group3
 
10 October 2015

As I neared the group at the park, Peter said, “Sit over here. They watered the lawn and this is the only dry place. Jacques offered me a plastic shopping bag, Mariah offered me a plastic cushion; I took the cushion.

I said, “DId you hear that Nick was in hospital?”

Outcast said, “Yeah, we heard, he’s across the street right now. We moved from there when they finished watering the grass. It’s too warm in the sun.”

“How is he?”

“Who knows, one minute he tells me he has to go under the knife for something, the next minute he says we won’t see him after a week because he’s going to Niagara Falls. How’s he going to do both?”

Mariah said, “He has a brother in Niagara Falls. That’s probably why he’s going, if he’s going.”

I said to Outcast, “He needed surgery last year and refused it. He said he’d place his health in the hands of God.”

“I think he has a hernia like I had, but lower down. He’s got a lot of health problems.”

I asked Outcast, “How are you doing? Will you be having your hernia operation redone?”

“No, I’m not having it redone. The netting they used for the patch is rubbing on my intestines, so I see blood in the toilet. The doctor said he wasn’t worried about it. If it’s still bothering me after a year he’ll operate.

“Little Chester was by earlier, drunk as usual. You can always tell he’s drunk because then he drags his foot. He bought a bottle of sherry at 9:30, by 11:00 it was gone. He’s a small guy, he should know that he can’t handle that amount. Then he peed in the middle of the sidewalk. He could have gotten arrested for that.”

Little Frank walked up breathing heavily. He said, “I’ve had the morning from hell. I got my check today and went to Money Mart to cash it, since I don’t have a bank account. I was standing in line behind an old woman who was trying to cash a check for $7500. There was some kind of problem. They had to call in the manager. I waited an hour and a half for my measly $97. So, Wolf here’s the $15. I owe you. Outcast here’s the $5. I owe you.” He was on the phone to someone and said, “You’ll have to wait for your $30. until my next check, man. I’m cleaned out.”

He continued, “You’ll never guess what happened to me this morning. I went in to buy a pack of smokes and the owner was training a girl on the cash. Before she’d sell me the cigarettes she asked for proof of age. I said, ‘Look, honey, I’m 44. It takes a long time to lose all these teeth.’ Maybe she thought I’d been in a lot of fights before I was 16. There was a big biker guy standing behind me. He laughed and said, ‘I bet that made your day.’

“Now I get to relax. I haven’t even had a drink yet,” he said as he pulled out a bottle of sherry.

“Jacques, can I borrow your lighter, and can you fill this one for me? Last night I was trying to light some weed from the wooden pipe that you gave me. Can you believe it? three lighters ran out of fuel at the same time. I nearly went nuts. I couldn’t find anything to light my pipe, so I just went to bed.”

Outcast said, “What you do is take a piece of paper towel and shove it in the toaster. When it catches fire you pull it out and you have a flame to light anything you want.”

Wolf said, “Dennis, your hair is getting long. You’re getting to look more like us every day.”

“That’s the whole idea, Wolf. I’m trying to look like you. You’re my idol. Maybe next I’ll grow my beard down to my belly like Jacques. I’ve had a beard like that before.”

Wolf said, “Now my beard comes in kind of salt and pepper, mostly salt. When I was younger it came in red. Go figure.

“I’m still having trouble breathing through my nose, probably because I had it broken a few times. At night I use those Breathe Rite Strips. They work great, but they’re expensive — Thirty two dollars for thirty strips.”

Outcast said, “So that works out to be about a dollar a strip. You pay for those, or can you get them on prescription?”

“Okay, I steal them. I didn’t want to say that, but they’re almost a necessity. I don’t use them every night. A box will last me maybe a couple of months or more.”

Outcast said, “I figured that you stole them. I just didn’t want to accuse you of something if you were innocent.”

 
 
 

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