Archive for January 16, 2014




16 January 2014

Chuck Senior in his wheelchair, with Sandy on his lap, were crossing Laurier, so I waited for them. He expertly maneuvered, in reverse, into his spot.  Sandy raised her head, eager to be petted.

Chuck said, “Remember the other day, I asked you to stand on the other side because I hoped one of my regulars would be coming by? Not five minutes after you left he came by and dropped a twenty into my cap. Then a woman came from the other direction dropped a five and a ten.  Instead of  being parked outside Tim Horton’s I splurged and went inside for a coffee — a regular paying customer. It was nice to get out of the cold. I didn’t come by yesterday because I was just too tired. I took a sleeping pill last night and slept from six in the evening right through the night.”

Sandy jumped down and was prancing in circles. Chuck said, “I haven’t seen her do that since last summer.  Want to know why she has so much energy? She just had a big shit. I guess she hasn’t been feeling well the last few days, kinda sluggish. She’s telling me that she wants a treat.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful. Sandy danced on her hind legs until Chuck put the treats on the ground. After finishing them she barked.

“Okay girl, I guess you can have some more.” He put down another handful.

I asked, “How is your friend who has cancer?”

“They’re going to be putting her on chemo to see what that does. If the cancer isn’t too aggressive it may cure her. We’ll just have to wait and see.  My sister died of cancer, mind you, she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.”

I said, “My sister, also died of cancer. She didn’t smoke at all.”

“I used to smoke three packs a day, then I started feeling sick. My kidneys shut down, I was shitting all the time. I spent two and a half months in hospital. It turned out that it wasn’t the cigarettes that were doing the damage; it was black mold. I was in a basement apartment. I didn’t notice anything but behind my book-case was a big black spot. When I moved boxes from my closet shelf there was mold on the ceiling,  everywhere.  As soon as I found out I moved.

“You know, people never listen. A friend of mine keeps complaining that his dentures don’t fit properly. I remember him telling me, before he had his teeth extracted, that his dentist was going to put the new set in right away. I said to  him, ‘Tell your dentist that’s wrong! Your gums are going to shrink.’  I had twenty-two teeth extracted. I was without teeth for six months. I had my dentures fitted and I’ve never had a problem.’ Do you think he would listen to me? No, he listened to other people — people whose teeth don’t fit right.

“I was hoping to go to Hartman’s today, I’d like to get some pork chops. They’re having a sale —  buy two, get the second for a dollar.  I’m not sure how much of a charge my battery has.  Just sitting here drains the power.  I could take the bus, the two  blocks down to Bank, but the drivers really don’t like that. It throws them off their schedule.  I may just take a chance.”

I said, “I noticed how well you maneuvered, you’re an expert driver.”

“Four years in this thing and I’ve never hit anyone yet, even in crowded malls. I anticipate which direction people are going to move then turn out of the way. I can really zig zag my way through crowds.

I said, “I’ll have to go now Chuck, but perhaps I’ll see you tomorrow.”