Crocs – 25 April 2014

Posted: April 25, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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25 April 2014

The park was awash with sunshine. Little Chester was the first to approach me as I neared the group. He said,

” Hi, Dennis. I just spent time with an old friend of mine from Gander, Newfoundland.”

I asked, “Was it the same guy I saw you with on Wednesday? He was from Newfoundland.”

“No, a different guy. This was a guy I grew up with.”

Loretta was standing near the group. “Dennis, can I have a few bus tickets. Thanks. I’ve got some good news; it’s been fourteen months now, since I’ve had a drink. Anyway, it was nice seeing you. I’ve got to go.”

Wolf stood up to greet me, “Dennis, I haven’t seen you for…  How long is it?”

“It must be six months,” I said.

“You must be high. It couldn’t be six months…  Can it? It was before Christmas. How many months is that? I guess you’re right it is close to six months. You see how much I respect you. I stood up, it’s not that easy at my age. Before you sit,  you can have Shaggy’s pillow.” He pulled it from under Little Jake. “You’ll be covered with her fur… everywhere but on your leather jacket. I don’t think her fur sticks to leather.

“Well, fuck you too,” said Jake. “If that’s the way you’re going to be about it.”

“Now, Jake, you know I love you. There I said it.  I got it out. Now it’s done with. Where was I? Yeah, I was talking to Dennis. Finally, someone who will listen. I got seven books today, so I’m all set.  I also got a bag of razors from Jacques. See the mess I made trying to shave today. The handle broke right off my razor.

“Shaggy got some dog food and biscuits from my ladies on the corner, near where I live. I’ve hardly been out all winter. Shaggy and I, we just stayed inside where it was cozy. One thing I noticed was I actually had to buy dog food. I had to put out twenty bucks.

I said, “I’ve seen Chuck Senior, most mornings.”

“Who’s he?”

“Chuck Junior’s father.”

“Oh, I know who you mean. We don’t get along so well. His dog Sandy and Shaggy don’t like each other. I was coming around the corner. I didn’t see Chuck there in his wheelchair. Shaggy jumped up. Carl said, ‘Get your dog away from my service dog.’ I said, ‘Well, Shaggy’s a service dog too.’ We haven’t seen eye to eye since then. I didn’t even know he was Chuck’s dad, until somebody told me.

“I had a new phone, paid a hundred bucks for it. Do you know how long I had it? Two weeks. A woman came over.  I was watching the hockey game with a friend of mine from downstairs. I hadn’t seen this woman for about three months — Yeah, she was good-looking. We had a few beer. She asked to use my phone. A couple of hours passed… she left. I was drunk; you know me.  A while later my friend asked, ‘Where’s your phone?’ I’d only had it two weeks. Now, what am I going to do?

“I know who she is. She’ll never come to my place again. She has no conscience, that’s what I’m getting at. You don’t steal from a friend. You know me, I help people. Maybe you don’t know that, but if somebody needs something; I give it to them. If they need a place to crash for the night; they sleep on my sofa — sometimes with Shaggy.

“So, anyway, what do you think about the streak the Habs have going for them? A 4-3 victory against the Lightning on Tuesday night. I’ve got my Montreal hat on. I should have my jersey, my scarf, all kinds of colors on, but they’re in the wash. I come down here and get dirty.That’s the way it goes.”

“Sorry, Wolf, I haven’t been following hockey.”

“Okay, enough of that. We got that out of the way. Let’s talk about something else… Monday, I have to go to court at seven, in courtroom nine, or is it at nine in courtroom seven. I don’t know. I’ll have to check. It’s been remanded so many times. I fell asleep last time. I can be charged if I don’t show up, but not if I’m there asleep. They called my name and I woke up. I knew they’d wake me up. It’s for this charge about Shaggy. I have it taped to my kitchen wall. I read it last night, ATTEMPTING TO INJURE OR KILL AN ANIMAL. It made me cry, can you imagine that. Four cop cars pulled up in front of my beer store. MY BEER STORE, mind you. Somebody objected to the way I put Shaggy into her caboose — as if I’d ever hurt her. Sure, she’s drawn blood from me enough times. She’s old, I’m old. What are you going to do? Enough of that!

“Jacques, those are nice shoes you got on. Did Stella bring them for you?”

“Yeah, she gave them me last year. Soon it’s going to be time to wear my Crocs. I’m going to buy two pair, that’ll last me the whole season. With them I don’t wear socks all summer.”

Wolf said, “I saw a guy wearing them in winter.”

“Yeah, but with socks on!”

“Yeah, with socks on. He was a bit crazy.”

Wolf said, “Here comes Paul. Dennis, you know Paul don’t you?”

“Yeah, I’ve met him before. Hi, Paul.”

“Hi, Dennis.”

Wolf said, “Paul’s a bit slow. His chipmunks don’t run so fast. Paul, don’t just sit there. Say hello to Shaggy. That’s what she came over to you for. Pat her. What did you think she wanted? Stupid fart.  How often do you come down here?”

Paul said, “About four days a week.”

“Four days a week, did you hear that, Dennis? He comes down four days a week. He’s an independent businessman, just like myself. How many days do you work?”

I said, “Five —  Monday to Friday.”

“You hear that, five days a week… But you’ve got the cottage. Right?”

“Right.”

Frank was trying to flip a cigarette into his mouth.”

Wolf said, “You did it, first try!”

Jake said, “No, actually it was my fourth try.”

“Now I suppose you want a light?”

“Yeah, that would be nice.

Chester, will you stop waving that bottle around. Pour it into a paper cup or something.

Wolf said, “Here comes Big Chester. He must be on a butt run.”

I said, “Hi, Chester.”

Getting up was difficult. Mariah asked, “Do you want a hand?”

“No, I said, I’ll be okay. It’ll just take a while. I don’t want to step on Shaggy. Maybe I’ll see you all next week.

“See you next week, Dennis.”

 

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