Archive for February 26, 2020

They Call Me Red

……

 

27 August 2013

This morning was cloudy and muggy. It’s been raining off and on for the past few days.  As I got off the bus, Metro said, “Good morning, Dennis, she’s here today.”

Joy was sitting on her usual plastic crate, in her usual place. Her head was down, I could tell that things weren’t going well for her today.

“Hi, Joy, how’s your day going?”

“Shitty! I’ve made a dollar, eighty-six so far. I don’t get my check until Thursday and I need some tampons. I’ve asked all my regular ladies. Nobody has any.  I’ve only got one left. I asked Mariah, but she’s on now and doesn’t have any extra.

“I’ve been avoiding her lately because she’s having problems with Charlie.

“I think I’m coming down with a cold or something. My throat is scratchy and I’m coughing up some grody stuff, but I’m still smoking.

“I went up to Mariah’s to borrow a teabag.  I wanted a cup of tea with honey. She went on and on, Charlie this, Charlie that.  She said, ‘I have to do dishes four times a day because he never cleans up after himself.  I go through a loaf of bread every second day. He eats six eggs for breakfast, along with half a pound of bacon, home fries and toast.’ He’s a pig alright from rooter to tooter. He was working, but for some reason, he isn’t anymore, and he doesn’t do anything around the house. He just sits around. Occasionally, he’ll take the cat out, so that Mariah can clean and do dishes just so he can mess up the place again. I said, ‘Throw the bum the fuck out! That’s what I’d do.’ ”

I asked, “Have you had any news from Big Jake?”

“Yeah, he wants me to go to court to drop the restraining order. I don’t know why I should do anything for him. He’s the reason I’m out here. He even wants to borrow money from me. He had two hundred dollars when he came out. He couldn’t have spent all of that, so soon…

“I’ve got his laptop, but I can’t get into it. He gave me the code, but It doesn’t work for me. I’m no good at computers. I’m going to have the internet cut off. No use paying for that…

“He’s going to Collins Bay.”

“So he’s not going to Millhaven?”

“He’ll be admitted at Millhaven, then be sent to Collins Bay, it’s medium security. He said, ‘I want to go to my mother prison as if he’s a career criminal or something. Since they tore down P4W (Prison for Women in Kingston) I’d be out of luck if I wanted to go to my mother prison.

“The new prisons are a lot nicer. I have a girlfriend who is doing two years for armed robbery. They sent her to Kitchener. She sent photos to me — they have big rooms with TVs, computers  —  it’s like Club Med. I can’t get over it.”

I asked, “Do you have reunions, like Class of ninety-two.”

“We should have, but I can’t think of anyone I’d want to see again…

“I’m surprised I haven’t seen Chester. He’s usually down here by now, doing his butt run. I haven’t seen Jacques either. It’s Tuesday, the Mission has its big breakfast today. He usually comes down for that.

“He’s got a girlfriend now.  I asked, ‘Are you feeding her?’ He jabbered on, ‘No, she brings her own food, her own wine, her own pot. She cooks my meals,  sleeps the night and is gone by morning.’ I said, ‘Sweet!  You got a keeper.’ She has a job doing auto body repair, works three days a week. Can you imagine what she looks like if she’s going out with Jacques? He’s no prize.”

I said, “I saw Craig yesterday. He was panning up past Silver’s spot. He’s not on his meds. When I walked up to him he said, ‘My fuckin’ father! I hope he dies of bone cancer!’ I offered him a card and he said, ‘What I want is change! I need four dollars to buy what I need, and I can’t get it!’ I said, ‘Sorry, Craig, I don’t have any change.’ When I left he said, ‘Cheapskate motherfucker! I’m so mad!’ He’s not going to get anywhere that way.”

Joy said, “When he was panning near me he’d sometimes yell at my ladies. Sometimes they’d say, ‘Be careful, he’s coming!’ I told him that he was chasing off my regulars and if he did it again I’d give him a shot in the head. He was okay around me after that.”

~~~

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