Archive for November 12, 2014






11 November 2014

I was on the bus coming home from work when a man sat next to me. I didn’t look up, but smelled sherry and beer. It was Little Jake. I asked, “Did you come downtown for the Remembrance Day service?”

“I tried to get down in time, but I missed the bus by this much (indicating with his fingers about an inch). “Damn it, I was so pissed off.  I’d wanted to see the planes fly overhead at 11:00. I was walking down Main Street and I heard them fly over. I couldn’t see them. I was looking all around, I nearly stepped into traffic.

“Jacques was down there. I got pissed off with him too. We’re standing there, out in the open, parents and kids standing all around, and he pulls out his pot pipe. I was ready to smack him upside the head, the way a father would do to his son, but that would have only brought more attention. I think it was disrespectful. He could have waited an hour before toking up.”

I asked, “Have you seen Joy lately?”

“It’s the weirdest thing,” said Jake. “She invited Hippo and me over for supper. We knocked on the door and she said, ‘What the fuck are you guys doing here?’ Hippo looked at me and we both thought woo woo. What’s up with her?  Hippo saw that she was cooking steaks and asked if he could come in for supper. I didn’t think that was right, so I went up to Mariah’s place. Later, Hippo said that Joy wasn’t looking good. She’s lost weight and her face was pale. That’s Hippo, anything for something to eat.”

“Yes,” I said, “that’s Hippo.”

Jake said, “I hope that Stella comes down tomorrow. I want her to give me a photo of Shakes. She said she’d bring one down.

“Here’s my stop. I’ll see you soon.”


12 November 2014

“Good morning, Dennis,” said Chuck. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk to you much on Friday. My lady friend phoned and she wouldn’t stop talking. It wasn’t anything important, just about old movies. I’ve told her not to call me here, because I’m working. I phone her once a day to let her know that I’m okay. I phone two of my sons as well.

“I really screwed up this morning. I lost my keys. I went out the door locked it, then went back in to get some change. If I hadn’t done that I would have been alright, but when I got downtown I reached in my pocket for my wallet. That’s when I realized that my keys weren’t there. They may have fallen out of my pocket at the restaurant, when I went to the washroom, or I may have left them in the door when I locked up. I can’t imagine leaving without locking the door. Luckily, I have a spare key for the back door. My lady friend and my two sons also have keys. I phoned my son and asked that he go to my place and look for my keys, but he said he wouldn’t be able to go over for about an hour. A lot can happen in an hour.

“My neighbor on the right is good people, but she’s hardly ever there. I pick up her flyers and her mail when I see it, otherwise it’d pile up and people would know her apartment was vacant. My neighbor, Norm, on the left is a good guy. I’ve known him for years, even before I stopped drinking. There are some university students down the hall that I don’t trust. They said they were university students but all they seem to do is party.

“I remember going down to the hotel one night. I was sitting alone near the back.  Norm passed me when he was going into the bathroom. He was there a long time. When he came out he was drunk. I was sitting there with a coffee. Norm asked, ‘What are you doing there without a drink?’ I said, ‘I’ve got no damn money! I’m flat broke!’ He slipped me a twenty.”

I said, “I hear the temperature is going down to near freezing this afternoon.”

“I’m not worried,” said Chuck, “In about an hour I’ll be all snuggled up in my warm apartment.”

I asked, “Did you come down yesterday for the Remembrance Day services?”

“Yeah, I didn’t come here, I went directly to the mall. I was dressed in my suit. I had a poppy on my lapel and another on my hat. I stayed for the whole service. I respect what soldiers have done for us.”