Archive for June 6, 2019




14 November 2012

As I approached, Shaggy started barking. Wolf said, “She’s okay, she just wants you to scratch her. She leaned against my leg and I scratched behind her ears and along her side.

It took me a few minutes to recognize Serge. He had new pants, shoes and a winter jacket. His hair and beard was just starting to grow out since they shaved him. He still had a bump on his forehead and the left side of his face has some yellow bruising. I said to him, “It’s good to see you Serge. Do you remember me visiting you in the hospital?”

“Yes, I remember.”

“William said he was going to visit you. Did you see him?”

“No, I haven’t seen him since before I went to the hospital. I have to go there every day. They put a needle in my arm.”

I walked across the street to the traffic island. The usual congregation was there. Eventually, Serge walked slowly across the street to join the group.

It took a while for Jacques and the others to recognize him.

Jacques said, “I saw that guy over there and I wondered to myself, who is that guy, he looks familiar. I wonder what he’s doing there.” Jacques and Chester both spoke to Serge in French.

I said to Joy, “It must be nice having your own place to go home to.”

“Yeah, except for the fact that I’ve got no heat. The bathroom faucet sprays all over me when I try to brush my teeth, so I use the kitchen sink. My air mattress leaks. They brought over some furniture: a wooden chair that looks like it’s been used for painting, a three shelf bookcase with a hole kicked through the middle shelf and a lamp. The only thing I like is the lamp. I phoned my worker. I told her that my fibromyalgia is really bothering me, so I need a decent place to sleep and a comfortable chair.”

Jacques said, “What you need is one of those folding garden chairs, the lazy boy recliners with a thick mattress on it.”

“Do you have any extra?” asked Joy.

“No, I only have the one. I had some other garden chairs, but they got all wobbly from people sitting in them crooked. I threw them out. What I’m looking for is bunk beds — the metal kind. I’ll sleep on the bottom and on the top I’ll have plastic milk boxes. I won’t need a dresser, I’ll just put all my clothes and stuff in the boxes. It’ll make it easier for moving.”

André asked Joy, “So, when are you going to invite me over to your new place?”

“Never, can’t you get the hint, André. I don’t like you. We aren’t friends. The only thing I’d like to do is take a gun to your head.”

“Joy, I can just see you in army fatigues, holding a gun. You’d look so hot.”

“How about I take a machete to you?”

“That image is even sexier.”

“André, I’d rather do myself than have you anywhere near me. You’re drunk. You think you’re being entertaining, but you’re not. You’re just babbling and nobody’s listening”

André said, “I guess I got told.”

I said to Joy, “Your place must be quiet.”

“Yeah, the only thing I hear is The Bear.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Mimi brought me down a radio. I’ve been listening to The Bear FM. They’ve got some good music.”

I said, “You should try Dawg FM.”

“Yeah, I have. They play some cool blues.”

Alphonse said to me, “At three o’clock today we go to sign the papers for direct deposit. Housing Outreach will pay a third of our rent, directly to the landlord. We’ve already signed the application for the apartment, so we’re one step closer. We’ll also be getting O.D.S.P. (Ontario Disability Support Program) and will be getting bus passes.

“Thank you, my friend, for helping us. We won’t forget it.”

Shakes said, “I’ll be getting a place on December first. It’ll probably be in the west end on Morisset Avenue. Around that time, I’ll have to take a few days off from coming down here. I’ll be refurnishing.”

I said, “You’ll be near Little Jake and me. Welcome neighbor!”

“I’ll need to get a bus pass.”

“Yeah,” I said “I take the 176 to come downtown in the morning, and the 14 to come home at night. I think you’ll like the neighborhood.”

Sarah walked across the street. Joy said to Danny, “She’s got the hots for you.”

“Yeah, I know, but she spells trouble with a capital T, make that three T’s. I’ve been out with Inuit women before and when they drink they want to fight.”

Joy said, “I don’t know what it is with you white guys and these mukmuks. The last time I saw that one she was an inch away from my face and she spit when she talked. I put my hand on her head and pushed her away. She went to take a swing at me, but Inuk clocked her. She said, “You don’t touch my Joy.”

Little Jake came from across the street. He had been talking to Wolf.

I shook hands with Shakes, he was smiling. He held on to my hand and nodded toward Jake. “Jake,” he said, “did you give that bottle to André?”

Jake said, “What bottle?”

“The one Dennis gave you to give to André?”


Shakes asked me, “What day was it, Dennis?”


“I don’t know anything about a bottle.

“Oh, I remember. I waited until nearly six. André didn’t show up. None of us had anything left, so we drank it.”

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