I’ve been sober for two days now

Posted: August 2, 2020 in Dialog, Prose
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RRBC Interview, Eyes on the Book hosted by Rox Burkey  https://buff.ly/2OJjaKx

 

16 March 2012

Metro and Two-four, the newspaper vendors, greeted me this morning, “Hi Dale, don’t drink too much green beer this weekend.”

“I’ll be into the scotch whiskey, myself.”

“Have a good weekend, Dale.”

“You too Metro, Two-four.”

In the next block, I met Nick, who was sitting cross-legged on the wet sidewalk in his usual place in front of the church. I said, “I guess it’s too wet for Joy. She’s getting soft in her old age.”

“She may have been here earlier. If she was here at six o’clock, her usual time, it was pouring rain. I got here about forty-five minutes later and the rain had stopped. The weather’s fine now.”

“Have a good morning, Nick. I’ll see you Monday.

“Bye, Dennis. Have a good weekend.”

At noon I was invited out for pizza with friends, so I didn’t take my normal noon hour route. On the way, I met Weasel and two other street people that I hadn’t seen before. One was a sweet little old lady with a squeaky voice. Since I was following four of my friends I didn’t have time to stop and chat.

On my way back I stopped at ‘the benches’ where a half dozen people were milling about.

“I’ve been sober for two days now, said Hippo. I’m going to stay that way. I’m on the second floor of the Salvation Army now.”

“Is that better?”

“No, not really. I want to get a place of my own where it’s quiet, I can lock the door and lay down.

“Someplace without bed bugs?”

“Even some of the rooming houses have bed bugs.”

“I’ve heard that they can be killed with heat.”

“No, by freezing. When I had them they took all my clothes, put them in a plastic bag, and threw it in the freezer for twenty-four hours.”

It was time for me to return to work. On my way, I met Ian.

“Hi, Ian. How have things been going for you since I saw you last.”

“Not so good. I haven’t seen Marlena for two days, and I don’t want her to think I’m stalking her.”

“Has she been staying with her parents?”

“Either with her parents or at St. Michael’s.”

I checked on-line and found the following description of St. Michael’s:

“St. Michael’s Hospital is a Catholic teaching and research hospital founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1892 to care for the sick and poor of Toronto’s inner city. Affectionately known as the Urban Angel, St. Michael’s is renowned for… care of the homeless and disadvantaged…”

~~~

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