Archive for May 2, 2014

Dummy Dust – 2 May 2014

Posted: May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

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2 May 2014

I looked out an office window and saw that the sun was shining. I found it hard to believe. Scattered showers were forecasted, but for now we have a warm, sunny noon hour. I walked to the park where I was greeted by Loretta.

I said, Hi, Loretta, tell me again how many months you’ve been sober.”

“It’s fourteen now.”

“Congratulations, again. I’m so proud of you. Are you starting school soon?”

“I’m still waiting for my transcripts. I’m getting so pissed off.”

“Where are your transcripts?” I asked.

“They’re sending them from home.”

“Where is home?”

“Coppermine.”

“That’s a beautiful place; big trees, hills, valleys. I love it there.”

“So do I, I miss it so much.”

I greeted Mariah, Jacques, Debbie, Wolf and Shaggy. Before I sat down, Mariah handed me a cushion. “Thanks, Mariah, how have you been? How is your back today?”

“My back isn’t too bad today. I don’t know how it ‘ll be tonight.  My Crohn’s disease is acting up. I’ve had cramps and pain for the past few days. I don’t know how long that will keep up.” Mariah’s cell phone rang.

Jacques said, “I found my lighter. Do you know where it was? In this secret pocket in my coveralls. I thought I had checked every pocket, but I didn’t even know I had this little one.”

Wolf said, “Jacques, you’re going to have to get Debbie to sew on some more pockets for you. I don’t think you have enough.”

I said, “I see you have a hammer loop on the side. You’re going to have to borrow Hippo’s hammer to fill that loop. He won’t be needing his.”

Jacques asked, “What’s this about Rhino’s hammer?”

Wolf said, “Don’t you remember? He was charged last fall with attacking a female cop with a hammer. He’s lucky they didn’t shoot him. That’s why he’s on probation, and he’s not allowed to carry a hammer.”

Jacques said, “These coveralls are great. I bought them from Rhino. New they’d be eighty dollars. A couple of years ago I bought a couple of pairs of these from Giant Tiger. That was the green ones. There’s nothing left of them now.They cost eight dollars apiece. If they ever have that sale again I’m going to buy four. With a couple pairs of joggers under these, I’m cozy warm in the winter.”

Wolf said, “Dennis, I want to show you the new book I got. I haven’t even opened the last one, but the same lady gave me this. It looks even better than the other one. Have a look.”

Wolf passed me the book. The title was Path of the Assassin by Brad Thor. It’s on the  New York Times Best Seller’s List. “This looks great Wolf, just the kind you like.”

Wolf said, “All my books are on hiatus right now because of the hockey. Once I get started these, I can’t stop. Have you been following hockey at all. My Montreal team is  going strong;  beat Boston four to three. My guy, P.K. Subban, the Canadiens’ star defenceman, and token black player, scored in double-overtime to give Montreal the win. I’m German, my dad fought for the Nazi’s in the Second World War. There might be someone more racist that me, but P.K. is my hero. The games have been so tense that I can’t watch them with anybody, but my girl here,” pointing to Shaggy. “I don’t even go to the bathroom; I don’t want to leave the room, so I piss in the kitchen sink.

“Down 2-0 after 40 minutes, Boston came on strong in the third to force overtime. Boston outshot Montreal 14-6 in the first overtime period for a 50-29 overall edge. The final count was 51-33. Price, in goal, deserved the victory after staving off the Bruins comeback the way he did. He was nearly standing on his head for some of those saves.

“Anyway, that’s our first win, and it was on Boston ice. Tomorrow they play again in Boston, so we’ll have to see how that goes.

“Payday was the day before yesterday. I didn’t come down here because of the rain, but I stocked my freezer, bought my beer for the weekend, some pot, some dummy dust. So, I’m all set. I’m broke now, but that’s the way it goes.”

I asked, “Is Shaggy still wearing her sock?”

“No, unfortunately, the problem isn’t with the pad on her foot. All her legs are going, one at a time. She even asked me to turn her around after supper so she could watch TV. I have to put her in her caboose even to go to my beer store. That’s only a couple of blocks from my place, but it’s too far for her. See what a lady gave me this morning; there called Mutluks; top of the line dog boots. See the price, fifty bucks. I just wish that was the problem.

“So, Debbie, how are you doing in your new place?”

Debbie said, “Not so good. I told too many people where I was living. Now I’m being visited by people I don’t want to see.”

Wolf put his arm around her shoulder and said, “I thought you were lonely!”

