Archive for September 23, 2015


23 September 2015
I was approaching Rhea when a fire engine drove by with sirens blaring. I said hello, but she held up her hand indicating that she couldn’t hear.

“That’s four that have come by. Sirens scare me. I hate to think of someone being hurt.”

I asked, “Have you been sleeping better lately?”

“Yes, they moved me out of the room I was sharing and put me on a cot. I like it a lot better.”

I said, “I’ve been having trouble breathing lately. I have asthma and they’re renovating the building where I work.”

Leah reached into her backpack and pulled out a blue puffer. She said, I use this a couple of times a day. When it gets too bad I take pills. My voice sounds a bit raspy due to an operation I had on my throat when I was eighteen.”

“What operation did you have?”

“I fell off a fifty foot cliff. The last thing I remember was looking up and seeing purple, then I saw stars. Doctors had to do a tracheotomy. Now, my windpipe only has seventy per cent capacity.”

“Where are you originally from?”


“Do you go back there often? I guess there aren’t many jobs available?”

“No, there aren’t, but I don’t miss the place.”

I left to visit my other friends at the park. Pierre was passing around a joint. He said, “This is the best weed you’ll ever taste. I grew it myself, no chemicals, just water. I still wish that they’d decriminalize it. I’d lose business, but if I could buy it at a reasonable price it would take it out of the black market and customers would know what they’re buying.

“There is a guy they call the $400. doctor. He’ll give anybody a year long prescription for medical marijuana. You don’t have to have anything wrong with you. He’ll just make something up. You give him $400. for the prescription and he’ll say, ‘See you next year.’ The problem with medical marijuana is that the buds have stems in them. They also reduce the potency with fillers. It has a THC content of about 9 percent. Of course, you can also take it by vaporizing, eating extracts, taking capsules or using oral sprays.

“You know, a while back, people were saying they were smoking hash laced with opium? It came with white powder on it. Do you know what that white stuff was? Mold, from coming in on ships from Viet Nam. It gave you an incredible high, but it was dangerous for your lungs.”

Jacques’ phone rang. He looked at the display and said, “Outcast, I think this is for you.”

I heard Outcast say, “Yeah, I’ll be coming home soon. I’m going to stop by the Food Bank for vegies. It’s the once a month one. I’ll be home in about an hour, or two, or three. No, I’m coming right home. Don’t start cooking anything, because I’m going to make my soup. Bye.

“We don’t have a relationship anymore, so we get along better. She does her thing, I do mine.

“Have you heard about the trouble between the uber drivers and the taxi companies. Yesterday a passenger was dragged out of an Uber car and forced into a cab. I can’t remember the company name. I don’t like the idea of Uber coming in, taking business away from the drivers who have to pay for a taxi licence. Also, I don’t think they are insured if a passenger is injured. On the other hand, the taxis are charging too much and it seems to be arbitrary. My girlfriend took a cab to the airport, it cost $37.00. For the return trip, exactly the same route, they charged $49.00. Where’s the logic in that?”


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