Back from the Garden

Posted: May 23, 2019 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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cops

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11 October 2012

I could see my breath this morning. Joy was wrapped in her blanket sitting next to Andre. I shook hands with both of them and sat next to Joy.

I asked her, “How did your appointment go yesterday?”

“She was messing with my head. She said, ‘You’ve had quite a life, haven’t you?’ I said, ‘It started with my grandfather, then my father, then his younger brother. I got into drugs, was kicked out of my home, joined a biker gang, was into prostitution, jail, then ended up on the street, sleeping behind a dumpster. So, yeah, I’ve had quite a life.’ ”

“Is she any closer to getting you in to see a doctor, or at least get you back on your previous medication?”

“She’s working on it. I see her again next Wednesday. I’m just tired of this runaround. It’s been going on since January.”

I said to Andre, “I see you’ve shaved again.”

“I’m trying to look respectable for a while.” To Joy he said, “I guess I look better than I did last weekend. I still can’t figure out how I ended up in that garden. I sure didn’t get far from Little Jake’s place.”

Joy said, “The last time I saw you, you were sitting in the middle of somebody’s lawn. I told you to come, but you said, ‘I’m staying right here.’ ”

“I guess I can get pretty stubborn, sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” I asked. “When aren’t you stubborn?”

“That’s more like it,” said Joy.

“So, you left me there?”

Joy said, “I saw the 14 coming from one direction, so I figured the one going the other way would be along soon. I wasn’t going to miss my bus arguing with you. Yes, I left you there.”

Andre said, “All I know is, I woke up with watermelon and squash all over me. I had tomato dripping down my chin. I was a mess.”

I said, “You told me you remembered slicing a tomato with a Tim Horton’s card.”

“Yeah, I remember saying that.”

Joy said, “I remember one time, sitting here, a guy wearing a six hundred-dollar suit, and an even more expensive overcoat, threw a full cup of coffee at me. It burnt my face. I went after the guy with all I had. Some of my regular ladies came by and asked what happened. I said, “Look at me. This jerk threw a cup of coffee at me. They started hitting him with their purses.”

“Did anyone call the police?” I asked, “That’s assault! He shouldn’t get away with that!”

“Somebody may have called the police. I didn’t stick around. What I did to the guy probably would have gotten me charged. Can you imagine, someone going into a restaurant, buying a coffee with the express purpose of throwing it on somebody? He must be one sick fuck. It’s not as if I even ask for money. I just sit here. I say, ‘good morning’ to some people who I know, apart from that I’m quiet as a mouse.”

I asked Joy, “How are you and Chester getting along?”

“Last night we had another big argument. He slammed the door in my face. I said, ‘Chester, I’m moving out. I can’t put up with this bullshit any longer.” I packed my bag, put it out on the balcony. It must have weighed more than me. I didn’t have money for a cab. I had no place else to stay. I thought about going to the dumpsters behind Starbucks, but they’ve moved them close to the wall now. Nobody is staying there any more. I don’t know where Bearded Bruce is. I think he’s with Weasel.

“Chester said, ‘Please Joy, don’t leave. I love you.’ So I stayed the night. He was a little better this morning.”

Andre said, “Bruce is trained as a chef, isn’t he?”

“Bruce is a good cook, but he serves beans with everything. He filled my plate until it was heaping. I couldn’t finish half of it. Chuck took some, but he couldn’t finish his either.”

I said, “I was talking to Winston yesterday. He was mentioning the Native Friendship Center on Rideau. He was saying that every Wednesday there is a free meal, story telling, dancing and drumming. Do you know anything about that?”

Andre said, “I went there once. A guy said to me, ‘This is for native people.’ I’m part Ojibway. I said, “Who are you to say whether or not I’m part native. I see a guy over there that looks white, and another over there. Did they have to prove they were native?’ The guy says, ‘I know they’re native. You’re lucky you got a bowl of cereal. Don’t come back again.’ ”

Joy said, “I’ve had the same problem, my father was Ojibway, my mother was English. I’m metis, but I look white. I don’t fit in anywhere.”

At noon I was leaving the building, where I work, and ran into Buck, and his dog Dillinger. He said, “Joy, Andre and Shakes are together, sitting in the middle of the street.’ I had no idea what that meant. I found them sitting on the concrete island with elevated flower garden, that divides the Mackenzie King bridge, near Elgin.”

I said to them, “Hawk told me that you were in the middle of the street, I didn’t know what he meant.”

Joy said, “We’re just trying to stay out of trouble. The cops were by earlier. They can’t say anything about us sitting here. We’re not talking to anybody, we don’t have any alcohol visible.” Then she looked at Shakes.

“Shakes, for Christ’s sake, will you put that bottle under your coat or something. You don’t have to advertise that you’re drinking.” Just then a police car passed.

“Just watch, he’s going to turn around.” she said. The car continued on and didn’t return.

Andre said, “I haven’t seen that big cop, Caron, lately. The one with the muscles and all the tattoos.”

Joy said, “I heard that he got promoted. He works in the building now.”

“He sure doesn’t like Little Jake,” said Andre. “I remember the last time, Jake was sitting on the ground, Caron was bending over him saying, ‘Why don’t you learn to shut up. If you say one more word, I’m going to take you behind that electrical shed and beat the shit out of you.’

“The other cop looked at me and said, ‘If he gets into it with your friend, I’m not big enough to do anything about it. If you can talk reason to Jake, now would be a good time.’ I bent down and said to Jake, ‘This guy is the size of a tree. There’s no way out of this. Just keep your mouth shut.’ Jake said, ‘Okay.’

Joy started sneezing, over and over again. She said, “I heard that a sneeze is like one tenth of an orgasm. I usually sneeze ten times. I don’t need men at all.

“I’m not looking forward to going home. Chester is still acting pissy. He went to the Mission for lunch and was complaining about the food. He said, ‘They were serving grilled cheese sandwiches. I told them it was garbage and threw it in the trash.’ I’ve seen Chester cook grilled cheese sandwiches. He didn’t throw it in the trash; he ate it, and didn’t complain.”

“Is Chester still upset about Silver’s death?”

“I guess so, but he has to move on. I have.”

“I need to be on my medication and I’m having a real problem with menopause. I’ve got more zits now that I’ve had at any time in my life. I like my face. I don’t want to look like this. I’m whining, aren’t I?”

I said, “You have good reason to be upset.”

I had to return to work. I shook hands with Joy. Andre and Shakes then headed towards Elgin. A police car pulled up. The cop asked, “Are you guys waiting for your meal?” I’ll hear the rest of the details tomorrow.

 

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Comments
  1. Authoress51 says:

    I don’t know why some people treat homeless people so badly

    Like

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