“Don’t do that, Wolf. I don’t like it.

“I am lonely.”

Wolf said, “I’m sorry, Debbie. Here I just wanted to comfort you, and I’m making it worse.”

“It’s okay, Wolf. Jacques, have I told you how much I love you.”

Jacques said, “No.”

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“Dennis, it’s good to see you,” shouted Ghyslain. We shook hands.

“It’s good to see you. I was expecting you back months ago.”

“Yeah, I stayed with my sister, in Rimouski, all winter. I just got back into town Monday. The weather’s been so bad, I haven’t been out.”

“Did you take the bus?”

“No, it’s too expensive; fare would be about a hundred and fifty. My sister drove me to Quebec City, then I took Share-A-Ride. One ride took me to Montreal, the second brought me here. It cost sixty-six bucks; a lot more comfortable  too.

“Have you seen Joy?”

“No, she hasn’t been out much. I think I’ve only seen her once since Christmas.

“I see Chuck on the corner. Have you talked to him.?”

“No, I’ll stop by when I  leave here.”

“I’m going up to see him. Will you be back here Monday?”

“Yeah, I should be. I’ll see you then.”

“Bye, Ghyslain.”

Chuck was coughing as I approached him. “How are you feeling, Chuck?”

“I’ve been sick for the past three days. I’m taking cough drops, Tylenol and cough medicine. Last night, while I was coughing , my heart started racing. That got me scared, but my defibrillator didn’t kick in.”

I asked, “Do you have a defibrillator at home?”

“Yeah, it’s in my pacemaker. I got it six years ago. I was in really bad shape. I went into hospital July fifth and came out August twenty-sixth.  I was awake when they installed the pacemaker. I told the doctor, I can feel your fingers moving inside my chest, but I don’t feel any pain. He kept prodding and then I felt a sharp, excruciating pain, but it was so intense I couldn’t talk; it only lasted a few minutes.

“I was kept asleep for most of the time I was in there. The doctor told me I’d had forty heart attacks and had died nine times. Ten minutes was the longest period where I was dead. Before I left hospital I said to my doctor, ‘I guess, if I feel any signs of a heart attack, when I’m at home, I should come to the hospital right away.’ He said, ‘If you have another heart attack, you’ll be dead.’ “

I said, “None of us know how long we have. It could be twenty years; it could be twenty minutes.”

Chuck said, “Every morning that I wake up is a surprise.

” It was my own fault. I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day for forty-seven years and I was a heavy drinker. That all stopped, but the damage was already done. My sister died of lung cancer. She smoked right until the end. We warned her, but she said, ‘I’m going to die anyway, I might as well enjoy myself while I’m alive.’ When she was taken to the hospital, at the end, her last words were screaming for a cigarette.

“I was addicted to cigarettes, to booze, to bowling and to pool. I’d play every spare minute I had. I was pretty good, too. My dad would beat me for it, but I didn’t care.”

I asked, “Did you play pool professionally?”

“No, we just played for fun. I knew the professional players though. They’d make lots of money, but they got beat up a lot. I was having coffee with Jimmy one night. He was telling me how much he made. I never saw him again. He just disappeared.”

The sun was shining but rain drops started falling. I said, “It’s good that you have a hood you can pull up.”

Chuck said, “I listened to the forecast this morning. They said, no rain until this evening; otherwise I wouldn’t have come down here.

“My brother was a weather forecaster, a meteorologist. He was accurate ninety-nine percent of the time. He worked at the airport. He was the one who would tell the pilots if the weather was safe to take off.  He’d drink all night. When he got up in the morning the first thing he’d do was go to the fridge and crack a beer. He’d down that really quick, then open another. Sitting in his armchair he’d watch the weather reports until it was time to go to work. It was a private company. When they sold out, he lost his job.”

I said, “Did you notice Ghyslain, in Joy’s spot? He arrived back in town on Monday.”

“No, I didn’t see him. He was probably in jail.

“I don’t know if I’m going to be able to last here until nine thirty.  I’m going to the mall to see a few people, then I’m going to city hall to get my new bus pass. I didn’t even know we were in May until the bus driver told me. I asked, ‘Is it May first?’ He said, ‘No, it’s May second.’ I also have to stop by the grocery store to get some vegetable and chicken noodle soup. I’ll have the chicken noodle today and the veggie tomorrow. I also need more cough medicine. When I get home, I’ll have my soup then go straight to bed. Goldie takes most of the bed.”

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