womanbox

 
25 April 2013

This morning was sunny but cold (4 degrees centigrade / 39 degrees Fahrenheit). I usually walk straight to Joy’s spot, but I had run out of bus tickets and Tim Horton coffee cards, so I had to make two stops, stand in two lineups. When I got to Joy’s spot she was sobbing. “Thank God you’re here. I saw you cross the street and I thought I wouldn’t see you. I left my purse at Outcast’s place last night. I took a cab, and only after I tried to pay the fare did I realize I didn’t have my purse with me.  In it I had my cash, my pot, all my phone numbers. I told the guy, ‘I’m just going to go up to my friend’s place to get some money.’ He grabbed my bag and said, ‘I’ll hold onto this until you get back.’ I went to Mariah’s place. She wasn’t home. Even if she didn’t have any money I could have used her phone to call André or Outcast. I went down to the cab and said to the guy, ‘Fuck man, I got no money. I can’t call my friends. Can I pay you tomorrow? He said, ‘I’ll give you twenty-four hours, then I call the police.

“What is it with you people? You think you can get away without paying. I got bills to pay.’ I said to him, ‘First of all, what’s this YOU people. Do you think I’m a ho? I wouldn’t be wearing nearly these many clothes if I was hooking. Do you think I’m a crack addict? Do I act like a crack addict? Is it because I’m part native?’ This guy was a fuckin’ immigrant! I was born here.

“This morning I had to beg the bus driver to let me on. I said to him, ‘I got no tickets, can I give you four (each fare is two tickets) tomorrow. He said, “Okay, I see you going in to the hotel through the back way. Why don’t you go through the front?’ The only reason I go in there is to take a piss, but I said to him, ‘I work as a cleaner there. Only paying guests are allowed to use the front door.’

“Most of the regulars on the bus think I work in construction. I overheard this woman say that one of her pipes was leaking. I said to her, ‘It sounds to me like you need a plastic elbow. It’ll fit inside your pipe and stop the leak.’ This other guy says, ‘If you’re a tradesman, how do you cut marble.’ I said, I’d use a Jig saw and plenty of water to keep the blade cool.’ I just pick this stuff up on programs like How’s this Made.

“It’s just like when I was in prostitution.  For a while I worked in a phone sex chat room.  People say I have a sexy phone voice. I’ve heard myself on tape recorder. I just think it sounds nasal, like I have a sore throat. I went by the name Lincoln. But I’d say ‘I’m not that big, but I do purrrr.’ It was crazy working in that place. There were about sixty of us in this room, we each had a cubicle. Most of the time we’d have our feet up munching on something. When we’d get a call we weren’t allowed to initiate the conversation. Just like when we were on the street, the guy would have to tell us what he wanted and we’d give him a price. We’d wait until the guy said something like, ‘What are you wearing?’ I’d say, ‘I’m just curled up in my pink baby dolls, waiting for you handsome.’ Otherwise we could have been charged with soliciting.

“Big Jake phoned me one time, and, I mean I was living with the guy, right, so he knew how I’d be dressed and what I looked like. We chatted for a while and when I got home he said, ‘I had such a
hard-on all afternoon. I had to leave work it was such a stiffy.’   — or woody, or chipmunk, or whatever you want to call it.

“Anyway, I was sure glad you came along this morning. You cheered me up. When I saw you go by, I just put my head down in my lap and started bawling my eyes out. This old lady stopped, not one of my regulars, and asked, ‘What’s the matter deary? Is there anything I can do to help?’ She reached into her purse and dropped me one blue bus ticket. I don’t know if they even take them any more. That was before the pink ones, the orange ones. And there was only one. I guess I could have told the driver that it was folded and I couldn’t get it apart. That might have worked. ”

We saw Chester coming. “What does that old fart want? It’s always something, bus tickets, cigarettes.”

Chester said, “Hi Joy, Dennis. I can’t stop I’m going somewhere.”

Joy said, “You’re always going somewhere.”

“Cheer up,” he said, “we get our checks tomorrow. You’ll be getting yours too. I’ll see you.”

“I was hoping that André would be coming down. Last time I saw him was at Mariah’s. He was fooling around with this stupid camera. When Mariah saw that He’d taken her picture she beat the shit out of him — had him in a headlock and was pounding his face. There are a lot of people who don’t like to have their picture spread around.”

I asked, “What’s Mariah worried about?”

“I shouldn’t even be saying this, but when she was with a motorcycle gang.  They’ve now joined up with a larger, international gang.  Well, she brought the affiliation papers to the larger gang. I’d tell you the names, but then I’d have to kill you.”

Next came Toothless Chuck (not to be confused with his father, Chuck, who has teeth). “Hi Joy,  Dennis! Haven’t seen you guys for ages. Joy, I got those paints you wanted.”

“Cool, man. I’ve painted some vines on my walls and I wanted to add some color — flowers or something.”

“If you see Danny, tell him I have a box of oil pastels that I want to sell. I’m having a barbecue this afternoon. Do you want to come? Shark and Irene will be there.”

“I don’t know man, Shark and I don’t get along so well.”

“Just talk to Irene then. There will be lots of other people. I’m on my way to the store to get some groceries. I’ll pick you up on the way back.”

“Yeah, okay.”

Before I left Joy asked me, “Would you like a pear?  Someone gave it to me.  I don’t eat them.”

“Sure, I’ll probably see you at noon.”
 

Since this writing Joy and Shakes died peacefully. Ambrose hung himself. The others I have lost contact with.

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

 

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