Archive for September 11, 2020

RRBC Interview, Eyes on the Book hosted by Rox Burkey


13 April 2012

After getting off the bus this morning I was greeted by Metro. “Good morning Dennis!”

“Good morning, Metro!”

“So, is it Dennis or Dale? All this time we’ve been calling you Dale!”

“It’s Dennis!”

“I see, you were having a little joke on us, or you don’t care.”

“I don’t care, Metro, as long as you don’t call me late for dinner.”

“Have a good day, Dennis.”

“Have a good day, Metro.”

I approached Joy. She was seated on a plastic storage box that she’d taken from behind the Rex Hotel.  Her hood was up and her legs were wrapped in a blanket. “How are you feeling, Joy?”

“Miserable! I have pneumonia again! I just can’t take it anymore! Toothless Chuck doesn’t like to see anybody sleeping on the streets, so he’ll take anybody in. We had eight adults staying in a bachelor’s apartment. I’m agoraphobic! I had to step over people to go to the bathroom. You’ve never heard such snoring! Sometimes I’d drag my bed to the kitchen to try to get away from the noise. Bruce is up three or four times in the night to get something to eat. It’s no wonder he’s so big.”

“Yes, he said he didn’t have a beer belly, he had an eating belly.”

“I really have to get out of that place! I phoned Angela, my probation officer, mostly because I thought she had breached me, on account of I missed our last meeting. ‘No,’ she said, ‘from the state you were in when we last met, I knew something must be wrong.’ I asked her, ‘Are you sure, when I see you Monday, there won’t be two cops waiting in your office to take me to jail?’ She said, ‘No, you have nothing to worry about.’ I told her I had to move. She said she’d help me.

“I’m also having trouble with my friends at ‘the benches’ or, ‘the bench’ as it is now. Some of the guys used to loosen the bolts so, when you sat down, the bench would tip over backward.

“The main problem is there are just too many people there. Little Jake and Debbie were all over each other. It was enough to make me want to gag myself with a pitchfork. Raven’s been drinking vodka lately. She was so drunk that she’d wet herself. I was sitting on the bench, she was standing beside me, all I could smell was pee! Shakes kept falling asleep and kept leaning on me. It’s just too much, sometimes!

“So, Metro and Two-four have been calling you Dale?”

“Yes, for a long time!”

“I had a real argument with them this morning. They said that Dale had been asking about me. ‘Dale,’ I said, ‘I don’t know any Dale.’”

“Sure you do!” said Metro, “The white-haired gentleman with the beard. He walks with a limp.”

“That’s Dennis! ” I said.

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure!

“So, you didn’t mind them calling you Dale, you just went along with it, as long as they didn’t call you late for dinner… right?”



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