Archive for December 20, 2013


images (1)


20 December 2013

Snow was blowing horizontally, cutting into my face. I used my umbrella to keep dry and to aid visibility. Ghislain was in his usual spot. Snow had piled on the hood of his parka and on his shoulders. I crossed the street to talk with him.

“How is it going today, Ghislain?”

“It’s okay, not as cold as yesterday. Last night at about eleven it rained for  a while. At about three it turned to snow.

“I heard that Shakes was nearly run over by a car. He was walking across Merivale.  Some drive really fast there. Anyway,  he stepped off the curb and a car came screeching to a stop. He just kept shuffling along. Maybe he was high.  I don’t know.”

“That’s the second time I’ve heard of that happening. This summer, on Moriset, he was hit by a car.

“I guess Joy decided not to come down.”

“I didn’t think she’d be here. The weather is too miserable for her. I hope we don’t get too much snow tonight. They’re predicting five to ten centimeters (two to four inches) Saturday and Sunday. They’ve posted a  Storm Watch, they say ‘Freezing rain and heavy snow could result in dangerous driving across Ontario this weekend.’ I hope it’s okay for taking the bus tomorrow.  It’s a lot colder in Rimouski.”

“You leave tomorrow, don’t you?”

“Yeah, tomorrow afternoon. I take a bus to Montreal, then to Quebec City, then to Rimouski, three buses. My brother will pick me up at the bus depot. I have an appointment here on January ninth, so I’ll be back for that.”

“Would you like a sandwich or coffee?”

“No,  I’m good, man. Have a merry Christmas!”

“You too, Ghislain. I’ll see you when you get back in January.”


17 December 2012

This morning, on the number fourteen bus, I met Irving. He’s now clean-shaven with short hair. We haven’t seen each other since the summer.

“How’ve you been Irving?”

“Okay, I’ve been staying at the Oaks for the past few months. I’ve been trying to get in there for five years. Finally my name got to the top of the list. Both me and my friend, Guy started at the same time, so that’s good. I’m in a no smoking building now. I’m trying to transfer to a building where they allow you to smoke in your room.

“They’ve got me on a program where I get an ounce of wine every hour. I’m not allowed to drink anyplace else.

“I went to court and the best my lawyer could do for me was six months probation and sixty hours community service. Also I’m not allowed to be anywhere near any place they serve or sell alcohol. Right now I heading to a meeting with my probation officer.