Archive for April 30, 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.”

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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.”

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