Archive for June 1, 2019

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25 October 2012

This morning I met with Joy and André. Janine, one of Joy’s regulars dropped two dollars and squatted down to chat. Joy asked her, “How did it go with your dentist appointment?”

“They took x-rays and found all sorts of cavities. In the old days, you’d have a cavity, it would be painful, then you went to the dentist. Now, it seems, they’re always filling something. I don’t know what they’re doing in there.”

Joy waved at Magdalene and Alphonse across the street. They came over. Very excitedly, Alphonse said, “Magdalene is pregnant again. She went to see an apartment yesterday. She’s been put on first priority. We find out today if she’ll be accepted.”

I asked, “When is the baby due?”

Magdalene said, “We’re not sure. I took a home pregnancy test and it showed two pink crosses. I’m not taking any drugs or alcohol now.”

Alphonse said, “Same with me.” He looked longingly at a gram of pot Joy had in her cigarette case. “That looks so good,” he said. They walked off together to have breakfast.

Joy handed André a cigarette paper and the pot. He asked, “You want me to roll it?”

Joy said, “Well, how is it going to look if I’m panning and rolling a joint?”

André went into a nearby alcove for a few minutes, then came back with a joint that Joy put in her cigarette case.

I asked Joy, “Where did you sleep last night?”

“At Wolf’s. I’d been at Outcast’s until Debbie came home, then all hell broke loose, so I left. I was walking past Wolf’s place and saw Shaggy on the balcony. I called to him and Wolf came out. He asked, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘I’m going downtown to sleep behind Starbucks.’ He said, ‘Come on up.’ He threw me the keys. ‘You can stay here.’ His place is in more of a mess than I’ve ever seen it. He said, ‘I know Joy, I’m going to get around to that, sometime.’ Also, he has cockroaches. At least they don’t bite.”

I asked, “Were you able to talk to Stella about menopause?”

“Yes, she said she could talk to me until my ears bled, but it wouldn’t do any good, because every woman is different. My being bi-polar and schizophrenic just makes it all the worse.

“I go to see, Annie, my probation officer, today at ten o’clock. Hopefully, I’ll find out how many more visits she wants me to have. November 12 is the day my probation is supposed to end, but I may have to see her after that. I don’t know if it will be once every two weeks, once a month…

“I’ve had three sessions with Christien, from the Elizabeth Fry Society. It’s probably more time than I would have had if I’d been with a group. She’s going to be away for a couple of weeks. They said it’s no problem, we’re all trained, others here are familiar with your case. We can arrange an appointment with someone.’ I said, ‘I signed a confidentiality agreement with Christien, nobody else. I don’t want to start from the beginning again, with a new person.’

“I don’t want anybody to know that I’ve started cutting myself again, either. Annie asked, ‘Why do cut yourself?’ I said it’s hard to explain, but when my mind is going a hundred miles an hour, in a ten-mile an hour zone, I don’t know where I’m going to stop. I need something to distract myself. Cutting does that for me.’ Mind you, the second time I cut myself I was thinking, hey, this hurts. I don’t want to be doing this. Chester nearly freaked when he saw me coming out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around my arm. It was a deep cut too. It was gaping open. I didn’t want to go to the hospital this time. I used band-aids to pull the skin together.”

I asked, “Where will you sleep tonight?”

“I have to go home to get the rest of my clothes. Chester doesn’t want me to leave. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

I arrived at work and phoned Craig from the 507 Center. He has been in telephone contact with the hospital about Serge. I said to him, ‘I understand that you’re trying to contact Serge Roberts’ family. I’ve talked every one I know and even his closest friend, William, said, ‘He’s either from Vancouver or Toronto, I can’t remember, and he may have a sister in Montreal.’ I didn’t learn anything more definite than that.’ Craig said, ‘I’ve heard the same stories, probably from the same people.’

“The latest news from the hospital is that they’ve taken the breathing tube out. He’s still in ICU, but seems to be doing fine. Later tests will determine if he’ll have any lasting effects from his fall.”

I hope to visit Serge this evening.

At noon I met the regulars along with Spike in his motorized wheelchair.

I asked André, “How was the rest of your morning?”

“It was okay. I had to fill out another form for my O.D.S.P. (Ontario Disability Support Program). They lost the last one. This is four times I’ve filled in the same form. Joy and I have the same worker, Jenna. She’s been busy lately so we’re going to be switched to Susan. I’ve known her from before. She guaranteed that Joy and I would have our own apartments before December first. I hope so because once it gets close to Christmas it’ll be hard to get things delivered. I’ll be getting $800.00 as start-up allowance to buy furniture. I’ll be able to get a new double bed from Sears. I don’t want to spend Christmas sleeping on a bare floor. I’ll also get a hundred dollars for groceries.”

I asked, “Do you know when your court date is?”

“November second. It’ll probably be in Courtroom Five, but to find out for sure, all I have to do is check the dockets. I think I’ll have it remanded until I’m able to contact my lawyer. He works between Cornwall and Kingston. He’s sometimes hard to get a hold of.”

