Archive for April, 2015


Posted: April 30, 2015 in Uncategorized




30 April 2015

I was on a search today for Joy’s friends. I wanted to commiserate with them and be informed of any funeral arrangements. In Weasel’s old spot was Buck and his dog Dillinger, Bearded Bruce and a man using a cell phone who Bruce introduced me to as Mike the Medicine Man.  Bruce said, “He really is you know. His grandmother is teaching him all the old ways. Now he’s a young shit who doesn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground, but one day he’s going to be a wise man. I’m sucking up to him now so that when my time comes, there will be someone to say a prayer over my dead body.

“I’m a bit drunk today — just because I am. I’ve already finished a twenty-sixer.

“Buck, can you spare me six grams? How much is that? Sixty bucks! That stuff grows in the ground. I don’t think I have sixty. I have fifty-five, so I’ll give you back a gram then you’ll owe me five. Are you good with that?”

Toothless Chuck stopped by and bought two grams of weed from Buck. Then he asked Bruce, “Have you got the forty bucks you owe me?”

Bruce said, “No, I don’t have it. Do you want some pot in exchange? Take it or leave it.”

“No, I don’t want any pot.”

Bruce said, “Well, move along then. You’re standing in front of my cup. How do you expect someone to make a drop if they have to fight their way through you and a dog?”

A woman stopped and dropped a dollar into Bruce’s cup. “Thanks, sweetheart,” he said. How’s your nose? You’re not going to take another dive are you?”

“No, I don’t think so. The doctor said he’s going to up my pain meds.”

“Well tell him to double or triple them.”

The woman said, “I don’t want to be falling asleep. I’d end up like I did last time.” she shook Bruce’s hand then walked away.

“Bye, sweetheart, take care.” To me he said, “She’s a really sweet girl. She has some kind of disease, like epilepsy, where she gets massive seizures. They come on all of a sudden. A few days ago she fell and hit her nose on a car mirror.”

I asked, “Have you heard any news about funeral arrangements for Joy?”

“No, Mariah would be the one to talk to about that. She found the body. Wasn’t it just last night that we were talking about how Joy hadn’t been seen for a few days? Mariah got the landlady to open the apartment. Joy was lying on the floor, stiff as a board, her lips blue.”

I asked, “Do they know the cause of death?”

“Suicide over a period of years! Her doctor told her to quit smoking and drinking but, you know Joy, she refused. I blame that bastard Jake, beating her and letting her kidneys bleed out. I know he went to prison for that, but the next time I see him, I don’t care if he is in a wheelchair, I’m going to lay a beating on him. At home I’ve got a five pound hammer with a yellow cord that won’t break. I’ll carry that with me. I don’t care if I do go to prison. I won’t be in p.c. (protective custody) like Jake was. I’ll be with the general population. Maybe I’ll get a judge whose daughter or sister was the victim of spousal abuse. That’s what I plan to do.

“We’re partly to blame for not convincing Joy to leaving that guy. I just don’t understand guys that are beaters. I don’t understand women who stay with them. Generally, I think women are smarter than men, but not when it comes to choosing a partner. I know lots of gay men who are in relationships. I never hear of them being beaten by their spouses, they’d just leave.

“Anyway, I’m finished here for the day. At the grocery store they have their ‘Dollar Days’ sale, so I’m going to stock up.”

I said, “Take care, Bruce. I’ll see you soon.”

I phoned Mariah.  “Hi, Mariah, It’s Dennis, I’m so sorry to hear the news about Joy. I know how close you were to her, like a sister. I just wanted to be informed when the funeral will take place. If you could contact Chuck or Metro — I see them every day.”

“I will, Dennis, but I don’t know when they’ll be releasing the body. The coroner has ordered an autopsy. The police had all kinds of questions. I was up half the night.”

I said, “I won’t keep you any longer, Mariah. I just wanted to express my condolences to you and to let you know that I’d like to pay my respects at the funeral.”

“Thanks, Dennis. Take care.”

