Archive for November, 2015

womanbox
14 May 2013

Joy was looking better this morning, at least she didn’t appear to be in pain.

“Hi Sweetie,” she said.

“How’s your day going?” I asked.

“Shitty, I haven’t even made enough for a bottle.”

“How was your weekend?”

“It was okay — quiet.  Sunday was the anniversary of my mom’s death. I picked some flowers and tossed them in the river. That’s what I do every year. My mother loved the water. When I was in Montreal I could feel her presence all around me.  It’s not so strong here.”

I said, ” She’s nearby, watching over you. I believe in spirits — I’ve seen them. I’m sure she’s proud of you.”

“I hope so.

“I saw Nicholas this morning. He came back from visiting his parents in Mani…it’s not Maniwaki…Mani…something or other. He brought me back some moose steaks. I love moose, even though it will give me the runs for three days, it’s so rich.”

I asked, “Is he still going out with Christine? I think I remember her. She’s pretty isn’t she?”

“Gorgeous, with that beautiful smile and her long black hair, but they all sleep around. When she’s been drinking sherry she really goes crazy. She’s taken a swing at me. I just grabbed her throat and pushed her to the ground. I said to her, ‘It’s okay, sweetie, it’s me…everything is okay.’ She was fine after that. She’s a scratcher and a biter. Nicholas was just trying to hold her away and she bit the palm of his hand; a really nasty bite. I said to him, ‘You should go to a doctor. A human bite is more dangerous than an animal bite.’ He didn’t go.

“Toothless wants to have a barbecue today. I feel bad, they’ll have booze and I’ll be walking in empty handed. Do you think you could buy me a bottle?”

I said, “We’ll see.”

“You know the kind I like, don’t you? Don’t buy me any of that Pale Dry shit. That’ll really make me sick.”

I asked, “Have you heard anything about André? Has anybody seen him?”

“Nobody’s seen him because he’s hiding out. He was by here this morning on his bicycle. He pulled up right in front of me.  I said, ‘If you’re going to stop, at least have the courtesy to get your bike out of the way. I’m trying to work here.’

I said to him, ‘What took you so long to come around. At least Jake had the decency to apologize the next day, when he beat me.’ Andre said, ‘Don’t put me in the same category as Jake.’ I said, You’re worse than Jake,  he came back to see if I was still alive.’ I could see tears welling up in his eyes. He said, that he’d be leaving town for about a month. Since he spent his rent check on booze, he’s probably just staying there until his last month is paid off. He’ll be kicked out after that and I can’t see his sister putting up with him. She’s got a beautiful apartment.

“Anyway, Chuck is on the look out for him now. He, and a lot of other people want to beat the shit out of him.”

We could both see Chester coming towards us. Joy said to me, “What does that old fart want?”

Chester said, “Hello Dennis, hello Joy.”

Joy asked, “Are you going to Weasel’s funeral?” Chester just shook his head (no). “Why not?  Is it for the same reason the rest of us aren’t going?” He shook his head (yes) and walked on.

I asked, “Where is the service going to be held?”

“It’s at Kelly’s. That’s where they put all of us. I guess it’s cheaper. Beechwood Cemetery has a special place for us, out of the way.  It used to be that they’d pile the bodies one on top of another. Now, I think, they bury them standing up. I don’t know why they don’t just burn them and sprinkle the ashes somewhere. That would make more sense.”

 

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

 

womanbox
11 May 2013

Joy was looking more cheerful this morning. I asked, “How did you sleep last night?”

“Not bad, I smoked a joint, then passed out for four hours. When I awoke, my heating pad was bunched up. I rolled over, then I heard my rib pop. It’s been hurting ever since.”

“Have you heard any details about Darrell’s funeral?”

“I haven’t heard anything. I seriously doubt that anyone would be attending anyway. I’m not aware that he has any family. I don’t get Jake blubbering about Darrell being his best friend. Darrell was a piece of shit and used to beat him on a regular basis. I never liked the way that he treated Blacky.

