Sun Showers – 2 May 2014

Posted: May 2, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




“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.”


  1. seaangel4444 says:

    Hi Dennis! Always such a pleasure to read your posts! Thank you for your amazing spirit, my dear. Big hugs of gratitude, Cher xo


  2. […] Sun Showers. […]


  3. jovisgoes says:

    You’re a cool guy Dennis, you always lift my spirits. Thanks.


  4. leewriter says:

    Thanks for the post. It was good. I would add, though, I found a few missing quotation marks, not a huge deal, but being a writer, I notice these things more easily in other peoples’ blogs because I can be more impartial. On the whole, nice job. If it’s true about Chuck dying nine times and then being resuscitated, that’s quite a string of close calls. That reminds me of when I quite drinking cold turkey on Christmas Day of 2006 (month after my wife Amy died from long-term alcohol abuse). I got a serious case of DT’s, went to ER in Red Wing after I started hearing voices in my head. Doctor probably saved my life by administering a medicine that counteracts effects of withdrawal. But even so, I was so messed up that I thought I heard my dad yelling at the doctor, criticizing him because they waited too long to treat me and if they’d done it sooner, I’d still be alive. I bolted up to sitting position on the examination table I was on and started yelling, “I don’t want to die”. My friend Jim Welsch was sitting in the room and told me, “Lee, you’re not dead.” Ah, the good old days.


  5. anchorrock4 says:

    Thank you, Dennis, for the work you are doing. I am re-blogging this one.


  6. anchorrock4 says:

    Reblogged this on theperfectprescription2014 and commented:
    Re-blogged from Gotta Find a Home.


  7. Rob McShane says:

    Excellent Dennis – it’s amazing how I feel like I’m there on the street! All the different characters and all with a history and a perspective and a story. Thanks so much for writing it down so we can all share them! 🙂


  8. always love your posts


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