They Call Me Red

……

 

29 August 2013

At noon I was greeted by Joy, Chester, Deaf Donald, Shark, Little Jake and Jack.

Joy said, “I’m really fucked up, man. I bin smokin’ Chester’s weed. It’s really heavy shit.  I can hardly talk. Chester, what do you call this stuff, it’s twice as good as what we get from Buck?”

“It’s called Beyond Kush. It’s stronger than Kush. (Hydroponically grown,   Kush is a type of marijuana that originates from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the northwestern part of India. It’s cannabis from the Hindu Kush Mountain. It’s considered to be a higher version of marijuana.)”

“How much is it?”

“Ten for a gram.”

“What if I wanted to but seven grams?”

“Sixty.”

“Put me down for some.”

Chester said, “I should be able to get a prescription for this from my doctor. He’ll give it to me for pain.”

Joy said, “Last time I went to my doctor he gave me these pills. I asked him how much THC is in these.  He said, ‘Six to eight percent.’ I was taking twelve in the morning, eighteen at noon and twenty-five at night to help me sleep. I was really buzzed — a nice body high.

“That’s when I was in the hospital for my kidneys. I remember the nurse saying, ‘Okay now, were going to put this tube in your urethra.  I asked, ‘My what?’ She said, ‘It’s your pee hole.’ They tried the smallest one, then worked their way up to the biggest one, I was still leaking. I had to wear diapers the whole time I was there.  I changed my own — there’s no way I was going to have an orderly do that. The thing that pissed me off the most was, I was capable of using the commode if they’d only left it nearby.

“One time, I woke up and the bag was full. My kidneys were hurting since the pee was backing up in the tube. Then the bag burst. Bruno, the orderly, came in and slipped on the wet floor. He said, ‘You’re supposed to call me when the bag needs to be emptied.’ I said, ‘Don’t lay this on me. You’re the one whose supposed to be in every few hours, to see if I’m still breathing.

“The next time I was in the hospital, they threatened me with that tube. I just turned and walked away. I’d rather have the pain.”

“Dennis,” said Little Jake. “I was really singing your praises this morning. Remember that coffee card you gave me?  I used it today. I love my morning coffee, after a couple of sips, I was able to hork up goobers the size of quarters. It sure felt good to get that stuff out of my system. Thanks, man.”

Donald handed Joy his phone. He said, “I can’t hear her.”

Joy took the phone, “Shut up dickhead, I can’t hear her if you’re talking. She knows you’re hard of hearing. Donald asks if his check arrived in the mail. If it has, he’ll come by and see you… Okay, bye.”

She says it hasn’t arrived, and you’re not to go there.”

To me, she said, “That was Donald’s mother. She used to be one of my regulars, she’d always drop me two bucks. One day Donald came up as I was talking to her. He was drunk, I said to her, ‘Is this man bothering you, ma’am?’ She said, ‘That’s my son.’ She hasn’t dropped any money since.

“Occasionally, I’ll see her. She’ll say, ‘If Donald comes around, don’t tell him that you’ve seen me.’ ”

Donald and Joy carried on a conversation in sign language. Joy would punctuate her signing with a raised middle finger. Donald walked away and said, “Bitch.”

I could see Shakes, from a distance, slowly ambling his way towards the group. Joy said, “Okay, Shakes is coming, now we’ll know for sure if the checks came in the mail. Does he have a happy or sad face?  — No checks today.”

Shakes sat on the grass beside me. “How is today going, Shakes.”

“Good, when I woke up this morning I saw that my flask from last night was still full, and Tommy bought me a bottle. He woke me at seven o’clock and asked me if I wanted a joint. Then he brought out my new chessboard. I bet you didn’t know that I knew how to play chess. I learned when I was six years old. Playing chess is like playing the game of life.”

Joy said, “Tommy is a pompous asshole, and I know what a pompous asshole is. He acts all high and mighty. I asked him to do a wolf painting for me, he gave me one of an eagle. The same one I already have. He thinks that just because he paints, he’s better than everybody. Well, I’m here to say, he isn’t, and I’ll tell him that to his face.”

~~~

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