“Darrell was so messed up on crack that I think he lost every friend he had. He kicked the door down at Wolf’s place and trashed his own apartment. He was always mooching off somebody. I say, good riddance.

“As far as Jake looking after Blacky. Jake needs looking after himself. That dog is vicious. The only humane thing is to have him put down.”

Toothless Chuck’s younger brother dropped by. “Hi sweetie,” said Joy. “It’s good to see you. What are you up to?”

“I’m taking the bus to Montreal to visit friends. I want to get to the station early to line up. I’m hoping to get the back seat so I can stretch out and get some sleep.”

“You better be first in line then. That’s the seat that everybody wants.

“I’ve had it with Montreal. When I was there last week the cops said I had two outstanding charges of assault and battery. I asked, ‘Isn’t there some statute of limitations? Those charges were laid twenty years ago, but if you think you can make them stick, put me in cuffs right now, otherwise I’m out of here.’

“I don’t even know anybody there. I’m not about to start all over in another city.”

 

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

 

 

homeless family L

 

9 May 2013
 
Loretta was sitting on a low wall near the bus stop. “Hi, Dennis,” she called.

“Hi Loretta, I haven’t seen you for a long time.”

“It has been a long time. Did I tell you that I finished a four month program? I’ve been over four months sober now. At the program I told them I was only there because of my addiction to alcohol, I didn’t want to give up weed. I never want to stop smoking weed. I need something to help me relax. I did buy some patches though. I want to stop smoking cigarettes.”

“Congratulations, that’s an amazing achievement. I know that addictions are very difficult to control. I’m proud of you. Don’t try to take on too much at once. Take things one step at a time.

“Andre only lasted two months and look where he is now.”

“I know, that business with Joy. It’s such a shame. I like her, she’s been a friend for a long time. She didn’t deserve that. Nobody does.”

“My heart goes out to Joy and to Andre. They’ve both been my friends for years. Now, Andre has thrown away everything that he worked so hard for. He spent his rent money on booze, so he may get kicked out of his apartment. Everybody wants to punch him out. He probably won’t be able to stay in the city. It won’t be safe for him anywhere.

“Is there anybody at the park?”

“Yes, but I don’t want to go there because I know that people will be drinking. I really want a drink right now. I’m just waiting for a bus. I’m planning to go to school.”

“What will you be taking?”

“First I have to finish my Grade Twelve, then I want to go to Secretarial School.”

“That’s a good choice. Where I work they’re always looking for Secretaries.”

“I see my bus coming. It was good to see you, Dennis.”

“Bye, Loretta.”

I walked up the sidewalk to the park and sat beside Jacques. “How are you feeling, Jacques?”

“Oh me, I feel fine. My body is healthy. When people see me they think I’m big and strong, but it’s like a car. The body can be good, but the motor is shot. My heart is in bad shape. People don’t know I’m dying, but I am. I tell them, but they don’t believe it.

“I’ve been shitting water for the past three days. I don’t know what that’s about. Maybe I picked up some kind of bug. I don’t know”

Jake came wandering up the sidewalk. Debbie said, “Well, let’s not all look at him.”

Jacques said, “That’s what we do. Where are we supposed to look.”

“I guess you’re right, I shouldn’t be telling everybody else what to do or how to act. It’s just the way I am, you know that.

“Has anybody got a joint? How about rolling papers? I got pot if somebody’s got papers.”

“You can use my pipe,” said Jacques. “I’ll fill it fresh.”

As Jake approached Debbie he said, ” Come here, I need a hug.”

Debbie took him in her arms and he started crying.

 

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

 

 

homeless family L

 
9 May 2013 
 

When I arrived at the park, Little Jake said to me, “Dennis, before you sit down, I need a Tim’s Card. I gotta get a coffee. I’ve got issues.”

“No problem, Jake.”

I sat beside joy on the lawn. I asked, “Are you okay sitting like this?”

