Archive for April 11, 2020

They Call Me Red

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4 October 2013

As I approached Joy she got up, waved and said, “I’ve been sitting here with my legs crossed, waiting for you to get here. I have to go to the pizza place.”

When she got back she said, “That’s the fourth time I’ve had to go there. It was really crowded. I had to duck around customers, waitresses. There was this lady, maybe the owner’s wife was waiting for me when I came out. She asked, ‘Couldn’t you use the washroom in the library?’ I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I’ve got a sick tummy and the library’s locked.’ Does she think I’d go there if I had any choice? I’ve seen come crackheads flaked out there. It used to be that the outer doors to the library would be opened at six o’clock for the workers in the office tower, but now they have a security guard. You have to prove you work in the building before they’ll let you in.

“This is Casual Friday, isn’t it? Why do I still see women wearing these tiny mini skirts. If I had a choice I’d be wearing jeans and a tee-shirt. Humans, you just gotta hate ’em; at least I do.”

I said, “Where I work, if we want to pay two dollars to charity, we can wear jeans, but we’re not allowed to wear tee shirts. We can wear golf shirts with collars. There’s still a dress code.

“Did you hear about the stabbing on Yonge in front of the Eaton Center? Some guy named ‘Rocket Robin’ stabbed someone. The other guy was short,  talked a lot and had no front teeth, so I thought of André.”

“Yeah, he’d fit the description all right. That’s the corner where Jacques and I turned off to go to his place. Shakes was been beaten up there a few times. It’s usually been Sharon. They went out together for about seven years. When she’d see him panning, she’d kick him in the head. She’s a real piece of work. Have you seen her, piercings all over her face?”

“No, I don’t think so, although I’ve seen lots of women with piercings.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of out of style now. I had eight piercings in my ear. I did them all myself. This one in my nose I got because my son gave me a diamond stud. I was in prison with this hopped up crackhead chick. Instead of punching her in the face, I held my nose under cold water and just pushed it through. I had to shake my head a bit after that one. She didn’t last long. Some other chick beat her up. Having a chirped up crackhead chick in a mellow work yard is a definite mistake.

“I also had a piercing in my tongue. It was kind of a nuisance. The longer I had it the bigger the hole in my tongue got. When the barbell came through the hole by itself, I figured it was time to let it heal over.

“After we left Jacques place, he wanted to go to the Kensington market to get some Jamaican patties. but I wasn’t up for that. I just went home to bed. This cold is still hanging on and I haven’t been sleeping well. I woke up at one o’clock and was tossing and turning all night. I must look it now. Do I?”

“No, you look the same as usual.”

“That’s good. Deaf Donald’s mom came by this morning. She said to me, ‘Your so-called friend kicked Donald out of his apartment the other day.’ I said, ‘Yeah, after Donald flipped out and threatened to kill Chester.’ If Yves wasn’t there he probably would have really hurt him. She said, ‘It’s okay, I arranged for another apartment for him.’ He’s pushing forty, it must be nice to have a mommy who pays for his apartment, all the hearing aids he’s lost, his bail for all the times he’s been thrown in jail.”

I asked, “Have you heard anything from anybody else? How’s Mariah?”

“She’s okay. I saw her yesterday. I told you she threw Charlie out, didn’t I?”

“Yeah.”

“Chuck Senior, in his wheelchair, was panning, across the street,  where Silver used to be.  He was waiting for one of his regulars. This guy, Ghyslain,  was hanging around and said, ‘I see you got a twenty-dollar drop from that bitch in the black coat.’ That’s the way he talks. He’s just waiting to go back to the Talbot  Jail in Sherbrooke. I said to him, ‘Why hang around? If you don’t like it here, go there now.’ ”

I asked, “Do you have any plans for the weekend?”

“No, I’m going to the Metro to pick up some groceries, after that it’s home. It’s supposed to rain all weekend.   How about you?”

“I’m going to try to get rid of this cold by laying on the couch and watching Sons of Anarchy.”

“I love that show. You’ve got to get me a copy of that somehow.”

~~~

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