I saw her gunning for me

Posted: February 28, 2020 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

They Call Me Red

……

 

29 August 2013

As I approached Joy, she was hunched over some kind of smartphone. She was madly tapping the screen with her finger.

“This goddamn thing, it’s Big Jake’s,  I had music playing before, then I couldn’t turn it off. Finally, I got it turned off, now I can’t turn it on.”

Two-four was crossing the street between cars. I asked, “Still dodging cars? Do you have another job yet?”

“I just finished installing a security system for someone in Oshawa. I get my old job back when Lou retires for the season. He doesn’t do winters. I’ll be at the corner of Queen and Sherbourne. I should see some of my regulars there.”

“Two-four,” I asked, “Do you know anything about these smartphones. Joy can get the radio turned on. She wants Q-107.”

“I don’t know about these Android phones, maybe you need to be near a WiFi station. Some of the restaurants nearby have them, even Tim Horton’s.”

“Thanks, Two-four, we’ll see you around.”

Joy said, “I’ll just put this away. I’m no good with electronics. I’m going to have the internet cut off anyway. I still keep getting calls from Bell about an unpaid bill. I don’t know what that’s about.”

I said, “Maybe Jake, has his bills e-mailed to his laptop, and you can’t access that. Is the account in your name?”

“No, I asked the woman if Jake had listed anyone else on his account.  She checked and said that he was the only one listed. I said, ‘Then what are you calling me for? Fuck off!’

“I talked on the phone to Jake. He said to just send them a money order, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay his bills.  He should have arranged to have his O.D.S.P. check automatically deposited in his bank account. As it is it’ll be sitting on the table until he gets out in January. He could have had access to that seven hundred dollars right now. That’s his problem.”

“I’m so happy today, I’ve made eighty-six cents, but I’m still happy. A woman took me to breakfast at the Pizza Oven. I had a sausage sandwich with fruit on the side; two types of melon, blueberries and raspberries. She had Eggs Benedict with salmon. It was gross. I don’t know how anybody can take the smell of fish in the morning. She must have paid twenty bucks for that. I thought I was going to have to quit, halfway through my sandwich, and put the rest in a doggy bag for later, but I finished. I feel great.”

I asked, “Did I miss anything after I left yesterday?”

“Oh yeah, Andre and his skank of a girlfriend came by. She’s a skinny Inuit with a face that looks like it’s been smashed with a frying pan. Andre came by me, but I just said to him, ‘Keep moving!’ Mariah saw me gritting my teeth and swearing under my breath. She  said, ‘Keep it under control, Joy.’ She grabbed him and threw him in the gutter where he belongs.

“His girlfriend was wearing shades and I saw her gunning for me. I asked, ‘What is it with you? You got a problem with me or something?’ She said, ‘I don’t like the way you talked to my boyfriend.’ I said, ‘Has he done to you yet what he did to me. Put out, or get put down is his motto. He split my head open, broke two of my ribs, fractured two others. I’m still having trouble with one of them. The headaches have finally stopped. Now, what do you think I should say to him.?’

“I got up, walked over to her, grabbed her sunglasses, broke them in half and threw them over the railing. ‘Now,’ I said, ‘look into my eyes when you talk to me.’ Mariah held me back and said, ‘This isn’t worth going to jail for.’ Otherwise, I would have decked her.”

Chester stopped by, Joy said, “You look buzzed.”

“I got some good pot. You want some?”

“No, I got my own. What are you doing later?”

“First, I’m going for breakfast, then I’m going home to see my girlfriend. She’s meeting me there.”

I said, “I have to leave now, but maybe I’ll see you both at the park around  noon.”

~~~

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