Archive for December 19, 2013

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womanbox

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19 December 2013

A crowd of people surrounded Joy. One of her regulars was standing beside her, as was Ghislain. Big Jake was in front of her in his electric wheelchair.

Another woman stopped and said, “Hi, Joy,  if I don’t see you before Christmas, here’s something for you.” It was a folded twenty-dollar bill.

“Oh, thanks!”

Joy handed me an envelope. It was a Christmas card that read:  ‘Wishing you all the peace and beauty the Christmas Season Brings.’ In a neat hand-written message below was, ‘Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Thank you for everything. ~ Joy’

“Hi, man,” said Ghislain, are you working tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I’ll be working tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday and Friday.”

“You’ll get off early on the twenty-fourth, won’t you?”

“Not as far as I know. They may let us leave early if there’s no work coming in. I’ll have to wait and see.

“You must be looking forward to seeing your brother and sister in Rimouski.”

“Yeah, I have a mother there as well. She’s eighty-nine, lives in a nursing home and has Alzheimer’s. She won’t recognize me, but it’s for her that I’m going. This will be her last Christmas.  She broke a rib recently, so they put her in hospital. The doctor says she may only have two, maybe three months left. It’s sad, but they have her on morphine, she has no pain.”

Frank came over to talk to Ghislain, so I took the opportunity to say a few words to Joy. “How did yesterday go?”

“It was okay, quiet. I bought some groceries, so we ate well. I cooked a chicken.”

“How did Jake’s appointment with the doctor go? Does he have a date for his hip replacement?”

“I don’t know, we didn’t get into that. He came down this morning because he has an appointment with his parole officer.

“As soon as Butthead leaves, I’m going home to get some peace and quiet. I guess I shouldn’t call him that at this time of year, but I can be an asshole at Christmas as well as any other time. He’s used to it.”

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