She said, “I’m leaning against my pack sack. As long as I don’t shift to the left I’m okay. At night I have a pillow and a blanket rolled up behind me so I don’t lean on the fractured rib.

“Jake’s pretty upset, as you may have noticed. He went to visit Weasel this morning. There was a guy drinking beer on the porch. He said, ‘I think your friend is dead.’ Jake went around to the side window and looked in. There was Weasel, lying on his bed with his hands across his chest and his eyes wide open.

I guess it was the neighbor that phoned the police. They allowed Jake to go in and pick up a few things. That’s why he has Blacky. The cops said if he didn’t take him, he’d be put down. I don’t know what Jake’s going to do. He lives too far away to walk home. He can’t take the dog on the bus. I think he figures on sleeping outside with the dog. I can’t see that working out.”

Jake came over to speak with Joy, “I know you didn’t like Weasel, but the last thing we talked about was beating the shit out of Andre, for what he did to you.”

“Jake, wait a minute, sure Weasel and I didn’t agree on some things. I didn’t like that he was a shooter, but I had nothing against the guy. We’re family,  we’re all feeling bad.”

“I just don’t know why this is all falling on my shoulders.”

“Jake, go talk to the ladies, they’ll help you out, or if you’d rather, I’ll take the dog and have him put down.” To me she said, “I don’t know who these ladies are, some of his regulars I guess. They fuss over him, feed him. It’s good that he has someone to look out for him.”

Raven said, “Jake, I have a sleeping bag. It’s brand new, still in the bag. If you need it I can bring it down later.”

Jake took Blacky on his leash and started walking away, Debbie followed him. Joy asked, “Are you going with him?”

“As far as he’ll let me.” She returned within a few minutes and said, “I think he wants to be alone.”

 
 

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

 

 

womanbox

 

9 May 2013

Joy was sitting on her box, head in hands, obviously still in pain. I approached,  she was startled. “Jeez, I didn’t see you coming.”

“How are you feeling?”

“There’s no way I can sit that I don’t hurt.  Sitting on the grass yesterday was a mistake. I won’t do that today.  I have a splitting headache.  A lady gave me three Extra Strength Tylenol.  They’re helping a bit.  Every time I bend down I get dizzy. When I got up this morning I went to the bathroom and had a glass of water.  As soon as I got that down I knew I had to hurl.  The room started spinning and I thought,  ‘Great, no matter where I fall I’m going to hit my head on something.’ I managed to get on my knees. Throwing up hurts more than coughing and sneezing.”

I asked, “I wonder why drinking water would upset your stomach?”

“It’s because I was drinking beer yesterday. It always makes me sick. I had four cans. It sure made me burp. I was belching all afternoon. Debbie laughed at me, but it felt good.”

I asked, “Did they give you medication at the hospital?”

“Yeah, they gave me something, but I forgot it there.  I’m going to go to the Mission to get myself checked out by the doctors there.  I don’t have my drug card with me.  I never carry identification —  I’m thinking differently about that now.  Usually, when I’m off probation I use an alias.”

I said, “When I lived in Vanier, my landlord’s sixteen year old daughter became pregnant. Her father was really pissed with the guy. He made a phone call to Montreal and had him beaten. The guy didn’t even see it coming.  A stranger asked him for a light, he reached in his pocket and awoke in hospital. The cost was fifty dollars for each broken bone. The father paid two hundred and fifty.”

Joy asked, “How many years ago was that?”

“About thirty.”

“Yeah, I thought so. It’s a couple of hundred now.”

“When I talked to my uncle he asked, ‘Was it the same goof  that beat you up last time? I thought he was still in prison.’ I said, ‘No, it was another guy that I’ve known for two and a half years.’  He asked, ‘Who’s the goof you’re with now?’ I said, ‘I’m not with anybody. I haven’t been since I put Jake in prison. This guy bought me a few drinks and figured I owed him. When I said, no go, he decked me. I woke up in hospital. I don’t even know how I got there.'”