Peter called me over. “I appreciate you helping me out the other day. I drank too much, I couldn’t make it home, so I slept outside. I wasn’t here yesterday because I was too hung over. At my age I can only drink for two days, then have to take a day off. I don’t know how guys like Weasel do it. He came to my panning spot at seven in the morning and he was drunk already. I had to tell him to get lost. My regulars know that I’m an alcoholic, but they don’t want some stumbling, incoherent drunk hanging around. He was pissed off when I told him to go, but we’re okay now. I’m going to his place this afternoon. Shaggy can play with Bear and I’ll cook supper. It’ll be chicken or some kind of fowl, that’s what I like.

“I got a surprise the other night. At nine o’clock in the evening, someone was banging on my door. They’d managed to get through the lobby door. Usually, I don’t let anybody in. If any of these guys came over, I’d tell them to fuck off. If I was expecting somebody, they’d yell and I’d throw the keys down. I looked through the peephole, it was Joy.

“I guess you heard how Chester was trying to paw her. I can’t understand these guys. You don’t touch a woman without her permission. They can’t seem to get that through their heads.

“I asked her, ‘Tell me the truth now. Outcast invited you over to his place, then when Debbie came home he threw you out. What’s that all about. That’s no way to treat a friend.’  I’ve got no use for him anyway. He’s living with one woman and invites another woman over when he’s alone. That doesn’t seem right.

“Anyway, I invited Joy to stay the night. I gave her the sofa and I slept in my room with the door locked, but first I told her, ‘I wanted to watch Law and Order, C.S.I. and Criminal Minds. Those are my favorite programs and I’m not going to miss them.’ I’ve only got one channel, CJOH, and with rabbit ears, sometimes the signal doesn’t come in too clear, but that night the reception was good. Some people need HBO and all the movie channels, but with CJOH I get a hockey game Saturday night, an NFL game on Sunday and all my favorite shoot-em-up shows. It’s all I want, besides, I can’t afford the hundred dollars a month. If I wanted them badly enough I could afford them — like if I quit drinking.

“I spend a lot of my time reading. If you saw my place you’d see books laying all over the floor. I always have a few going at a time. Every so often I like to come down here, have a drink with my friends. I take Shaggy for walks. She’s getting old so she needs to go out five or six times a day.

“Joy asked me, ‘Does anybody else have a key to this apartment? Now, what do I look like? Would I let other people come and go as they please in my place? You know me better than that. I like my privacy, but Joy was paranoid. I said to her, No, there is nobody that has a key to my apartment. She relaxed after that. She was up at five thirty in the morning, off to her panning spot.”

I mentioned that I would be away in San Diego on vacation.

Wolf said, “I’ve never been to San Diego. I’ve been to Florida, Philly, Detroit. I haven’t been to Chicago or New York. If I was to go there I’d turn right, right again, right again, another right and I’d be back where I started. I wouldn’t want to find myself in some dangerous neighborhood and not know my way out.

“I have a brother in Virginia. There are a lot of red necks down there. The Confederate flag is flying everywhere. If you get caught with a doobie you get tossed in prison and they throw away the key; but, and this is a big but, you can carry two loaded guns. It’s in the constitution, and you can buy your beer and ammunition at a gas station or Walmart.

“I don’t know how I feel about that. On the one hand, you know everybody is armed, so you don’t cause them any unnecessary aggravation. You know what I mean? On the other hand, having a psycho on the loose, carrying a loaded gun is a scary thought.

“I’m on a pension. After I pay my rent I’ve got three hundred dollars for everything else. It’s not much. I’m an alcoholic — my drug of choice is beer. I may have an occasional blast, but I’m not on Percocet, Percodan, Perco-this, Perco-that. I pan to get extra money. I live a quiet life with Shaggy, enjoy my books, my TV and my beer… that’s it.”

I asked Jacques if he had found an apartment yet. “No,” he said, “I was talking to Shark’s landlord. He had a bachelor for $560.00. I could have managed that, but he rented it to somebody else. If I can’t find a place by the end of the month I’ll store my stuff in a locker and rent a room for a while — not too long.”

I asked, “How much does a room cost?”

“About five hundred a month. A bachelor is six hundred and up, a one bedroom, seven hundred and up, a two bedroom, eight hundred and up. I thought of getting a two bedroom and sharing with someone, but who would I share with?

Tonight I visited Serge again. They’ve moved him from bed 29 to bed 1. He didn’t seem to recognize me, spoke only French and didn’t respond to the names of his friends that I mentioned, except William. He scowled and said, “William!” and his blood pressure shot up from 130 to 180. He seemed agitated and pulled out his intravenous tube. The nurse said his confusion is probably temporary, due to his concussion. His blood pressure eventually returned to normal. He sipped from a can of Labatt Blue, then hid it under his hospital gown.”

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