Pandemonium – 30 May 2014

Posted: May 31, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




30 May 2014

Pandemonium reigned at the park today. While I greeted Joy, Chester interrupted by asking, “Dennis, do you have any bus tickets?” I shook hands with Jacques, Mariah,  Debbie and Shakes  on the curb,  Ghyslain and Little Jake sitting on the sidewalk.

Ghyslain said, “I’d get up to shake your hand, but I’m on roller blades.”

I came back to Joy who said, “Big Jake has gone for the weekend.”

I asked, “Where has he gone?”

Chester asked, “Dennis do you have any bus tickets?”

Joy said, “He’s gone to his parent’s cottage in the Muskokas. We’ve been together for eight years now and he hasn’t introduced me to his parents. What do you think of that? I ‘m so pissed off.”

Chester asked, “Dennis, do you have any bus tickets?”

“Here, Chester,” I said as I handed him the tickets.

Jacques offered me a cushion and I sat between him and Shakes. Ghyslain was on the sidewalk in front of me. He asked, “Dennis, did you see the game last night?”

“No,” I said, “I didn’t see it.”

“You don’t follow hockey? It was a real disappointment. Montreal was beat out by New York. It’s been twenty-two years since a Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup. It wasn’t Tokarski’s fault, he was standing on his head to make some of those saves, he allowed only one goal, but that was all it took for the Rangers to win.  Now it will be the winner between Chicago and Los Angeles who plays New York for the finals.”

Little Jake came over to talk to Shakes, “You got paid yesterday. It’s time to pay your debts.”

“What debts?”

“To me, asshole. Who do you think has been feeding you?”

Jake stormed off with a scowl on his face. Shakes said to me, “He’s on new meds. That’s why he’s so cranky. He’s had a go at everybody today.” He pulled a bottle of Jack Daniels from his inside jacket pocket and passed it around.

Debbie stood up to try to soothe Jake. “Come on Jake, sit down and relax.”

You, get away from me. Don’t you dare put a finger on me.”

“Or what, Jake? What are you going to do to me? Are you going to hit me? Don’t you dare touch me again.”

As this was going on Joy was yelling at Raven, “You piece of shit. You stole money from Chester. I know he gave you his bank number and you cleaned out his account. You did the same thing when I was living there.” Mariah was holding Joy back as Raven walked away. Chester was rocking back and forth on the plastic crate he was sitting on.

Jacques said to me, “Chester isn’t supposed to drink hard liquor. It could kill him. His legs go when he drinks that stuff.”

I asked, “What’s wrong with his legs?”

“He’s got a bad knee, but the real problem is when he drinks, he can’t stand. Me, I just have a couple of beer and leave it at that. I know I can’t drink hard liquor or wine.”

Joy said, “I have to get Chester back to his place. We’re going to have to get a cab. Can somebody help me get him up.” Mariah, Jake and Debbie tried to help get him vertical.

A woman stopped and asked, “Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

Mariah, the voice of reason, said, “He’ll be fine, we’re going to phone a cab.”

Mariah said, “Okay, we got him up, now what do we do? He won’t walk. It would probably be better if we took him over to the lawn where he could sleep it off for a while.” He was a dead weight and ended up lying on the sidewalk. “The police will be here if we don’t move him soon.”

Jake said, “He’s not garbage, you’re not going to just dump him on the lawn.”

Mariah said, “Nobody’s dumping him, Jake. There’s nothing else we can do. After he sleeps it off for a while we can get him in a cab.”

We all lifted, dragged and pushed Chester to a secluded part of the lawn. He lay down and fell asleep.

Jacques picked up his radio, drinking bottle and cushion and said, “I’m getting away from all this bullshit. I don’t need this drama in my life. I’m going home where it’s quiet.”

Debbie and Joy were sitting on the curb. Debbie had her arm around Joy who was visibly shaking. “She’s having one of her epileptic seizures. It’s okay girl, you’ll be alright.”

I asked, “Was it all the stress with Chester that brought this on?”

“Stress, booze, malnutrition, anything can bring one on.”

After about five minutes joy awoke. She sobbed, “I hate when this happens. Do I have snot all over my face.”

“No,” said Debbie, “you look just fine. If you want you can blow your nose on my sleeve. It’s clean.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Sure you can. I do it when I don’t have Kleenex. What else am I supposed to do.”

Joy said, “Thanks, Dennis. I’m sorry about all this. I’m really hammered.”

I said, “Just take care of yourself. There’s nothing to be sorry about. I’ll see you Monday. Have a good weekend.”


  1. revgerry says:

    I can’t NOT read one of your compelling posts. Thank you as always for bringing us along.


  2. Thank you and bless you for bringing the plight of the homeless to light.


  3. rvraiment says:

    Your posts are excellent, touching, moving, but how does one deal with the pain of helplessness? Caring is one thing, but what can I do about it?


  4. Elouise says:

    Thanks, Dennis.
    Very moving–especially the interactions in this unplanned ‘family.’ Grace and outrage; sorting it out; coming to one another’s aid; being present to each other and being absent-though-present in the same space; dignity, honesty, truth…and more.


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