Read more about my friends at





29 April 2015

Bearded Bruce was using the pay phone. I waited for him to finish. He said, “Hey bud, it’s good to see you. It’s been a couple of months now. It was a brutal winter.”

I said, “I’ve been looking for some of my friends. Markus, I talked with yesterday. I’ve met with Magdalene and Native Nance. I’ve seen Greg and Luther. Little Jake I’ve talked to on the bus.”

“You won’t see Jake for a while. Three days ago was check day.

“We’re still around. I pan on this corner then move on to the next block later on. I’m just waiting to hear about some work”

I asked, “What kind of work will you be doing?”

“Landscaping, the same as last year.”

I remembered that Weasel and Bruce shared that job last year. I didn’t want to mention that sad topic.

“Yeah, I’ll be doing some word for Stella, as soon as the ground is dry enough.”

I asked, “Have you seen Joy lately. Nancy was at her place for Easter dinner. Joy seemed to be doing fine then.”

“Well,” said Bruce, “she wasn’t inclined to listen to the advice of her doctor.”

“Yes,” I said, “I’m well aware of that.”

Bruce said, “I talked to Mariah yesterday, she hasn’t seen Joy for three days and she’s holding her check for her. She’s knocked on Joy’s door, but there’s no answer. It’s not like Joy to miss collecting her check. I’m going to drop by her place tomorrow.”

I said, “It was great seeing you, Bruce. Take care.”

“Take care, bud.”




30 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck, How’s your day going for you.”

“Dennis, I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but Joy passed away. When they discovered the body they figured that she had been dead about three days. I almost wish it was me instead of her. I’ll miss her giving me a kiss on the cheek. Asking, ‘How’s it going you old fart?’ “

I said, “She’ll be missed by a lot of people. I’ve often told her my troubles. She was sympathetic, or at least acted that way. Have you heard any news about funeral arrangements.”

“They may have a small service at the Mission. I don’t know if she had any family.”

“She has five sons and two sisters who live out of town. She also has an uncle who would regularly ride in on his motorcycle.”

Chuck said, “I didn’t know that. When I die I don’t want any fuss. I’ve arranged for a woman to have me cremated then spread my ashes on the St Lawrence. I’ve enjoyed myself out there.

“As far as the rest of my family is concerned, they can all go to hell. I don’t want a service, no notice in the paper, nothing written about me. I don’t even want them informed. If there were a service they’d go there to be seen. They’d hang around saying  ‘Oh, Daddy this and oh, Daddy that.’ Now they don’t give a shit. I like  the native point of view, ‘Today is a good day to die’. Even in the bible they say let the dead bury their dead (Luke 9:60:  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

“There was a drunk guy who came around yesterday who said, ‘Chuck, it’s so good to see you. Remember this and remember that.’ I didn’t remember the guy. Later it came to me, I’d thrown him out of a bar where I’d worked as a beer jockey. He gave me a dollar, but I don’t want to see him again.”

I said, I have to go now Chuck, but take care. I’m sorry about Joy, we’ll miss her.”

“Yes, we all have to die.”

Read more about my friends at





29 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck, how’s everything going today.”

“Fine, but there’s still time for a major catastrophe.”

I said, “Yesterday I talked to Mather. He’s an interesting fellow.”

“Yeah, he was here when my son dealt with that crack-head. Most people avoid him because of the strange things he says.

“He thinks that because I’m in a wheelchair that I can’t defend myself, but I’m fully capable. I could stand up and beat the shit out of someone, if I had a mind too. It would kill me, but I could do it.”

Goldie barked at another dog about her size. The dog was on a leash. Its owner was waiting for the walk light. Goldie kept barking, the other dog hunched down and didn’t make a sound. Chuck said, “Goldie, shut up.” Goldie kept barking. Chuck said, “It’s okay, I know that you’re just trying to protect me.” Goldie kept barking. Chuck said, “Quiet, I divorced a woman for yapping like you’re doing now.”

“I look around and there are only three of the original buildings from when I moved here. On the corner where the restaurant is there used to be a gas station where I’d get my car serviced.”

