Archive for May 27, 2014




27 May 2014

I folded my jacket, as a cushion, then sat with the crew at the park.

 “Dennis,” said Wolf, just the man I wanted to see. Look at what my ladies — I’m not supposed to call them ladies. Look what my women — that doesn’t sound right either, anyway. There was a book sale at the school where this woman’s daughter attends. People bring books, other people buy them, money goes to the school. She knows what kind of books I read so she picked out seven that she thought I’d like. There are two Robert Ludlum, I may or may not have read them. Anyway, I’ll put them at the end of my shelf where I’ve got his other books. There’s an English detective novel — I’ll have to be in the right frame of mind to read that. They’re sometimes kind of slow. They develop the character –I get a bit impatient if there’s no action. Have a look in this bag. Tell me what you think. You’re welcome to borrow one, but I get first pick.  I have to go for a piss.

“Hi Mariah,” I said, how have you been since I saw you last?

“Well, so so. I got a few things done. My air conditioner is in now. Frank is working on my laptop. It has ten gigs now, he wants to replace that with sixty. He cleaned up my hard drive, installed Office and a few other programs. When I get it back it should be just like new.”

Joy said, “I was talking to Butcher this morning. He’s out to get Jake for what he did to me. I tried to talk  him out of it, but this time he’s got his mind set.  He’s stubborn. All the time Jake spent in prison was for times he beat me.

“I told Jake, “When you get your hip operation, don’t expect me to be there… ‘ Well, I said I’d be there, so I guess I will’. I said, ‘Don’t get too used to that wheel chair, or we’re over. Have your operation, get on your feet then we’ll see what happens. I don’t let him pee standing up, but even when he sits down he manages to get pee on the floor.”

Mariah said, “When he’s at my place, I have to clean up after him.”

Jay said, “He’s such a slob. He really gets me going when I find a pile of his laundry at the end of the couch. I told him this morning. ‘I bring you clean clothes, the least you could do is put your dirty ones in the hamper.’ It pisses me off, and starts my day off wrong.”

Wolf returned, “Dennis, I was just showing Jacques an article in the paper. There was this kid who shot someone, then he takes the gun apart and leaves it in a mall parking lot. How stupid do you have to be to do something like that.? Of course they caught the guy, he may as well have drawn the police a diagram. What is it with these kids now, they got their video games, they’re texting each other all the time. The cops even stop them for texting while they’re driving. Can you imagine that.

“There was a driver convicted of striking and injuring five cyclists and leaving the scene of the crash. Hitting one cyclist, I can understand, sometimes they’re hard to see, but five?

“Another thing, those bicycles that are low to the ground, you’ve seen them, the pedals are higher than the seat. What’s with that? Are they trying to make themselves invisible,  so they’ll get run over? Anyway, that’s all I got to say about that.”

“Hippo, ” I asked, “how is everything going at your place. Are you still having trouble?”

“It’s okay, I just ignore them. They still run up and down the stairs.”

Joy said, “Look at Shaggy, isn’t she sweet, with her nose sticking out between the spokes of the cart? I don’t know what it is. That dog has never liked me. With Bear it was different. Even before I started to have symptoms of my kidney failure, she’d hang around me, put her head on my knee.  I was still peeing, but she seemed to sense that something was wrong. A week later I was laying on the floor dialing 911.”





27 May 2014

I saw a large man standing behind Joy. I thought, at first, that it was Big Jake, but when I came closer I recognized Butcher. I hadn’t seen him since last summer. “Hi, Butcher, it’s been a long time.”

“Hello, friend, It has been a long time. I’m looking for a new place to live, but it has to be a place with a pool.”

Joy said, “You’re picky.”

“There are places around and they’re not that expensive. I just want to make sure I’m a long way from St. James Town. That’s where I’m living now. In the hallways you can smell the smoke of illicit drugs and it isn’t marijuana.”

Joy said, “Where I live, people go there to get their drugs, then come back here.”

“I haven’t had any major problems, but there are stabbings and drive by shootings. I don’t go looking for trouble, but I don’t back down from it either. I think the problem is our prison system. Once it’s privatized it will be much better. Tougher crime policies and budget constraints have combined to create a crisis, in the prisons and jails. Governments are incarcerating more criminals, but they’re unwilling to spend the tax dollars for new prisons to house them, so there’s overcrowding.  I know the old system. I plead guilty, served my time. I deserved it. I remember getting half a bar of soap, half a toothbrush and someone coming around with toothpaste a couple of times a day. We’d earn a bit of money, only enough to buy a few necessities.

“When I got out, I was homeless. I tried to find work, but I got a welfare check each month. I couch surfed for a while, slept out doors on occasion. I have a few friends that send work my way. I’ll get a call asking if I can spare a few days to move some things. I’m not disabled, so there’s no problem there.

“I’ve always kept close with my street friends. If anybody pisses in their sleeping bag, I’ll find them and piss in their’s.”

Joy was packing up to leave so I said my good byes and wandered across the street to visit with Chuck.

“Boy,” said Chuck, “am I glad to see you. I’ve hardly made anything today. I don’t know what it is with people. Yesterday was the same. I guess you heard about the run in I had with Turtle. That asshole.

“They replaced the battery in my chair, but they refuse to fix the hand control or the damage on the bottom. I talked to the service guy yesterday. He said, ‘Your hand control is broken.’ I said, ‘I know that, there’s also damage underneath, but I’m certain that the guy, who inspected it,  didn’t see it. I’m not going to say anything bad about him. I don’t waste my time talking about fuckin’ assholes.’

“I’m only going to be in this spot for a few more months. They refuse to fix my chair, and that’s about how long it’s going to last. I’ve always taken Goldie for a walk in the evening. I can’t walk far. I do it for exercise. It used to be that I’d use the chair to take her out in the morning, but now I’m afraid it will run out of power later on if I do that. So, I walk her in the morning as well.

I asked, “Can’t you talk to your worker. Won’t she authorize the repairs to your chair?”

“I’ve already talked to her. These chairs are supposed to last a certain number of years, but what they gave me last time is a piece of shit. Ever since I got it I noticed that there’s a problem with the left rear wheel. I have to climb a curb using the right rear wheel first, otherwise it’ll throw me back on the street. I’ve been hung up a few times. That’s what caused the damage underneath.

“There are all kinds of things I need my chair for. I stop on the way home to get groceries. I have a cleaning woman who comes in once a week. There are only certain cleaning sprays that she’ll use, so if I don’t find it at my regular store, I have to go somewhere else. I worry that,  if I do that, I’ll run the battery down and will be stranded.”

I said, “I got a walk light, Chuck. I’ve got to go. I’ll see you tomorrow.”