Archive for September 9, 2019

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They Call Me Red

……

9 May 2013

Joy was sitting on her box, head in hands, obviously still in pain. I approached,  she was startled. “Jeez, I didn’t see you coming.”

“How are you feeling?”

“There’s no way I can sit that I don’t hurt.  Sitting on the grass yesterday was a mistake. I won’t do that today. I have a splitting headache. A lady gave me three Extra Strength Tylenol. They’re helping a bit.  Every time I bend down I get dizzy. When I got up this morning I went to the bathroom and had a glass of water. As soon as I got that down, I knew I had to hurl. The room started spinning and I thought, ‘Great, no matter where I fall I’m going to hit my head on something.’ I managed to get on my knees. Throwing up hurts more than coughing and sneezing.”

I asked, “I wonder why drinking water would upset your stomach?”

“It’s because I was drinking beer yesterday. It always makes me sick. I had four cans. It sure made me burp. I was belching all afternoon. Debbie laughed at me, but it felt good.”

I asked, “Did they give you medication at the hospital?”

“Yeah, they gave me something, but I forgot it there. I’m going to go to the Mission to get myself checked out by the doctors. I don’t have my drug card with me. I never carry identification — I’m thinking differently about that now. Usually, when I’m off probation I use an alias.”

I said, “When I lived in Cabbagetown, my landlord’s sixteen-year-old daughter became pregnant. Her father was really pissed with the guy. He made a phone call and had him beaten. The guy didn’t even see it coming.  A stranger asked him for a light, he reached in his pocket and awoke in the hospital. The cost was fifty dollars for each broken bone. The father paid two hundred and fifty.”

Joy asked, “How many years ago was that?”

“About thirty.”

“Yeah, I thought so. It’s a couple of hundred now.”

“When I talked to my uncle he asked, ‘Was it the same goof that beat you up last time? I thought he was still in prison.’ I said, ‘No, it was another guy that I’ve known for two and a half years.’  He asked, ‘Who’s the goof you’re with now?’ I said, ‘I’m not with anybody. I haven’t been since I put Jake in prison. This guy bought me a few drinks and figured I owed him. When I said, no go, he decked me. I woke up in the hospital. I don’t even know how I got there.’ ”

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