Cutting My Grass – 14 November 2014

Posted: November 14, 2014 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




14 November 2014

“You look cold, Joy,” I said.

“I’m, fuckin’ freezing. I can’t stay here much longer. My legs are so stiff I can hardly bend them.”

I said, “I noticed Ghyslain standing on the corner.”

“Yeah, usually he goes over to Silver’s old spot. I don’t know why he’s being such an asshole today. He’s cutting my grass.”

“Chuck said that he doesn’t drink. Is that right?”

“Yeah, he’s a crackhead among other things.”

“You mentioned that you we’re getting a three-wheeled scooter. How is that coming along?”

“It belongs to a friend of Buck’s mom. She can’t get out any more, so they were going to toss it. He asked me before if I’d be interested. I thought it would be too much trouble, since I can’t get it downstairs to my apartment, but I’m having so much trouble with my legs that I’ve changed my mind.”

I said, “It would be great for you to drive to the store. You wouldn’t have so much trouble carrying heavy grocery bags.”

Joy kicked her plastic storage box to the wall and wrapped a scarf around her face. “I’m heading off now. Maybe, I’ll see you next week, maybe not.”

Chuck was on his telephone when I approached him. He ended his call and said, “Women, why do they have to talk so much. I made arrangements to meet my friend for lunch and the bacon and burger place. She didn’t know where it was so I said, ‘From where I am now, turn left for one block, then turn right for two blocks. It’s on the corner. You can’t miss it.’ She asked, ‘But, which corner?’ I said, ‘The southeast corner.’ She said, ‘I’m not sure which corner that is.’ I said, ‘If you’re facing uphill, that’s north. East is on your left, west is on your right. When you get to the corner you’ll see the sign.’

“I heard that Joy is getting a scooter. I don’t think they’ll cover that if she can’t bring it inside for the winter.”

I said, “That’s probably why Joy was looking for a new apartment. Big Jake will have the same problem with his electric wheelchair.”

Chuck said, “That’s the problem with people, she’s been talking about a new apartment for the past year. Talking about it doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to go out and do it. It’s the same with getting a job. When I was out of work I walked up this street, to the end, and asked at every store for an application. The next day I did the same on the other side. I went into a dry cleaning place and they offered me a job. I started the next day. I was there about three months. The heat and the fumes were incredible. It would be ninety degrees outside and it would feel cool after coming out of the store. I worked in the back, sealing the plastic dry cleaning bags. My fingers were always getting burned. Eventually, I built up calluses.


  1. orples says:

    I remember going to Washington D.C. about twenty years ago, for the 4th of July. The newscaster did a piece on the celebrations facing the ‘lawn’, assuring the cameraman’s back was to the ‘real’ story, where oodles of homeless people were camped out among the crowds. I found it very sad that so many people were forced to live in tents while the media ignored their plight. I hope your book will bring attention to these people, nationwide. 🙂


  2. Ben Naga says:

    “Eventually, I built up calluses”

    For a poet, this combination of words is such a gift.


  3. HappyApathy says:

    Every time i see somebody out and about in one of those scooters, i get a pang of terror wondering what they’ll do if the battery runs out while they’re out.


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