I said, “Not too many gas stations service cars any more. I remember when I drove a ’46 Chevy. I could unscrew a plate on the floor and adjust the transmission gears with a wrench. That was back when transmissions had gears. It worked fine.”

Chuck said, “There used to be a native guy who walked around with a wrench and screwdriver in his pocket. Whenever he’d see a motorist with car trouble he’d go over and asked if they needed help. Engines were a lot simpler then, but they broke down a lot. This guy would ask, ‘If I can fix your car, will you give me twenty bucks.’ Most times he could. He’d walk away with an extra twenty in his pocket.”





This was a fantastic read. I enjoyed the fast pace, the riveting plot, but most of all the believable character development of Kate Mercer. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I know Kate to be the survivor of an abusive husband. She now helps other women in similar situations. This proves to be a very dangerous position, especially when faced with an angry husband who is also on the police force. Kate shows bravery, determination and empathy. With her husband and daughter she shows love and tenderness. She also has doubts and insecurities. She is a complex, compassionate, empowered woman.

The writing and dialog are flawless and engaging. I look forward to reading other books by Tracey Lampley. Put Kept on your must read list.




28 April 2015

Sitting on his backpack, was a familiar figure. I said to him, “We’ve met before, haven’t we? Is your name Mather?”

“Yes,” he said, “we met last summer. Mather the Cadaver they call me.”

I said, “I’m looking for some of my friends, but can’t find many around.”

Mather said, “Chuck, the guy in the wheelchair, is two blocks down and his son, they call him Toothless, is in the next block. Chuck was having trouble with a crack-head who parked himself five feet away and started panning. That’s considered very bad manners. Toothless came along, picked the guy up, slammed him against the brick wall. He left real quick.

“I don’t socialize very much. The fewer the people around, the less likely I am to get into trouble. A guy came up to me yesterday and said you have multiple personality disorder. That’s just a way of labelling me so that I can be marginalized and isolated. That way, I’m not so much of a threat to them. What they’re afraid of is that I could testify against some of the mafia figures in the city.

“I haven’t been back here for very long. I was in Vancouver, what they call ‘Hollywood North’. It’s bad mixing actors and politicians, fantasy with reality. Scientology is especially bad. They implanted neurotransmitters behind my ears.  If I put a small piece of metal near my ear it will be attracted just like a magnet. Sometimes the pulse is strong and it causes all the muscles in my back to flex and tighten. If the pulse is low my body feels all rubbery. That’s the way they are able to find me.

“Have you heard of ‘acoustic cavity resonators’? Your ear is a resonator. If heat is applied, near these neurotransmitter implants, I can actually hear the sounds produced.

“I don’t take drugs, but the effects of microwaves are similar those of a person who has taken opium for a long time. At first they give you the good stuff that causes happy dreams, then they start giving you the junk that causes nightmares. Twice I’ve been given drinks like Iced Tea laced with opium. I felt really sick.

Tesla theorized that the application of electricity to the brain enhanced intelligence. In 1912, he crafted “a plan to make dull students bright by saturating them unconsciously with electricity,” wiring the walls of a schoolroom and, “saturating [the schoolroom] with infinitesimal electric waves vibrating at high frequency. The whole room will thus, Mr. Tesla claims, be converted into a health-giving and stimulating electromagnetic field or ‘bath.'”The plan was, at least provisionally approved by then superintendent of New York City schools, William H. Maxwell. (Wikipedia)

“In the States the C.I.A. supplies the mafia with opiates and other drugs. The mafia acts as their distribution chain. They do it that way because the mafia will never be taken to court, unless they cross an agent who’s like a Boy Scout. That can cause problems.

“Now I’m living in one of those subsidized death traps. The government uses them as a way to control us.They do it with microwaves. They can be really harmful. What may look like a regular microwave oven is capable of channelling waves that can be transmitted to apartments on either side, or to the ones above and below. When they get as far down as a parking garage they aren’t effective because nobody’s down there. It’s like when you’re a couple of hundred feet below ground in a mine shaft. You don’t hear the voices.

