They Call Me Red

……

 

 

13 September 2013

It was cool this morning with a forecast of rain. The patrol car with its red and blue flashing lights was at the corner, again.  Joy was huddled with her sweater pulled over her knees.

“How are you feeling, Joy”

“I’m really freaked man. I’m tweaked. I’ve got to get back on my meds. I didn’t sleep at all last night. See my hand, it’s shaking. I was watching BTN (Black Television Network) last night and Steve Harvey was on. I was laughing so hard I said to myself, I’ve got to tape this.

“I must have fallen asleep because I woke up in some kind of nightmare. Really scary shit, anyway, I was awake for the rest of the night.”

I asked, “Since you don’t have your health card, what if you went to the emergency department of one of the hospitals? Wouldn’t they give you your meds?”

“They’d get me juiced up on Dilantin. That really screws up my brain and when I take it I’m not supposed to drink. My doctor gave me a prescription for a lower dose of the pills, that I’m supposed to take on a regular basis. I haven’t seen him for years. He’s across town. When I moved in with Chuck, I decided to go to his doctor since he was close by. He was really creepy, so I stopped going to him. Then, I went to another doctor, but he’s the same nationality as my landlord. I don’t get along with them.

“I really hate doctors and hospitals. A couple of years ago I was in and they told me that I had an ovarian cyst. They tested it and it was benign. That means it won’t hurt you, right? The next time I went in they checked it again and said that it had grown. I said, ‘Cut the sucker out. Give me a hysterectomy.  It’s cobweb city down there — I can’t have any more kids, my period has to stop sometime. I won’t miss that. I’m not with a man so I won’t be losing out there.  While I’m here anyway, just scrape it clean! Get rid of that junk!’ He said in a deep voice, all proper like, ‘I’ve never heard it described in those terms, but you understand the situation. We can’t operate because it isn’t causing any secondary complications. If that changes, then we’ll consider a hysterectomy.’

I suggested, “If you were happy with your first doctor, why don’t you go back to him?”

“I hadn’t thought of that. Do you think I could go back?”

“Phone him. I’ve gone back to a doctor I had twenty years ago.”

Michelle stopped by with a paper cup and a bag from Tim Horton’s.

“Hi Michelle,” I said.

“Hi, Dennis. I have your tea, Joy, one cream and three sugar just as you like it. Since I got large, I asked them to put the cream and sugar on the side, so you can mix it as you like. I also got you a cranberry lemon muffin.”

“Thanks,” Joy replied.”

Michelle left. Joy asked, “Is that what her name is, Michelle?”

“Yeah, she was by yesterday while you were in the restaurant. I think you passed her on the sidewalk.”

“Gee, I wasn’t expecting a frickin large. It’s nice to keep my hands warm though. Do you want this muffin? The thought of cranberries and lemon makes me gag.”

Chuck’s dad came by in his wheelchair.  Joy introduced us. I said, “I think I’ve met you in front of Tim Horton’s.”

Joy said, “Can you give me a ride on that? Does it have enough energy?”

“Sure, sit on my lap. You’ll see, I’ve got lots of energy. I was parked on the corner when a pretty young lady rode by. She was wearing a rucksack, but instead of having it on her back, she had it on her front. I said, ‘That’s it, honey, keep those breasts nice and warm for me.’ She didn’t answer.”

He went on his way. I asked, “How do you get along with him?”

“He’s alright, but he’s a dirty old man.”

I replied, “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

The garbage man (I forget his name) came by. Joy said, “Hi, handsome! do you have any plans for the weekend?”

“Just hanging with my girlfriend.”

“Can you spare some time for me? I was thinking maybe we could go on a vacation together.”

“Sorry, we are planning a vacation though, maybe the Caribbean.”

“Do you have your passport?”

“I’ve got three of them. I have citizenship from the States, France and Canada. If one causes problems, I just give them one of the other two.”

Joy said, “Since you’ve got your truck here, maybe you could turn around and pick up that patrol car.”

“That wouldn’t be a good idea. We’re trying to get the military contract.”

“Did you say you’re joining the military? Like, to go fight in wars?”

“I’d like to, but my boss won’t give me the time off to take basic training. I’d join the reserves. I probably wouldn’t see combat.”

He left. Joy said, “I saw Marissa and Teddy last night. He was gunning at me. She’s a big girl, must be five foot ten at least.  All her weight is on top, she’s got skinny legs, skinnier than mine. One kick I could break her leg like a twig. She wasn’t even wearing a bra. Her jugs were hanging around her waist. That’s disgusting. I don’t have much, but gravity takes its toll. At least I keep mine packaged. I can imagine her with André. It would be like Chewbacca with one of the Ewoks.”

It was time for me to go, “Will I see you at the park, Joy?”

“No, rain is forecast for this afternoon. I’m going straight home. I’m feeling really happy now. Even if my check doesn’t come today, I’ll still be happy”

 

~~~

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