Archive for June 25, 2014




25 June 2014

“Good morning Chuck. I see that Joy’s plastic crate is there, but she’s not in her spot.”

“No, she may have heard that rain showers have been forecasted, or maybe she’s suffering from a hangover. With her you never can tell.”

“She told me yesterday that she was upset with Big Jake, so maybe they had a fight. That would be enough reason to get drunk.”

Chuck said, “I was using her spot earlier. There was a crazy guy sitting with a paper cup. He made sense some of the time, at other times he talked gibberish. A cop spent ten minutes talking to him and writing a ticket. That’s just a wast of time. They’re complaining about too many crazy people in jail as it is. After the cop left the guy stayed where he was. I talked to him nicely and told him to move. There was no problem.

“Remember the story about Breezy, the Doberman whose ears were cut by its owner, to make the dog look more vicious. The owner was charged with animal cruelty and is serving two years plus a day. That means he would go to the penitentiary — two years less a day would put him in one of the local detention centers. Anyway, once the convicts got a hold of him they cut off both his ears with a pair of scissors. It served the guy right.

“Then there was the case of that guy on the Greyhound bus who cut a guy’s head off and ate parts of the body. He went to trial and was found not criminally responsible for the killing.  The attacker said  saying that he began hearing ‘the voice of God and that he wanted to save the people from an alien attack.’ After six years he was allowed out on day passes.

“You must remember Brian Smith, the CJOH sports broadcaster, who was killed 1995.  The gunman was a paranoid schizophrenic who had gone to CJOH because he believed the station was broadcasting messages in his head. Smith was the first broadcast personality that the shooter recognized coming out of the building. He was found not criminally responsible due to his mental condition. Six years later he was being given 72-hour release passes. I think it’s criminal that our government closed so many of the mental institutions. The crazies aren’t getting help, they’re either out on the street, or they attack someone and go to jail.


A noon I sat with Wolf and Scruffy. Little Jake and Chester were also there. Curt rode up on his bicycle, “Hey, Dennis, I haven’t seen you for a while.”

I said, “I don’t think I’ve seen you since last summer. Your hair and beard are a lot longer now.”

Wolf said, “I was talking to Stella this morning. Did you know that Shark and Irene’s place was broken into. They were away at the time. They had deadbolts on the door, but someone just smashed it down. That’s one of the risks of selling dope. He’s been at it for about twenty years.

“Curt, you used to be in that business, didn’t you?”

“Not since 1991.”

I said, “I heard that Irene is really terrified. I think they’ve hired some bodyguards.  Neither Shark or Irene weigh more than a hundred pounds.”

Wolf said, “It’s a young man’s business. They’ll rob you for your stash of drugs, or the money they think you’ve hidden. They’ll even beat you up if you have no drugs or money. It’s a rough neighborhood — time to move. Irene is going to take a place by herself — she can’t take the stress. Shark will get a room somewhere.

“A couple of days ago somebody came into my place. I was out, but I’d lost my keys, so I left the door unlocked. They stole my margarine, ketchup, mustard, six eggs and a few hot dogs. It really makes me mad that someone in my building, probably someone I say hello to everyday, would do something like that. After a hard day I came home and was looking forward to cooking some supper, but they cleaned me out. I left a note inside the fridge saying, ‘fuck off you piece of shit, stay out of my apartment.’

I asked, “Have you had your keys replaced?”

“No, I’m saving that until check day.”

“How much does a new key cost?”

“Thirteen bucks. I’ve probably got that much on me, but not in the bank. I owe Jake eight dollars. He’ll let it slide, just like I would with him. He knows that I’m good for it.  With some people I know, like Outcast, I wouldn’t feel comfortable lending money. He’s too shifty. Jacques is still pissed off with him, so is Shark.

“Now, Jacques is avoiding us because of $1.50 for cigarettes. Go figure.”

Jake said, “Dennis, I saw this giant woodpecker. It was at least a foot high.”

Wolf said, “Monday you said it was four feet high.”

“Yeah, that was after three bottles of wine, still it was big.”

Wolf noticed an earthworm crawling in the grass. “Here’s some fishing bait for somebody. Did you know that Andre is living right across the hall from me? He’s been sober for months now and goes fishing every day.  I don’t think it’s good to eat as much fish as he does — all that mercury, raw sewage and whatever else is in that river.

Chester said, ‘I talked to Joy on the phone today. She asked, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘I’m just phoning to ask about your health. When I saw you last, you mentioned that your legs were sore.’ She said, “My legs are fine, now my arms are sore.’  She’s just as grumpy as ever.”