 

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

 

 
womanbox
 
8 May 2013

I was pleased to see Joy at the park.  She gave me a wave and a weak smile. I asked, “How are you feeling? We’ve all been worried about you.”

“I’ve got three broken ribs in front and one fractured in back. I have a concussion. This is the first day I’ve been able to keep from passing out. Even today Jacques had to grab me, things started spinning, then black. I’ve got stitches in my head, I cant tell how many. My ear is still ringing.  I have trouble opening my mouth, my jaw is so sore.”

I could see the bruises on Joy’s jaw and an abrasion on her cheek. I asked, “Was it Andre?”

“Yeah, the fuckin’ slime ball. We’d been drinking at the Star Palace, my favorite bar, it closed at 2:00, so we decided to go to my place. Andre was pestering me, as usual. I told him to fuck off. He said, ‘You mean after all the money I spent on you tonight, I’m not getting anything?’ I said, ‘You got it right.’ I don’t remember much after that he cold cocked me on the chin, I hit the sidewalk and was out cold. I may have had a seizure as well, I don’t know, but my tongue is pretty chewed up. Hippo tried for five minutes to wake me up.  He was afraid I was dead. I guess it was the guy upstairs who phoned the cops. Andre had thrown his bike against the side of the guy’s van — made a real mess there.”

“The guy was complaining, ‘I got to get up at four o’clock and you guys are making a racket out there.’ I know for a fact that he never gets out of the house until quarter after six. I’m the one that gets up at four.”

I said, “It’s not like you haven’t told Andre before. In fact, every time I’ve seen you two together, you’ve told him.”

“Yeah, it’s being going on for two and a half years. As if I’d ever sleep with that fuckin’ troll.”

“How did you get to the hospital?”

“I don’t know. They told me that I passed out, right in the waiting room.

“I don’t have trouble sleeping now. I just lay down, the room starts spinning and I’m out.”

“You told me before that he’s hit other women.”

“Yeah, he’s hit skinny Debbie, and red haired Debbie, who he was staying with. I don’t think you’ve met her. There are probably lots more. The thing that really pisses me off is that he’s such a coward, he won’t even show his face around here. At least Jake, when he beat me, would be down the next day with some cock and bull story, but at least he came.”

I said, “Both Weasel and Toothless Chuck are ready to punch his lights out. Have you talked to your uncle?”

“Yeah, that’s all taken care of, I phoned him, told him what had happened. He only asked one question, ‘When do you want it done?’ I said wait until his sister is around. I want her to know what kind of a scum bag her brother really is. I like his sister. We get along great.”

“Was Andre that drunk?”

“He was right out of it, man. We’d agreed to meet at the Star on Saturday. I didn’t know it at the time, but he’d been drinking triple tequilas at the bar, then he brought us some shots. He spent his rent check on booze.”

A bicycle patrol cop rode up. He said, “What are you guys up to? I see three open beer, so that’s three tickets. I should be due for a toaster.”

 

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

 

 

foo

 
8 May 2013

Clark was sitting in Joy’s spot again today. Still no word about her condition. I said, “Good morning, Clark. Joy has been injured. Someone punched her in the face, she fell and hit her head. She’s had a lot of stitches. Nobody seems to have much information.”

“Did she get in a fight with a woman?”

“No, it was a man. Joy will take on anybody. She brags that she doesn’t punch like a woman.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I know her well. She can have her spot back any time she wants. I didn’t know what had happened to her.”

“Yesterday we were talking about your philosopy of being a Stoic Epicurean. I looked that up on the internet, and now understand more about it.”

“My philosophy, as you call it, covers a broad range from Mythology to Modernism. You could say from Zeus to Seuss, if you catch my meaning.”

I asked, “What books are you reading now?”

“I like to read historical fiction. the last book I read was Russka: The Novel of Russia, by Edward Rutherford. It spans 1800 years of Russian history, people, politics . It’s played out through the lives of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of their land.”