“I used to like Motorola. They made a low-frequency cell phone that wasn’t dangerous to a person’s health. Their competitor was Nokia who made a high-frequency phone — for a lower price. Eventually, to stay in the market, Motorola switched to the high-frequency.

“The politicians could control the entire population with subliminal messages transmitted by cell phones. This is really dangerous stuff.”

I said, “I’ve enjoyed our conversation, but I have to return to work soon. Perhaps, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Take care.”





28 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck. We have some warm weather for a change and they say it will last a few days.”

“I don’t believe that. I’ll take what we got now, but as far as forecasts are concerned, they’ve been wrong all winter, why would they change now?

“You heard about that big earthquake in Nepal, that killed so many people. We’re overdue for one of those — way overdue. There is a major fault line running right through the middle of the city. I could be sitting here comfortably one minute, the next minute I could be crushed by falling bricks.

“When I first moved to the city, this building was the YMCA. The YWCA was across the street. I tried to stay there but they wouldn’t let me, so I stayed here.

Car horns honked, a driver failed to give right-of-way to a bicycle. Chuck said, “If there was a major car accident at this intersection, I could be killed sitting right here. I could be killed by one of those damned cyclists. They cut across the sidewalk, ride on the wrong side of the street. As far as I’m concerned the priority should be pedestrians first, then cars, then bicycles.

“We have what people are starting to call ‘bicycle trails’. They’re not bicycle trails, they’re nature trails. Cyclists use them as if they own them, tearing around with no respect for other people. My son is just as bad. Several times I was on one of those trails in my wheelchair when he swooped by, nearly hitting me. I told him, ‘The next time you do that I’m going to clothesline you right across the neck, and I will.’

“Remember last year a cyclist on one of those trails hit two little kids, one five years old and the other two. The younger one suffered severe cuts and bruises.  The older one was taken to hospital with blood pouring out of his shoulder. Doctors were so concerned about the swelling on his brain they ordered a CT-scan. The cyclist apologized profusely, but admitted his bike had no brakes. He wasn’t even charged.

“This is a busy week for me. Goldie goes to the vet for her shots and a week Thursday I’ll be going to hospital to have my pacemaker replaced. The doctor explained it all to me. I won’t feel any pain because the whole area will be frozen. He’ll make a new incision over the old one and then remove the old heart device. The new device is then inserted.

“It sounds simple, but he informed me that there may be complications such as infection. This can cause weakened immune system, kidney failure, especially since I’m already taking blood thinners. In rare cases, the new battery is faulty, in which case I die.

I said, “I’m sure everything will work out. You’ll be back out here in no time. I’ll see you tomorrow, Chuck.”





23830791 (1)


How to Kill a Millionaire

This is mystery thriller that will keep you guessing at every turn. The author sets the scene and the planned outcome early in the novel, however nothing is as we suspect. We are given access to the thoughts of psychotic wife, Tammy, as she plots the murder of her husband and his ten-year-old daughter. She is foiled at every turn, getting herself deeper and deeper into the world of the macabre. We learn of her childhood where she smothered her infant brother, schoolyard violence showing that her desires come before the health and safety of anyone else. What is this woman capable of? Will she carry through with her murderous plan or will she be stopped?

Ominous events occur, such as the stabbing of an owl through the eye with a nail file, a fox pelt hanging from a tree, a loss of heat and water at a luxurious vacation cabin. The reader is left questioning these and other mysteries as the complex plot unfolds.

I enjoyed reading this book and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. I rated it 5 Stars.




27 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck, I wasn’t sure if I’d see you this morning. You seemed under the weather on Friday. How do you feel now?

“The cold is really getting to me. I have poor circulation in my hands and feet.” He removed his gloves and I could see bruises on his hands.”I’m just trying to make the best of what life I have left.”

I asked, “How was your weekend?”

“It was quiet, as usual. I watched the Hockey game last night. We were robbed! The place went wild with 13:05 left in the second when a quick whistle by referee Chris Lee cost the Senators a goal.  Lee was on the other side of the net and lost sight of the puck. It’s inexcusable because the Senators were pushing back. The game ended with Montreal ahead by two goals, so that mistake, on the part of the ref, cost us the playoffs.”

