Archive for March 14, 2020

They Call Me Red

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9 September 2013

The park was deserted today. I had turned to go back to work when I saw Little Jake walking towards me.

“Nobody here?” he asked.

“No, just me.”

“I thought Shakes would be here. He was broke last night. When he’s broke he usually comes down first thing in the morning so he can get something to drink. I was at his place last night. Tommy cooked us a real good meal. Boy, was it good? Then we watched a movie. I left my stuff there, my pot, my rolling papers. That’s not like me.”

“So you haven’t had a joint today?”

“Oh, yeah. I always have some extra put aside. I haven’t had a drink yet though. That’s another reason I was hoping Shakes would be here.”

“What movie did you watch?” I asked.

“Forest Gump. Shakes has a big collection, about fifty. I don’t know where he gets them, but they’re cheap. I think he knows someone, who runs a store downtown. I always see DVDs on their window ledge.

“I’ve been feeling shitty lately. My eyes keep watering. I wake up with this crusty stuff on my eyelids. I can barely open my eyes. I should be going for my blood tests, but I haven’t”

I said, “Shark has his blood checked every month, doesn’t he?”

“Yeah, that’s what I should be doing. I haven’t been for three months. It seems like such a waste of time. I answer the same questions every time. They weigh me, measure me and take blood.”

I asked, “Have you been up to Deep River, lately,  to see your family?”

“No, I mean to go up in another month. It’s really beautiful when the leaves are changing color. A buddy and I go bird hunting:  partridge, grouse, ducks. We get the occasional rabbit. It’s funny, though, it goes in cycles. One year there will be just a few ducks, but lots of partridge. The next year it’ll be the other way around.

“You haven’t seen Joy, have you?”

“No, she had pneumonia last week. I wasn’t expecting her because she doesn’t usually do Mondays.”

“That’s right, she had pneumonia. Mariah told me that on Friday.”

“I don’t know why it’s taking so long, but she still doesn’t have her health card. She can’t see a doctor, get meds for bipolar disorder or antibiotics for her pneumonia.”

“You couldn’t lend me seven bucks for a bottle, could you?”

“No, I don’t carry any cash. I use debit for everything.”

“Isn’t that expensive? Don’t they charge you some kind of fee for that?”

“The only time I get charged a fee is when I buy bus tickets. I can’t figure it. They tell me ahead of time, but I can’t get them anywhere else, so I’m stuck with the fee.”

“Well, I better go pan. I really need a drink.”

~~~

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