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


  1. Thanks for the Compassionate look into the lives of these unfortunates.
    There is a good book about homelessness in my part of the nortwesy called Breakfast at Sallys. You might like it.


  2. Chagall says:

    Your tremendous ear for dialogue is always amazing. —Chagall


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