I said, “I’ve read his book London. I really enjoyed it.”

“Russka is similar in that it’s played out through the lives of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of their country.

“I don’t read very much since last March, or if I do I try to get the large print novels.”

“What happened last March?”

“Someone dropped some XTC , or possibly Xalatan in my coffee, or my food. Joy has had the same experience. At first I was disoriented, confused, paranoid. I had shortness of breath. I didn’t know what was happening to me. My vision is still blurry.”

“Why would somebody do that. It’s insane.”

“It could be part of some sort of initiation —  a fraternity or sorority prank. I have no idea. Somebody singled me out for some reason.

“These things are a lot more common in Vancouver.”

“Did you live for a long time in Vancouver?”

“I was there on and off. In the security field I wasn’t allowed to live within an hour’s drive of Toronto. The idea was that if I was being followed I had that much time to notice the tail, call for backup, change route, or whatever it was they wanted me to do. I never knew what I was carrying. I was in the Man and a Dog Program. I made fifty dollars an hour back in the late sixties. That was a lot of money.”

“How did you like working with a dog?”

“They’re a lot more dependable than humans.”

 
homeless family L
 
6 May 2013

Willie, who looked like a linebacker, was standing by the fence, Jacques was sitting on the lawn eating cheese, beside him were Wolf and Shaggy.

Wolf said, “When you finish eating that, Jacques, I’ve got more for you.

“So, Dennis, how’ve you been. I guess you can tell I’ve had a drink. I’m slurring my words. Yesterday, just after you left, the cops rode up on their bicycles. I told you I was going to get even with Jacques. I’d already packed up, Shaggy was in her cart. I said to them, ‘Look, I’m all ready to go. I know I’m not supposed to be here, so do what you will.’ They gave me a warning. Then I said, ‘Those bastards, at the Memorial. They should be thrown in jail. It’s a disgrace to our soldiers and our vets.’ So, last I saw, the police were riding up there.”

“Have you heard anything about Joy,” I asked.

“Everybody’s talking about her, nobody knows anything. Toothless Chester, you know who I’m talking about, threatened to give Emile two black eyes. Weasel threatened to punch him out. Mind you, last time, it was Emile who put Weasel in the hospital. I’m not a fighter, that’s why I have Shaggy, also I don’t like getting hurt.

“Nobody, especially me, likes to see one of our women hit. We don’t look kindly on that sort of thing. I don’t think any woman should be hit. Joy’s boyfriend is serving two years for the last time he hit her. From what I understand Emile gave Joy a shot in the face, she fell and hit her head on something. Mariah has been checking on her, she’s probably the best person to contact if you want more information.

“I love Joy, I put her up at my place when Jake beat her, but that woman has a knack for getting hit. Pardon the expression but, she attracts punches, like shit attracts flies. My feeling is that if she acted like a woman, she’d be treated like a woman.

“I’ve known Andre a long time. I’ve never know him to start a fight, especially   with a woman. Now, Willie here, he loves to fight, but Andre, he’s usually laughing, making jokes, carrying on. You’ve seen it.

“You know Shark, don’t you? Of course you do. He’s known Joy for thirty years, since Winnipeg. When he introduced me to her,  about fifteen years ago, do you know what he said to me? He said, ‘Wolf, don’t get involved with this woman. Don’t fall in love with her, because she’s trouble.’ That’s what he said.

“Even Shaggy, who’s bitten nearly everyone around here. The only time she drew blood was with Joy. Does that tell you something? Animals have a sense about these things.

“Anyway, enough said. Let’s change the subject.”

Raven arrived wearing a short denim skirt, looking much more cheerful and sober than yesterday, walked over to pick up Debbies’s lighter. Willie said, “Raven, be careful when you bend over, or Shakes will look up your skirt. Oh, too late. Shakes, did you get a good view?”

Shakes said, “Yes.”

