Archive for September 10, 2020

RRBC Interview, Eyes on the Book hosted by Rox Burkey


11 April 2012

On the sidewalk this morning I met Jacques and Raven. She was on the telephone (probably Jacques’ phone). I asked him if he had seen Joy this morning.

“Yes, I saw Joy. She was in her usual spot. I talked with her.”

I approached the corner of Queen and Parliament. I was in view of where Joy usually sits, but her spot was vacant. I crossed the street and asked Metro and Two-four if they’d seen her.

“She was here at six,” said Metro, “her usual time. I don’t think she was feeling well. She may have gone home. Usually, she stops to talk to us when she leaves, but she didn’t say anything.”

The area around ‘the benches’ was crowded, so I sat on the sidewalk with Cathy, Frank, and Emile. Serge, as usual, was sitting off by himself, looking like Santa Claus.

Annie was singing, “You Are My Sunshine.”

Debbie asked, “Are you aware of the weird things that are happening with the moon lately?”

“When I was a kid,” I said, “we used solunar tables, based on the moon, that indicated the best times for fishing. They were always right.”

“When I was a boy, ” said Jake, “my stepdad took us to Rouge Lake in Algonquin Park. In those days there were no roads into the park. We had to portage with our canoes for ten hours before we got to the lake. That night while all the adults were drinking, we kids were tearing around with the dogs. The next morning, my stepdad said, ‘When the sun gets to the top of that hill is the time the fish will be biting.’ We caught fifty-six speckled trout in one and a half hours. It was amazing! Then the game warden came along and said we had six fish over our limit. He gave my mom a ticket. She had to drive all the way to Perth to pay it.”

When I was a girl,” said Debbie…”

“Will you shut up!” yelled Jake.

“I should explain,” said Debbie, “Jake and I have an off-again, on-again relationship. Right now it’s off. We love and hate each other.”

“Hi pretty lady!” said Andre to a woman passing by, “Will you smile for me?” It’s hard not to smile when looking at Emile since he has no front teeth. “That’s better. That wasn’t so hard was it?”

“Emile, keep your voice down!” said Debbie. “We don’t want to attract any unwelcome attention.” Nearly everyone had open bottles of liquor under their coats, or somewhere out of sight.

“We’ve been coming here for ten years, but It only takes one incident for us to get kicked out. We’re safe now, but we used to sit at some benches up the hill. They took those away. There used to be two benches here. They’ve just taken one away.”

“Hey, you see these sunglasses?” asked Andre, “Do you know where I got them? When I was walking across the bridge, two guys were coming towards me. One was wearing these sunglasses. I walked up to the guy and grabbed them right off his face, put them on, then I said to him, ‘Are you man enough to hit a guy with glasses, to get these back?’ Then I hit the other guy for no reason.

“I was arrested last night. Shenkman came by with his cart, like one of those you pull behind a bicycle, and I asked him to give me a ride in it, so he did. Then he wanted me to give him a ride. I did, but I accidentally went over the curb and Shenkman fell out. We started fighting and that’s when the cops came along.”

“Andre, you’re not going to start fighting here, are you?” asked Jake.

“No, I love you guys. We’re all family here.”

It was time for me to go back to work, so I said my goodbyes. When I shook hands with Jacques I asked him, “Was Joy feeling sick this morning?”

“Yes, she was having trouble with her legs, so she decided to go home. Have you heard, she’s in her new place now?”


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