Archive for April 15, 2015




15 April 2015

“Good Morning, Chuck”

“Do you know what pisses me off? It’s those damned parking control officers. The same thing happens each week. The van for the coffee shop pulls up with supplies. He’s got nowhere to park but right in front and they wait for him.  I saw him trying to explain the problem. The officer said, “Save your excuse. you’re getting a ticket.” Today the driver even had a helper with him. Where it normally takes twenty minutes to unload, today it would have taken ten, if not for the fifteen minutes it took talking. I guess they have a quota to make.

“Did you see that? The woman with the pit bull came right up against my chair. Those dogs are dangerous. I don’t care what their owners say, ‘But, he’s so gentle, He wouldn’t hurt anybody. Then you read in the newspaper about a child being killed by the family pet. They just can’t be trusted. It’s bred into them to hunt and kill. They should all be done away with, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds and Dobermanns. None of them can be trusted.”

A woman stopped and asked, “You have such a sweet dog. Do you mind if I pet him?”

“Go ahead,” said Chuck. He pulled an identification card, on a lanyard, out from his jacket. “Ma’am, this is a Seizure Service Dog. If I were to have a seizure I could die, but Goldie here can detect when I’m about to have one, then I can lie down, or get to a safe place.

“I remember when I was still on the booze, living in a rooming house. We’d pan for change during the day, so the cops would come by at about 4:00 am and start kicking doors. They figured if we couldn’t sleep at night we’d be too tired to pan in the daytime. Then they’d go through the alleys where the guys were in sleeping bags all snuggled up for the night. The cops would kick the shit out of them and leave them where they were, not knowing if they were injured or dead.

“I remember what it was to be like that. I didn’t care if I lived or died. Sometimes, it’s like that now. I’m happy now. I’m happy when I awake and take Goldie for her walk. I’m happy when I’m down here, talking to my regulars, but when I get home I’m depressed. If I had a woman to come home to life might be different. You saw the woman I was with yesterday. We went to the pizza shop, she had a slice, I had a slice. Then she caught the bus to Belleville. I went home alone.

“When I was married I’d never complain if my wife left the toothpaste cap on the sink. I’d just replace it. She’d put the toilet paper roll on backwards. I didn’t argue, I’d just turn it around the way I like it. Did you hear about the couple who’d been married for seventy-five years? Someone asked them if they argued much. The husband said, ‘ We haven’t argued for sixty-five years.’ The wife said, ‘We stopped talking after ten.’

“I still get the urge sometimes. I know, if I had a drink or a cigarette it would kill me, but sometimes it seems worth it. First I’d load up with a forty pounder of rum, a forty pounder of rye, an eight ball of coke, some weed and some cigarettes. First I’d go to a strip club. I’d let the ladies tease me all night. On the way home I might get a two hundred-dollar hooker. Then I’d get into the booze and the cigarettes. That’s the way I’d like to die.”

I said, “I have to go,Chuck, but I’ll see you tomorrow.”