9 July 2015

I was expecting to meet my friends at the park. They said they’d be there, but street people have a very flexible concept of time. Most of them don’t wear watches (an obvious indication of wealth). One has a cell phone, but the screen is so shattered that viewing is nearly impossible. I continued past the park, towards the bridge, where I saw Joe in his walker. We both waved.

“Hi Joe.”

“It’s good to see you,” said Joe. His upturned cap was on the sidewalk in front of him. “Good afternoon, ladies,” he said to some women walking by. “Don’t mind me I like people and if I’m cheerful they treat me better.

“That one’s Inuit from Baffin Island. Do you know how to tell the difference between a woman from the Northwest Territories and the ones from Baffin? The ones from the Territories have a nice round bum, the others have a flat bum. I’m part Cree, but I don’t speak it. There are twenty-seven different dialects, that’s a lot to learn. I’m fluent in French though. Bonjour, Madam.”  A grey haired woman turned and smiled. “I have a lot better luck with the older ones. The young ones are nicer to look at, but I only get one of those every six months or so. A couple of nights ago two women walked by. We talked for a while and I asked them, ‘Would you care to join me behind the bushes for a little fun?’ One of them said, ‘Show us the tool you have between your legs, then we can decide whether or not it’ll be worth our while.’ I didn’t mind, I stood up and dropped my jeans. ‘It looks like you’ll do,’ one of them said. The three of us spent most of the night together.

“I sleep back there. Last night it rained for about twenty minutes. I thought, This will be a good chance to wash my beard. I went down near the water and the rain stopped. It’s a good thing I wasn’t all lathered. There’s no way I’d wash in that water from the river; it’s too polluted.

“I have a lot of nasal congestion, so when I go to a restaurant I grab a big handful of napkins. When I buy my beer I always ask them to put it in a bag. When I have to blow my nose I put the used napkins in the bag. Later, I’ll dump it in one of the trash containers. I like to keep my place neat.

“The cops came back there one time. They said ‘Joe, you really shouldn’t be sleeping back here.’ They looked around and found an injection needle. ‘Do you know anything about this?’ they asked as they picked it up with rubber gloves. I said, “Sure, I found a guy shooting up back here. With one hand I grabbed him by the shirt collar, with the other I grabbed him by the ass of his pants, then I tossed him in that dumpster there. It took him most of the night to get out. At about that time my brother — who is six foot nine — and twenty of his gang buddies rode up on their Harleys. ‘Are these two pigs giving you a rough time, Joe?’ my brother asked. They picked up the squad car and carried it to the railing of the bridge. He asked, ‘Should we throw it over?’ I said, ‘Hell no, a shitload of grief would come down on me and I’d have to find another place to live.’ They dropped the car on the pavement, it bounced a few times, the cops jumped in and drove away. It helps to have family and friends in high places.

“I’ve got ten brothers and six sisters — my mother was a nympho — I’m the shortest of the boys at six foot four. I teased my mom and asked, ‘Before I was born, are you sure you weren’t cheating on Dad?’ I got out of there quick. Mom kept a sawed off shotgun in the kitchen.

“Another time, before breakfast,  I took a carton of eggs out of the fridge. With a needle I made a tiny hole in the shell of each egg, then sucked the egg out of the shell.  I filled the shells with water, put them in the freezer, just long enough so they would start to freeze. When my mom tried to crack one of the eggs all that came out was water. I nearly busted a gut laughing. Mom was alright, she could take a joke.”


Read about my friends here  http://buff.ly/1wyjiKS



  1. LOL….. Joe has a wild life.


  2. evershirin says:

    Beautiful read


  3. […] Source: Don’t Mess with Joe […]


  4. Fascinating character. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this small sample of your work. My website listed below is not ready for primetime, but will be fairly soon now. I blog with a friend in addition to writing books and short stories.


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