I’d Shoot Him – 14 January 2014

Posted: January 14, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




14 January 2014

Chuck was on the corner, so I stopped to talk to him.

He said, “Would you mind standing on the other side. I’ve got a regular who comes from that side. He sometimes drops me a five or a ten. If you’re standing there he might just walk by.

“Did you have a good Christmas?”

“Yes, it was quiet.”

“I don’t know where Joy is. She was out yesterday, so she must need money, but she’s not here today. I keep telling her that  she has to be out every day. If I can get out, she can get out. Oh well, it’s her life.

Someone stopped to pet Sandy, and dropped change into’s Chuck’s cap. She poked her head up. Chuck said, “Now that she’s got a bit of attention, she wants me to pet her.”

“I bought this winter coat at Giant Tiger. It’s really warm. I’ve seen construction guys wearing the same coat.”

I said, “It almost matches Sandy’s fur.” I noticed that under her blue blanket she was wearing a pink coat. “Sandy looks comfortable.” I said.

“Yes, she’s well taken care of.

“Almost. I went to a lot of stores. Sears had these expensive coats for nine hundred dollars. I don’t need anything like that. I even tried the Giant Tiger on Ogilvie. They didn’t have anything. I went to the one near the marked and this was the only winter coat they had. The rest were junk.”

“A friend of mine, a lesbian, went to the hospital for a hip replacement. They found cancer. She’s a nice lady, works across the street. She’s had a partner for the past seventeen years. They’ve been married for the past seven. My girlfriend has gone to spend time with her for the next two weeks. It just shows, you never know what’s around the corner. The important thing isn’t what happens to you, but how you handle it. There was another woman, I’d see her nearly every day at noon. She was smiling all the time, what you’d call a bubbly personality. Her husband left her, father and daughter died. The last time I saw her she was a blubbering mess.

“I’ve lived through lots of adversity, even as a child. I learned to fight against it; not necessarily with my fists, but I had my ways.  My father was a big drunken lout. When he came home everyone would be petrified. One evening, when he was really drunk he plopped himself in his easy chair. The rest of us were sitting around the room. He said, ‘I bet you all think of me as a real son of a bitch.’ Then he looked at each one of us. Nobody said a thing, when he got to me he said, ‘Okay, tell me what you think.’ I said, ‘I don’t have to say anything.  You know what you are. It doesn’t have to be spelled out for you.’ Everybody gasped. My father looked at me and started to laugh. He said, ‘I knew you’d have the guts to tell me straight.’ I couldn’t wait to get away from that place. I left in the middle of grade ten. He beat my mother, all of us. If he came back to life now, I’d shoot him; I really would.”

I asked, ‘Wouldn’t you be worried about the consequences?’

“What are they going to do to me? I’m seventy-three years old. Whatever they did, I wouldn’t care. It would have been worth it.

“I’ve had a hell of a time getting around lately. They plow my sidewalk, but don’t plow the area where Paratranspo  needs to put their ramp down. If they can’t put their ramp down, I can’t get on. I even talked to the woman driving the sidewalk snowplow. She refused to clear the area. She said, ‘If you’ve got a problem, phone city hall.’ I did, but nothing happened. Another problem I have is getting my wheels cleaned and oiled. There is a motorcycle shop near me. They have the air hoses and could do the job, but they say it isn’t worth their time. The garages won’t do it either.

My back was getting sore bending over listening to Chuck. He has a soft voice and I need to have my ear near his mouth to hear him over the sound of traffic and people talking.

“I have to be going Chuck. Perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I might be here. Have a Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year, Chuck.”


  1. Die Trying says:

    You never know whats around the corner…this is very true. Once again, thanks for sharing an inspirational post xxx


  2. You never really DO know just whats around the corner—- Thank you for keeping them all so alive in print. I truly look forward to “checking in” on them…and Happy New Year to you, Sir


  3. I Just read DieTryings comment…I see that line struck a cord with more than just myself-


  4. city hall doesn’t dare care of the abundances of homeless, i suspect hearing about the poor plowed living quarters of such social cancers really trips their “give a shit” switch.

    sorry…cynicism at a high dose as my methadone dose decreases.


  5. carlenlloyd says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing!


  6. paulfg says:

    Man oh man! Just have to repeat myself. I love your eye and your words and your humanity.


  7. saveawoman says:

    Such honest – real life stories. It’s good to get out of your own head once in a while and take a peek into someone elses.


    • Yes, these are real life stories from the street. Thank you so much for what you do. Many of my friends have been trapped in The Life. I have heard their stories. Some, are managing to get sober, finish their education and receive job training. Blessings. ~ Dennis


  8. saveawoman says:

    Reblogged this on Save A Woman – Save The World! and commented:
    On the subject of homelessness…great blogger.


  9. jovisgoes says:

    You’re definitely one of the good guys Dennis. Proud to have made your acquaintance. Joe


  10. kaynicolley says:

    Wow. So this is very inspiring to me, what you are writing about. Before I had kids, I wanted to roam the city and speak with strangers and hopefully have them turn into friendships, such as you have. Keep it up, you could be the only reason they are carrying on.


    • Nice to meet you, Kayla. I love your poem “I Am Not”. We are each individuals. We are not defined by our past, our heritage, our profession or what kind of car we drive. Each of us is unique in our imperfection. ~ Dennis


  11. mermaidmews says:

    I’m glad you liked my poem, it lead me to checking out your blog. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I intend to go back through and read all of your older posts!


  12. Yza Sparks says:

    thank you for liking my Epilogue post. Well, it’s just a random thought and I’m not sure if it makes sense haha. By the way, you’re posts are interesting! I used to write inspirational stories too and I’m going to browse yours every morning 🙂 there’s quite a few. It’s cool 🙂


  13. panoe says:

    Thanks for inspiring ppl Dennis. You dont know how much you are doing to the forgotten ppl of this world. Good on u.


    • Hi panoe, thanks for your encouragement and support. It is much appreciated. I enjoyed your post “Catholicism is my religion, but I BELIEVE in ‘Kindness’”. I agree completely. ~ Dennis


  14. richiesbabe says:

    again…i love that you take the time to see these people that many pass by, stop, and listen. and then you share. thank you!


  15. Whew… I just went on the most fascinating reading binge…. I love your blog! Thanks for sharing. I like the way you paint the picture, effortlessly. Your heart is on a great path. Thank you for bringing the forgotten back to the light…:)


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