https://rainn.org/

They Call Me Red

……

24 May 2013

Payback Is Sweet 

A light rain was falling,  it was see-your-breath cold. Metro said to me, “You won’t believe it, but Joy is at her spot.”

As I approached I could see her huddled over, rocking slightly. “Joy,” I said, “you look cold.”

“I am. I forgot my heavy coat. By the time I realized how cold it was I was halfway to the bus stop. I’m wearing Jake’s sweater, two layers of long underwear under my jeans, but I’m still freezing.

I said, “I didn’t go to the park yesterday because of the rain.”

“We just huddled together inside the glassed-in bus shelter: Outcast, Jacques and Little Jake. Finally, I said, ‘Why don’t we just go to my place? I’ll cook something.’

As I was getting on the bus I slipped and landed on the front step of the bus. I didn’t notice at first but there was a deep gash in my shin. Outcast said, ‘You should go to the hospital.’ I’ll show you.”

I said, “Don’t take the bandage off.”

“It’s okay unless this kind of stuff really freaks you out.”

“No, I don’t have a problem with that.” Joy removed the bandage and revealed a one inch gash on the front of her shin. “You wouldn’t believe how much blood came out of there, some is still on my shoe.”

I asked, “Has Jake tried to get in contact with you?”

“No, but I’m tempted to park myself in front of the Salvation Army and watch for him. Jacques has seen him. Chester has seen him. He’s still wearing my Tiger-Cats sweatshirt, number sixty-four. I’ll never peel that off him. He’s wearing shorts too. I said to Chester, ‘I bet they’re tan color, cargo shorts.’ Chester said, ‘Yes, that’s what he was wearing.’

“That’s what he was wearing when he went in. They’re supposed to launder them for you before you’re released. I was in for three years. I couldn’t get into the jeans I came in with. They were too tight.”

I asked, “Did you gain weight in prison?”

“Yeah, that and I had my son, Nicholas.”

I said, “I remember you telling me that you had been raped by a jail guard.”

“Yeah, Rob Nottingham. He isn’t with the prison system anymore. I saw to that. When Nicholas was old enough, I told him that his father died in the war.  One day he came home from school and said to me, ‘My dad didn’t die in the war; if he had that would make you about eighty years old. What really happened? Where did I come from? So I had to tell him the full story.”

“One day, at my mom’s place where we were staying, I heard a banging at the front door. Nicholas was crying upstairs. I was yelling at my mom to answer the door. She was yelling at me to answer it. I could hear a Harley revving up in the driveway. My uncle and some of his friends were there with Rob spread-eagled on the driveway. ‘What do you want us to do with him?’ he asked. Fuck, I figured that costing him his job was enough, but my uncle didn’t see it that way. With the back wheel of the bike spinning, they forced his hand in, again and again. He ended up with two fingers and a thumb on one hand, the other was just a stump. I still remember the screams.”

Five O’clock

Message from Stella,

Hi Dennis; Sadly, Bear passed away today. At a Veterinary check-up, a large tumor was discovered in his abdomen. Probably Cancer and the Veterinarian did not think Bear would survive surgery & Chemo. I was with Bear as well as Bruce and the wonderful people from the Veterinary Community Outreach program. He went peacefully as I was holding his paw. Will miss them both.

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Comments
  1. Authoress51 says:

    Aww, Poor Bear. But, I believe animals go to Heaven so at least he is more comfortable than being on the street.

    Like

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