https://rainn.org/

 

……

28 June, 2012

At noon I walked past Serge who was asleep on a park bench. I proceeded to the park where Shakes was asleep on the grass. Andre was talking to Little Jake and his brother, Steve about how he single-handedly took on four attackers. He beat three of them and the fourth ran away. Andre offered me his stool, which I gratefully accepted. Steve talked about a fight he had with Gilles, a former hockey player, whose head was harder than Steve’s elbow.

There was another group of seven further on, so I moved on to talk to them. Rocky had been sent on a run and came back from the liquor store loaded down with two large bags full of beer and sherry. Hippo offered everyone a beer.

“Rocky,” I said, “how are the arrangements coming for your housing?”

“As far as I know, I’ll be moving on July 15.”

I said to Irene, “You’re moving soon too, aren’t you?”

“Well, I move at the end of July, The Salvation Army is showing my apartment at 1:30 today. The fridge is leaking and it’s causing the wood flooring underneath to buckle. I’ve put in a report to the superintendent. I got almost all my deposit back. Because I’m leaving two months before the end of my lease, I don’t get it all.

“I told the Salvation Army that I needed to move closer to my doctor. Since Shark had to call an ambulance for me twice in the last month there was no argument.”

“So, are you and Shark moving in together?”

“No, we thought of that, but it wouldn’t be feasible. Is feasible the right word? Anyway, Shark has a license for medical marijuana and morphine because of his HIV. If he was away, and the stuff was on the kitchen table, and for some reason, the cops came by, I could be charged with possession.

“I don’t have a new place yet. I’m not having my rent paid through O.D.S.P. (Ontario Disability Support Program) so I had to wait to get my deposit money first, before looking for a place. They’re going to want first and last month’s rent and I wouldn’t have that without my deposit money.

I asked Joy, “How did it go with Chuck, telling him that you were moving out?”

“Not good.”

“He didn’t hit you or anything did he?”

“No, that’s something I never had to worry about with Chuck. I packed my bag and took a cab to Chester’s place. I got him stoned this morning. That’s why he isn’t here.

“Now, I’m waiting for Buck and Pierre, who had to go to court this morning, so I’m just waiting for a phone call to let me know when he’s coming by. I’ve tried phoning him, but all I get is his voice mail.”

“Joy,” said Outcast, “you look like you’re going to cry. Is that because of your allergies or menopause?”

“I’ve been feeling this way for the past two months. It’s called stress. You try to live with Chuck and his friends. See how you make out.”

“No thanks, living with Debbie, going through menopause, is bad enough. Dennis, you’re married, you know what I’m talking about.”

Joy’s phone rang. “Hi, Pierre, when are you coming up here? I thought you’d be finished by now. Not until 3:00? Okay, I’ll see you later.

“I thought he was going to be finished at 1:30. He isn’t going in until 1:30. I’m waiting for Buck. I wanted to get some pot from him. Shark, will you sell me some pot? I don’t know when Buck will be coming. I have to get some groceries.”

Andre said, “Maybe you could have it delivered. I remember we did that one time. We phoned a liquor delivery service and said, ‘Can you deliver twenty-four beer to the second bench, north of the Laurier Bridge?’ They delivered it.”

“How much did that cost?” I asked.

“$42.50, plus the cost of the beer.

“Hippo, I’ve got something for you. I waited until you were sober to give it to you.” He handed him a carved wooden elephant. “It looks sort of like a Hippo. All you have to do is cut off the tusks, the trunk and the tail. People won’t know the difference.”

Hippo started scraping it against the cement to remove the redundant parts.

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