Archive for March 27, 2020

They Call Me Red

……

 

18 September 2013 

On my way to the park, I met Bearded Bruce and his girlfriend Inuk. “Dennis, mate, I haven’t seen you for ages. How’ve you been?” Being the bear that he is he gave me a big bear hug.

I said, “I’m, doing well, same old, same old. I managed to get away to the lake for a week, apart from that, nothing special. How about you?”

“We’re doing well.”

Inuk said, “It’s so good to see you.”

Bruce said, “Tomorrow, I’ve invited all my friends over for an English breakfast, a fry up we call it, pancakes, eggs, sausages, home fries. It’ll be good to see everybody together.”

“Dennis,” said Shakes, “do you know what happened to me last night? It was just after Dave left; he’s my downstairs neighbor. I heard a knock on my door. I thought, maybe Dave had forgotten something. When I opened my door I saw my landlord standing there. He said, ‘I don’t want any more smoking marijuana in the halls.’ I said, ‘I don’t smoke marijuana in the halls. I don’t even smoke cigarettes in the halls, not even when I’m coming in from outside.’ He said to me, ‘If it happens again you’ll be evicted.’ What do you think about that.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that, Shakes. He didn’t see you smoking in the hall, so there’s nothing he can do.”

“I think when Dave left, the fumes escaped into the hall.”

“You’re allowed to smoke in your own apartment, or on your balcony. He can’t do anything about that. I even smell marijuana on the bus in the morning. How well do you get along with your landlord?”

“Last night is the first time I met him. Not a very good start, is it?”

I moved down the line to talk to Mariah and Joy.  “How are you feeling today, Joy?”

“I still feel kind of rough. I didn’t come down this morning. I took one look out the window and decided, I don’t need to be out there, so I went back to bed. Mariah woke me at ten-thirty. I seem to have become nocturnal lately. I’m awake all night and sleep during the day.”

I asked, “Have you heard any more knocking in your closet?”

“No, not since Mariah did the thing she does.”

I asked, “You mean the cleansing?”

“Yeah, I guess that’s what it’s called. Mariah, I’ve got something to tell you. I guess I’ll say it right here. This morning when I was fixing the couch; like I have to every morning since fat-assed Jake broke it. I pulled out the two sheets of cardboard and the blanket. I saw a spot on the blanket. I picked it up and squished it. It had that rotting wood smell of bedbugs. I freaked out! I was jumping around, screaming and swearing. I don’t want to go through another episode like I did at Chester’s. I looked all over, but only found the one bug and he was dead.

“The only person I know of that came from a place where they have bed bugs is Big Jake. He was staying at the Sally. That’s another thing I have to thank him for. I wanted to tell everyone, just in case.

“Mariah, can I borrow your phone. I want to phone Hippo. I tried six times yesterday and didn’t get an answer.

“Hello, Fat Boy, I’ve been trying to call you. Did you go home for the weekend? Has your mommy been over? How are you fixed for food? Nothing? Do you want to come to my place for supper? No? You’re going out? Your loss then.”

Shakes said, “I’ve heard strange noises in my apartment.”

Mariah asked, “Was it while you were sober?”

“Yes.”

“Maybe it’s Weasel and Silver roaming around in the ether.”

Shakes said, “I don’t know what it is.”

Joy said, “Loretta is getting very chummy with Buck, lately. Every time I go to see him she’s there. Maybe Buck is giving her weed in trade. She wanted to come to my place, but I told her I’d probably have to kill her.”

I asked, “She isn’t drinking is she?”

“Not yet, but she wants to. It’s just her boyfriend who’s keeping her sober. She said to me, ‘How about if I come to your place and bring some Rev?’ I know what would happen she’d guzzle that blue Smurf piss and then go wild. Then I would have to kill her.

“Yesterday, Mariah invited me up for a barbecue. Charlie asked, ‘Will there be enough food? You know how little I eat. His brother was visiting. He used to spar with Mike Tyson. He’s a bit punch drunk.”

I asked, “Does he still have his ear?”

“You’ll have to ask him that. I heard an interview with Mike Tyson a while back. I’ve never heard anybody sound so stupid in my life.”

Gaston and Yves stopped by. Yves offered his left hand for me to shake. I asked how’s your hand coming along?”

“It’s not too bad, a bit swollen from working this morning. My landlord came by to inspect the water damage in my bathroom, from the leak they had upstairs. I said, ‘Just leave me the stuff and I’ll fix it. You might as well, I’ll have to redo it anyway.’ So he left me a container of mud and a gallon of paint. I’ve been sanding all morning.”

I asked Mariah, “Did Jacques give you that electronic cigarette yesterday?”

“Yeah,” she said, “I’ve got it right here.”

Joy said, “Let me try that. Yuck, it tastes like cherry? Who’d want to do that to themselves.”

I said, “I  thought Jacques said it was mint?”

Mariah said, “No, see the pink swirls. That means it’s cherry. Mint would be green.”

I said, “Yesterday I Googled them. They cost upwards of fifty bucks.”

Mariah said, “If you get them from the pharmacy — the ones with nicotine — they may cost fifty, but this one is disposable. You can get these for thirty or forty.”

~~~

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