Kenny arrived on his bicycle. He said, “I got hit by a car this morning.  I was riding next to the curb and this guy turned right in front of me. I went over his hood and landed on the other side. My elbow is scraped, the side of my face, and I think my finger is broken. My bag had been full of beer. People were scrambling around, gathering my cans, they were rolling everywhere. The cops came. I just wanted to get out of there. I still can’t bend my finger.”

Two women at the other end of the park were practicing Pilates. Shakes imitated them. Everyone found it hilarious. Just another day at the park.

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

 

 

foo

 
7 May 2013

The first person I met, after getting off the bus, was Chester.

“Hi, Chester, have you heard any news of Joy?”

“Only that she’s home from hospital. She’s got a lot of stitches across her head. Mariah lives in the same building, so she’s been checking on her. That’s all I know.”

“Do you have any idea of how she was hurt?”

“All I know is that she was with Andre (he grimaced) and Hippo. They haven’t been seen around since.”

“Thanks, Chester, take care.”

In Joy’s spot for the second time this week was Clark, sitting quietly on top of his backpack. In front of him was his usual sign HELP CURE HOBOPHOBIA. Above it was another sign, KEEP OFF THE CRASS. As I sat down I could see a third sign, hidden behind the first, WILL YOU MERRY ME? I asked, “Clark, how are the signs working for you?”

“I get various responses from smiles, to laughter to hostility.”

I said, “Why hostility? Why would these signs invoke any hostility?”

“It’s partly the season; protest season is coming up. It seems to start in the universities. They’re always protesting something, then it spreads to the smaller colleges. I think they watch to see what the reaction will be, then they follow the lead.

“There seems to be a hierarchy. There are leaders and there are those who follow, but I’ve seen other groups called volunteers. Some of them are like nazis, most are white, anglo saxon.”

“Do you mean like white supremacists?”

“Yeah, something like that. They don’t seem too organized. We had an incident at my building a while back. My building houses a lot of people on disability pension. Not me, I pay my own way. I saw one of my neighbors holding this guy by the throat. He was saying to the other guy, ‘You don’t grab me by the throat. You don’t grab my mother by the throat. Understand?’

“Then the police showed up. All they did was get out of their car, put their arms across their chests and shout, ‘Volunteers!’ a bunch of guys from other building came out and there was mayhem. I didn’t stick around. I see us falling into, sort of, a police state. ”

I said, “You seem well informed, what is your background?”

“I went through the separate school system, under the Roman Catholics, then high school, then university. University really opened my eyes. I studied a lot of biology, anthropology and sociology. It wasn’t what the professors taught me, but I learned how to learn. After that I didn’t see the need to pay tuition, so I left.

“I guess my biggest influence was Abraham Maslow. He developed the hierarchy of needs. He extended the idea to include his observations of humans’ innate curiosity. I read a lot of his books. I stay away from psychology, and psychiatry; that’s mostly Freud and Jung.”

I said, “Maslow was the greatest mind of the past century. I’m now reading a book that refers to his theories often.”

Clark said, “I see a slow disintegration of democracy, I call it global swarming. You can see it with the kids on the streets. We’re moving away from the idea of the individual, except for celebrities and sports heroes. We seem to want to know everything about them; what they eat, what they wear. These people are just fronts. They’re told what to say by their publicity managers.”

“How would you define yourself, your ideas?”

“I think of myself as a stoic epicurean and a sceptic. The world always needs sceptics. This is based on the Aristotelian belief that ‘the sort of person one is and the lifestyle one adopts will have an immediate bearing on the actions one performs.’ Epicureans argue that the path to securing happiness comes by withdrawing from public life and residing with close, like-minded friends. That’s me.”

To learn more about the Epicurean Life please visit the following:

http://oregonpilgrim.com/2013/05/07/week-19-guilty-of-the-epicurean-life/
 
 

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

 

 
homeless family L
 

6 May 2013

Wolf and his dog Shaggy were sitting under a tree. At the other end of the park, near the war memorial, was another group leaning against the rail.