“You mentioned that Goldie needed an operation. Is that going to happen soon?”

“I still have to make the arrangements. I’m going to do that today. I hope the vet can take her this week. Did I tell you about the fight on Friday? That’s part of the reason that I was so quiet. That crack-head, who’s been cutting me, walked up to that little native girl who pans in Joy’s spot. He picked her up by the shoulders of her coat, slammed her against the concrete wall and started beating her.

I asked, “Do you mean Magdalene?”

“Yeah, that’s who it was. I couldn’t remember her name. She was the girlfriend of Alphonse. Sometimes, I can remember her name but I forget Alphonse.”

I said, “I know what that’s like. I’m always forgetting names.”

I asked, “Who was the crack-head? Was is Ghyslain?”

“No it was some other guy. Anyway, she managed to slip away from him and ran into the coffee shop. She was waving her fist at him. I expected the cops to come at any minute. I just kept quiet and out of the way. I hate having to deal with cops.

“This afternoon, my friend from Cornwall is taking me out to lunch. I’m looking forward to that.”

I said, “Take care, Chuck, I hope to see you tomorrow.”



Five out of Five Stars
on April 26, 2015
Format: Paperback
Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People by Dennis Cardiff is all about street people you meet that make life the rich, vibrant experience that it is. They shape our memories more than the locations themselves. They can make a bad place good, or a great place bad. They teach us about what we like or don’t like in others. They shine lights on our ignorance and teach us about ourselves.The book is written in such detail and it’s highly amusing. Feelings come and go. Sometimes there is sorrow, sometimes joy. Verythought provoking &a uplifting book that keeps you so emotionally engaged throughout it. Cardiff has a gift for explaining deep thoughts in an approachable and very emotional way.A little about what have I learned from the book….

Reading page after page we can quickly learn two things about the homeless from Cardiff’s book. First, you can learn that many of the homeless, before they were homeless, were people more or less like ourselves: members of the working or middle class. And we can learn that the world of the homeless has its roots in various policies, events, and ways of life. We can also learn from Cardiff’s characters that one of the most important things there is to know about the homeless – that they can be roughly divided into two groups: those who have had homelessness forced upon them and want nothing more than to escape it; and those who have at least in part chosen it for themselves, and now accept, or in some cases, embrace it.

We must learn to accept that there may indeed be people, and not only vets, who have seen so much of our world, or seen it so clearly, that to live in it becomes impossible. Here, for example, is the story of “Joy”, a homeless middle-age woman from Toronto. She sees the streets as her home and the rest of the street people in her group as her family. As a person she has experienced many difficult moments through her life – troubled childhood, raped by male guard in prison for Women, mental problems, abusive and alcoholic boyfriend who beats her very often… but her story have changed Cardiff’s life in a extraordinary way. By writing about her experiences, he tells us that it is important to understand that however disorderly or dirty or unmanageable the world of homeless men and women like “Joy” appears to us, it is not without its significance, and its rules and rituals.

They are many more stories in the book that can make you take a step back and think about the way you live, treat others, and treat yourself. I can relate to most of what the author wrote. I believe that the main message Cardiff is sending is that no matter who they are, no matter where they live good people bring out the good in people. I am so glad that Dennis Cardiff shared his remarkable experience with his readers. I would remember his book for years, because my life have been enriched and transformed by reading Cardiff’s an amazing journey.




24 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck. I bet you thought I’d pissed the bed this morning — I’m here so early. Well, we didn’t get the snow that was forecasted.”

“We may yet,” said Chuck, “the day’s early.”

“How are you, Chuck?” I noticed that he didn’t have his usual smile.”

“I’m not so good. Goldie’s got to go to the vet and I’m going for some blood tests. The battery in my pacemaker is running low. They’ll have to open me up to replace the battery. I don’t know if my heart can handle that.

“If you don’t mind, I’m really not up to talking much today.”

I said, “You take care, Chuck, I’ll see you next week.”

“I don’t know. It’ll depend on how I feel.