Archive for July 9, 2014




9 July 2014

I asked Wolf, “Did you attend Shakes’ funeral on Monday?”

“No, I didn’t. I worked that morning, three hours in the pouring rain. Shaggy jumped out of her caboose and I banged my shin on one of the crossbars. Look, it’s still swollen. Imagine how it looked two days ago. I miss Shakes, but I don’t do well at funerals. I’m an emotional person, even though I can act like a real prick sometimes. Were you around for Digger’s funeral? Maybe that was before your time. I went, when I saw him laying in the casket I broke down crying in front of millions of people. I like to think that Shakes is looking down on us now. I sure hope there is beer in heaven.

I said, “There must be. Why else would anybody go there.

“Frank is really taking it hard. I spoke to him on the bus the other night. We were wondering who would be the next to die, he said, ‘I hope it’s me.”

“Yeah, Frank’s an emotional guy as well. I know from the number of times he’s crashed at my place. I wish these guys would get the message. That sherry that they drink, that’s got to be hard on their systems. Whenever I drink sherry I get a massive hangover. That’s why I have this bruise on my shin. That was a sherry day. I drink a dozen beer a day. I wake up refreshed. Maybe that’s not good for me either. Who knows?

“I’ve talked to Frank. H.I.V. isn’t terminal, like it used to be. I tell him that he should go to a dentist, have those few teeth pulled and get a set of dentures. If I’ve walked half way down here and remember that I haven’t put my dentures in, I’ll go back for them. I lost my bottom set. I tried to get a new plate when I had my jaw broken. I couldn’t get them to pay for it. I’m glad I didn’t have them in at the time. They coulda done a lot of damage to the inside of my mouth.  I shoulda had them replaced, but at least I can smile. What’s that they say about shoulda, coulda and woulda?”

I said, “If the dog hadn’t stopped to shit, he woulda caught the rabbit.”

“Don’t say that too loud in front of Shaggy, not that she can catch anything any more. I just don’t want her feelings to be hurt.”

Danny stopped by with some posters he had printed in memory of  of Shakes. His image was in the center, above it a soaring eagle. The caption read, flying above the cloud “I AM THE EAGLE!!”  Thoughts and Prayers are on the Wings of many Eagles, for you Shakes… Long May you Soar.

He said, “A friend of mine printed these. I’m selling them for ten bucks each, the cost of reproduction. I thought that friends of Shakes would appreciate a picture of him.

Wolf said, “Here’s a picture of Shakes that Stella brought me today. He’s lying down, with his bottle of Dr. Pepper, just like we remember him. I thought that was a nice gesture.





9 July 2014

“Good morning, Chuck”

“Good morning, Dennis. Damned cold today with that north wind blowing. We must be getting the tail end of that tornado that hit the east coast. I don’t think I’m going to be sticking around much longer. I have to pick up groceries then be home in time for my cleaning lady. I still feel bad that I forgot about her last week. With the old company she would have gotten paid, whether I was there or not. With this new outfit, she has to phone in from my place when she starts and again when she leaves. That’s the only way she gets paid. They’ve also cut me back from two hours to an hour and a half. That’s enough time for her to get her work done, but we used to sit for a while and drink a cup of tea.

“Did you learn anything about the funeral service for Shakes?”

I said, “Yes, it was Monday at noon at St Paul’s church, but yesterday Danny held a smudging ceremony at the gates of the park. I was able to attend that.”

“Shakes was a good man; a drunk, but a good man.”

“I remember six or eight years ago, there was this kid that panhandled near the mall. I was a drunk then. Every once in a while I’d give him a couple of bucks. He did it for about a year, then one morning he said, “I’ve had enough of this.” He got a job someplace in the south end. Occasionally, he’d come by me. He’d always smile and say hello. I don’t mean one of those fake smiles. He really meant it.

“A few friends have asked me about twelve step programs, whether or not they’re any good. I’ve always said, ‘It didn’t work for me, but maybe it’ll work for you.’  And it did. Trouble is, some of these guys, once they got sober, would see me, but wouldn’t even acknowledge that I was there, because I was still a low down drunk. Even now people see me in a wheelchair with my hat out and they walk to the farthest edge of the sidewalk. They know that it could happen to them. It scares them.

“I’m going to be away next week from Monday to Thursday. I’ll be getting into town late Thursday, so I may not make it down here. On the other hand, I may come straight here from the bus depot. Whenever I travel by bus I take a sleeping pill a half hour before we leave. That way I sleep the whole trip.

“I’ve noticed lately that my sleeping pills have been disappearing. The last time I checked I had six, the next morning I had five. I have them hidden behind a picture in my wall unit. I have a sneaking suspicion about who’s taking them. Several times my lady friend from Cornwall was over. She’d complain about not being able to sleep, so I offered her a pill. She said, “No, I never take sleeping pills.’ When I was talking to her on the phone the other night, she said, ‘I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. Maybe I’ll just take half a pill.’ I wouldn’t mind if she’d just asked me.