Archive for May 6, 2014




6 May 2014

I arrived at the park to a bunch of waving hands.

Jacques handed me a newspaper to sit on. Wolf handed me a blanket. “Here,” he said, “This is better. It’s on loan from Shaggy. She’ll tell you when she want’s it back.”

“Thanks Jacques. Thanks, Wolf.”

“Hi, Dennis, I haven’t seen you all winter,”  said Shakes.

“How are you Shakes?”

“I got evicted from my apartment.”

“What was the problem?”

Little Jake said, “He had a seizure in the hallway, going to his apartment.”

I asked, “What kind of seizure, Shakes?”

“Dennis,” replied Shakes, “are you sure you’re all there?”

Little Jake said, “In the meanwhile, he’s couch surfing.”

I asked, “Is he staying at your place?”

“Yeah, for now.”

“How are you, Dennis?” asked an attractive woman.

“Hi, your name is Michelle, right?”

“Dennis, it’s Loretta, I have my new dentures.”

“You look beautiful. How do they feel?”

“A bit weird.” That was attested to by the number of times she removed and replaced them. It seemed like a complete personality change.

“Dennis,” said Wolf, “I want to tell you about my weekend. I can’t talk to any of these people. Jacques got his diploma in Quebec, so he’s no use.  I told you before that I go to my Tim Horton’s on Sunday. Well, this weekend I went on Saturday. I just had a craving. Usually I buy my Boston Creams, which I did, but now they got these new ones called Canadian Maple. They have goop in them like the Boston Creams, but the goop is maple, so I bought two of those.  Then I got  an Apple fritter and one of the shiny ones with strawberry goop in it. All together I had six donuts. It was a real mess.

“I didn’t eat them all there. I brought some with me when I went to a dummy dust party, but it wasn’t in my apartment. I know better than that. Gnome was there, he was wasted, so I brought him home, put him to bed and tucked him in. A while later some ladies came down. Gnome wanted to join in, but I said, ‘No.’ He threw a temper tantrum and started banging his feet on the floor. I don’t have anybody living below me, but just the same, there’s only so much I can take. I threw him out. He was wearing my Montreal sweater; I lent it to him for the party. I asked for it back. He said, ‘No.’

“Now, maybe a better man would have decked him and took the sweater, but that’s not me. I believe in a society —  there’s  a word I’m trying to think of… I’ve got it. I believe in a civilized society — that’s the word — where we don’t just go around beating people. Anyway, he stormed out. That was my weekend. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

Jacques rooted in his sports bag and pulled out a plastic tray. I asked, “What are you serving, Jacques?”

He said, “Dice, I got a brand new set of six. Who’s in?”  Wolf, Shakes, Mariah and Jacques indicated that they wanted to play. Mariah took part of Jacques newspaper and drew four columns.

I asked Jake, “What are they playing?”

“It’s called ten thousand. That’s how many points you need to win the game. The hard part is to get started. To get on the table you need to score a thousand points or more. Fives are worth fifty, ones, a hundred; three of a kind are worth 100 points times the number rolled; except for three ones which are worth 1000 points;  a straight from one to six is worth fifteen hundred. One time Jacques and I finished a game with about four rolls each, but we were really lucky.

‘Here comes Little Chester. I can tell he’s drunk by the way he’s limping. He only limps when he’s drunk.”

Jacques said, “Hi Chester. Keep walking, Chester.”

Wolf yelled, “The Germans and the ladies are winning!

“I’ve got an announcement to make. My birthday is coming up on May eleventh, the same day as Mother’s Day. Every so often my birthday falls on May eleventh and this is one of those years. Anyway, I’m sending out invitations to a party at my place, so bring presents.”




“As I was crossing at the walk light I heard, “Dennis, your friend is back!”

“Thanks, Grant! Have a great day!”

As I approached Joy she said, “Hi sweetie, did you miss me?”

“Of course I missed you. How are you feeling?”

“I’m better now. I’ve had pneumonia for the past two and a half months. I didn’t want to go to hospital for fear they’e keep me. I’ve just been staying around home.”

“I said, “Mariah has been keeping me up to date on your condition.”

“Yeah, I know. One day I was talking to you on the phone. Have you been to the park since?”

“Yeah, I was there Thursday, Jacques, Mariah, Loretta, Wolf and Scruffy were there.

“That reminds me, Loretta has been dropping in unannounced lately. That’s gotta stop. Now I recognize her knock, so I just don’t answer. It’s amazing how you can recognize a knock after a while.

“I don’t see Big Jake much. He’s up to something at the Salvation Army. It use to be that I couldn’t get two words out of him, now he won’t shut up. His pupils are dilated; I think he’s smoking crack. He’s got this friend over there who is smashing cocaine. He want’s to bring him over for supper. I said, ‘No way! I’m not having anyone over here who’s using, that includes YOU!’

“Have you got a few minutes? I have to go to the bathroom. Can you watch my stuff. The cushion is warm.”

I said, “Sure.” I kept wondering when somebody would stop to ask my story. I’m wearing designer glasses, a leather jacket and my shoes are shined.

Joy returned with Kenny on his bicycle.

Kenny said, “Hi Dennis! I haven’t seen you since October.”

“Hi, Kenny, how’s it going?”

“Okay, I sometimes pan at the church up the street. I do okay.”

I asked, “Is that the church where Silver used to pan?”

“Yeah it is, the same one.  My brother Lenny saw Andre the other day. They live in the same building. They’re both really messed up.”

Joy said, “You got a brother named Lenny? Kenny and Lenny, that’s original.”

I asked, “Do I know Lenny?”

Joy said, “You may have met him. I don’t know.”

Kenny said, “My brother has a disability pension of four hundred a month. Working part time, he brings in another two hundred. Yesterday was payday and today he’s hounding me  for the ten bucks I owe him. Something’s not right. There’s someone his floor, Erica, who sells crack. Every time he or Andre get any money they head straight there.

“My guitar is over there. I haven’t picked it up because because his apartment has cock roaches. They’re probably in my guitar. I’ll wait until a warm day when I can leave it our in the sun. They don’t like the heat.”

Joy said, “I’m waiting to see Chuck Senior; want to find out about the rumors he’s been spreading, about me being stabbed.

“I don’t know if I’m going to the park today. Are you going?”

“Yeah, I’ll be there. Maybe I’ll see you both there. Take care.”