Archive for April 26, 2019




17 September 2012

I was greeted this morning, as usual, by Metro and Dave.

“Good morning, Dennis,” said Dave. I think Joy’s there this morning.”

“Thanks guys, have a great day.”

I saw Joy talking to a woman, who handed her a package in a gray plastic bag. The woman smiled at me. I said, “Bless you!” She winked at me and left.

I asked Joy, “Was that your worker?”

“No, I ran out of tampons. That lady was kind enough to buy me some.”

I asked, “So, how did it go, Friday, with your viewing of the apartment?”

“It was good. The place is different from what I imagined. It’s on the corner of Montreal Road and Lavergne. That’s a good location for me. My worker said it was a large bachelor. I was expecting one large room, but the kitchen is separate. It’s the same size as the living room. The place is rather narrow, so I’ll have to get a futon, or something that folds up. A mattress would take up too much space. I wouldn’t be able to move around.

“The guy’s daughter was with him. She had all sorts of questions like, ‘Will the Salvation Army pay for any damages?’ My worker, Janice, had never been asked that before, so she has to check with her office and get back to them.

“I think if it was just the father I had to talk to there wouldn’t have been any problem. Maybe if I’d been dressed as a skid it would have gone better. As it was, I wore a dress and makeup. That’s what Janice told  me to wear. I don’t know what’s going to happen. She’s coming to see me at noon, so then I should know for certain.

“They keep asking me why Andre misses his appointments with them. I don’t know. She asked if they should keep wasting their time on him if he isn’t that interested. I said, “If I were you, I’d drop him.”

I said, “Andre will be happy as long as he can find a woman who will take him in for the night.”

“Exactly! Are you going to be at the park at noon? How be I see you then. I haven’t made a cent so far. I’m, and Menopausing, just generally pissed off.”

“I’ll be there. I didn’t come Friday because of the rain. I didn’t think anyone would be out.”

“We were there, huddling around.”

This afternoon, at the park, was interesting. The weather was pleasant, everyone was cheerful. The usual congregation was there.

“Hi Joy,” I said, “How are you doing?”

“A lot better than this morning. I actually made some money.”

Andre said, “I nearly had a job this morning. A guy came by the Sally yesterday and asked a bunch of us if anyone had experience raking asphalt. Inuvik said, ‘I’ve never done that kind of work, but I can learn.’ He’s from Baffin Island, what would he know about asphalt? All they have there is ice. Are they going to pour hot tar on ice?

“I told the guy, ‘I can do anything you want. I’ve worked hot tar, cold tar and cement.’ The guy said, ‘Fine, meet me here at 8:00 tomorrow morning. I’ll drive you to the site.’ I said ‘Great, I’ll see you here tomorrow morning.’

“I even went to a construction site to steal a cooler, so I’d have water to drink throughout the day. This is it here, I’m sitting on it.

”This morning I was on the steps at 8:00, right where I was supposed to be. I waited two hours. The guy was a no-show. I heard that he picked up some other guys at the Mission. So, here I am, I gave up my morning, and now I don’t have a plan for the rest of the day.”

Shakes said, “Hey, do you want to know what I did today? This morning, after I got out of bed at the Sheps, I had a shower and shampooed my hair.”

“What did you use on your hair, Shakes?” I asked.


Joy said, “A shower and using designer products on your hair. I bet that doesn’t happen very often. Shakes, some of us do that every morning.”

The Salvation Army Housing Outreach worker came by.

Joy asked her, “Has there been any word on my apartment?”

“I’m going to be checking on that this afternoon. I had to make sure all the paperwork was filled out and signed.”

Joy said, “I don’t think I’ll get that place. Do you?”

“I don’t see why not,” said Janice.

“I got the feeling that the daughter didn’t like me.”

“I didn’t get that impression, but we should find out for sure this afternoon. I think the daughter was just being cautious. If we can’t get you in there under the Salvation Army, we can submit the application through the city. Don’t worry, you did fine.”

“I wish they would tear that wall down between the kitchen and the living room.”

“Yes, it does seem odd, but don’t start thinking about tearing walls down. We don’t want that.”

“Have you been able to make any headway with my identification. I really need my medical card to have this pain in my legs looked at.”

Janice said, “You had arranged that through the Women’s Shelter, hadn’t you? Maybe we can put some pressure on them. Do you know who you were dealing with there?”

“It was a white chick with blue eyes.”

“Well, that covers about half the city. Do you know anything more about her?”

“I think she was married to a black guy, because her kids, in the photo on her desk, looked mulatto.”

“Anything else?”

“I think her last name was, something like, Havasaki.”

“Joy,” I said, “that sounds more like a drink order.”

“That’s all I know. She gave me a card, it may be in here somewhere. I know I have an appointment with her on the 26th, but I can’t remember if that was August or September.

“Can I give you this card? I’ve been trying to contact the Elizabeth Fry Society for over a month. They’re either on lunch, or they don’t return my messages. It’s my probie who wants me to contact them. It’s about anger management, but I’m not angry. I get angry about having to see my probie every ten days. I get angry when people don’t phone me back, but I’m not angry about Jake. That’s all in the past.”

Loretta said, “Way to go girl. I’m glad to hear you say that, Joy.”

Joy asked, “How about the check for my street allowance. Do you know when and where I’ll be getting that?”

“I’m not sure what the date is for check disbursement, you guys would probably know better than I would. I’m pretty sure that we made application for your street allowance. I’ll have to check. That was somewhat dependent on whether or not you get this apartment. When it comes in, we’ll let you know. You can pick it up at our office.”

Andre said, “When I was at the office last, I’m pretty sure, I saw a sign that said that checks were going out on the 27th.

“Do you know anything about how my place is coming along?”

Janice said, “You’re on the list.”

Andre said, “I was talking to Little Jake, here, he said there were some places vacant where he’s living now, on Moriset.”

“You’d be content living on Moriset? The reason I ask that is, we took some people there the other day. They looked at it and said they weren’t interested. I told them, ‘We’ll cover the rent.’ It didn’t make any difference. You’ve seen the building? It wouldn’t bother you?”

“I’ll go anywhere, Moriset is fine. It has to be better than living in a box behind a dumpster.”

Janice said, “Okay, we’ll see if we can set up an appointment.”

Shakes said, “Hey, does anybody know about my apartment?

“Hey, chesty, do you know about my apartment?”

Janice asked Joy, “Did he just call me chesty?”

Joy said, “Can you imagine what he’ll say when you take him to view an apartment. ‘I want a fuckin’ apartment, right now.’

“Shakes, this isn’t your worker. You’ll have to get in contact with the people you deal with.”

“Shakes,” said Janice, “Do you know the name of your worker?”

“No, she wrote it on a card, but I lost it.”

“I’ll try phoning a few people and try to get you sorted out.”

“Okay, thanks.”

After they left I asked Andre, “How was your weekend?”

“It was good, what I can remember of it.”

I said, “Maybe it’s better not to remember too much.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right there. I remember getting in a fight with Jake and Weasel, both at the same time. They were drunk and talking stupid, so I threw Jake down, then I threw Weasel down. Somewhere, in all that, I twisted my knee. I jumped down from that concrete wall, across the street, and I felt a sharp pain going through my knee. Maybe I broke it.”

“It’s time for me to go,” I said and shook hands all around. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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