“Wolf,” I said, “you’re sitting all by yourself.”

“I just don’t think it’s right, for those people to be setting their beer down on the war memorial. I have family who died in the war. I don’t think it’s respectful. They even have a motorcycle parked there.  Can you imagine if a woman and child came to pay their respects to a loved one. They’d be afraid to approach. Those people would scare them off, don’t you think? My son served in the Korean War, if he saw that he’d take them all on.”

“I agree with you, Wolf. My brother fought in the Korean War. I know that he’d be upset.”

“They all followed Jacques up there. I know he wants to stay in the shade, but there’s shade in other places, so I picked a place that’s about half way. That’s the best I can do.

“Did you see the hockey game last night. I’d have my Senators hat on now, but it’s too hot for a hat. I’m wearing my Montreal shirt because it’s the only one I have with short sleeves.

“That young guy from Gatineau — I think he’s only nineteen — pulled off a hat trick, and his team is in the playoffs. That’s something! It’s funny too. When growing up his favorite team was probably Montreal. Now he’s scored three goals against them.”

Troll and a friend sat down and were discussing the hockey game. I thought I saw Joy with Jacques, so I wandered up there. It turned out to be Debbie.

“Hi Jacques, it’s a beautiful day.”

“Yes, I have to keep out of the sun, because I already have a burn. Have you seen Joy?”

“I saw her Friday, I think she was going to Toronto. Her sister died.”

“She didn’t go to Toronto. She left here Friday to go drinking with Hippo and Andre. There was some kind of a fight. Joy got a big cut on her head. They took her to hospital to have stitches. She also has a shiner. I don’t think she’s going to be coming out of her place for a while. She looks too ugly.

“I wish I knew more details. I know that Hippo wouldn’t hurt her.”

I said, “He’s scared of Joy.”

“Yeah, he wouldn’t hit a woman. I remember that Nora slapped him twice in the face. Do you know what he did? He cried. That big guy had tears running down his face. Now, every time Nora walks by she slaps him, because she knows he won’t hit her back.

“Me, I’d do something different. I wouldn’t hit a woman, but I wouldn’t let her hit me.”

Debbie was looking over the rail. She said, “The white lilacs are out. Soon the purple ones will be in bloom. Don’t you love that scent?”

“It’s beautiful, ” I said. “I haven’t seen you for a long time. How have you been?”

“You know, so so. I’m alright. Actually, every day is good if you look at it the right way. I’m not religious, but I try to see the good.”

I said, “Every day is a chance to make a difference.”

Jacques said, “Do you know what I miss? Kentucky Fried Chicken. I can’t eat it. The skin is too salty. Since my last heart attack I’ve had to cut back on salt.”

I asked, “When was your last heart attack?”

“February 8. I was hospitalized for three weeks. I need a double bypass operation, but they said, ‘We know you’re a very sick man, but because you’re alcoholic, we can’t operate on you.’ They gave me pills instead. They told Joy the same thing.”

Debbie said, “Are you sure it’s not because of the money?”

“I don’t think so, but maybe if I won the lottery… I can’t win the lottery because I don’t buy tickets. I don’t think I could handle winning a lot of money. I’d think everyone would want to kill me.”

Debbie said, “Or, everyone would want to be your friend.

“If I won a big lottery, I know what I’d do.  First of all, I’d get out of here, go into the woods somewhere until I could plan everything. Then I’d set up my communication centers — places where poor, sick people could go. There would be doctors, a cafeteria, pool tables, a place to stay. Nobody would be turned away.

“I have the proposal all written up. I put on a dress, wore heels,  and presented it to City Hall. This university professor, a fat guy with bald head and a beard,  shot the idea right down. He made me feel so small.”

I said, “Gaston has a similar idea. You should talk to him.”

It was time for me to go back to work, so I shook hands all around.

Jacques asked, “Will you be here tomorrow?”

“I’ll be here, Jacques.”
 
 

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