget. The hay day of Silicon Valley. The only people walking around during the day were either workmen on a job, homeless men or me walking my babies. Most of the homeless men were either having conversations with themselves, scowling, or involved with their own camaraderie in the parks and for the most part they didn’t register my existence.

    I never could figure out what kind of relationship was appropriate and it bothered me. Now that I’m reading your posts I realize that I must have felt like an interloper.

    So thank you for helping me answer an old nagging frustration but especially for all your work, although I doubt you think of it this way. I look forward to reading more.


    • Thanks Jana, I’m glad that I’ve answered your question. Returning vets, homeless people, don’t have the security of a roof to sleep under, the guarantee of a meal, or any physical security. That’s the reason that they congregate in groups. They’ve probably suffered lots of verbal abuse, possibly physical abuse, from working people. They don’t like exposing themselves to danger, but do, on occasion, to panhandle. ~ Dennis


  6. C.J. Black says:

    Continues to be eye opening dialogue Dennis. I continue to encourage people to drop by and read.


    • Thanks Chris, I’m sure that every city has people like Joy and her friends. If we understand what they are going through, perhaps it will lead to changes being made that will help them. It has to be better than ignoring them. ~ Dennis


  7. riselikeair says:

    To be honest, I’ve never really thought much about my door staying closed. Humbling.


  8. Always get my attention on your activities, Dennis. Another interesting story-to-be-continued. Have a nice day.


  9. leewriter says:

    Nice job. The woman having her abusive partner move back in with her is like a recovering alcoholic who goes hangs out in bars or goes to a party where liquor is served. They think things will be different this time, that they won’t relapse (like the man won’t beat his female partner like before) and maybe they won’t. But if the man hasn’t healed himself inside and had a come-to-Jesus moment, he’ll “relapse” and the domestic violence will inevitably result. I hope it works out for her. It hope it works out for all of us. Take care. I look forward to reading more of the never ending drama of the homeless and those who love them.


    • Hi Lee, that is a very good analogy. I doubt very much that anything will change in the relationship between Joy and Jake. For now he is in a wheelchair, so violence on his part is limited, but eventually he will get well.
      I enjoyed, “Free Yourself from the Prison of your Ego: Learn from “Breaking Bad”, S2E10 – OVER”. I am a big “Breaking Bad” fan, but hadn’t considered the analogy that you presented. ~ Dennis


  10. bluesage63 says:

    Your posts are so real, I can feel them. How was your lesson, I also used to play.Had some lessons on “slide” a couple of yrs ago, fun and not so intensive on my hands. Good luck!


    • Thanks so much. My posts are real, as real as my memory allows. I enjoyed my guitar lesson very much. I have played off and on for most of my life, but this last off period lasted seven years. I also played some “slide”. I agree, it is a different experience. I am gradually getting the stiffness out of my fingers and the calluses are starting to reappear. I’m hitting a majority of clear notes. It’s all good. ~ Dennis


      • bluesage63 says:

        Hi Dennis, I guess what I meant was I feel them because some of what you write about is in my real memory. Long time ago though. It’s great you’re playing, Rock on! 🙂


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