Archive for May 12, 2023




29 April 2015

Bearded Bruce was using the pay phone. I waited for him to finish. He said, “Hey bud, it’s good to see you. It’s been a couple of months now. It was a brutal winter.”

I said, “I’ve been looking for some of my friends. Markus, I talked with him yesterday. Met Magdalene and Native Nance. Saw Greg and Luther. Little Jake, I’ve talked to him on the bus.”

“You won’t see Jake for a while. Three days ago, it was check day.

“We’re still around. I pan on this corner then move on to the next block later on. I’m just waiting to hear about some work”

I asked, “What kind of work will you be doing?”

“Landscaping, the same as last year.”

Remembered that Weasel and Bruce shared that job last year. I didn’t want to mention that sad topic.

“Yeah, I’ll be doing some word for Stella, as soon as the ground is dry enough.”

I asked, “Have you seen Joy lately. Nancy was at her place for Easter dinner. Joy seemed to be doing fine then.”

“Well,” said Bruce, “she wasn’t inclined to listen to the advice of her doctor.”

“Yes,” I said, “I’m well aware of that.”

Bruce said, “I talked to Mariah yesterday, she hasn’t seen Joy for three days and she’s holding her check for her. She knocked on Joy’s door, but there was no answer. It’s not like Joy to miss collecting her check. I’m going to drop by her place tomorrow.”

Said, “It was great seeing you, Bruce. Take care.”

“Take care, bud.”




30 April 2015

“Good morning, Chuck, how’s your day going for you.”

“Dennis, I hate to be the bearer of sad news, but Joy passed away. When they discovered the body, they figured that she had been dead for about three days. I almost wish it were me instead of her. I’ll miss her giving me a kiss on the cheek. Asking, ‘How’s it going you old fart?’ “

Said, “She’ll be missed by a lot of people. I’ve often told her my troubles. She was sympathetic, or at least acted that way. Have you heard any news about funeral arrangements?”

“They may have a small service at the Mission. I don’t know if she had any family.”

“She has five sons and two sisters who live out of town. She also has an uncle who would regularly ride in on his motorcycle.”

Chuck said, “I didn’t know that. When I die, I don’t want any fuss. Arranged for a woman to have me cremated and then spread my ashes on the St Lawrence. Enjoyed myself out there.

“As far as the rest of my family is concerned, they can all go to hell. I don’t want a service, no notice in the paper, nothing written about me. I don’t even want them to be informed there was a service. They’d only go there to be seen. They’d hang around saying ‘Oh, Daddy this and oh, Daddy that.’ Now they don’t give a shit. Like the native point of view, ‘Today is a good day to die’. Even in the bible, they say let the dead bury their dead (Luke 9:60:  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”)

“There was a drunk guy who came around yesterday who said, ‘Chuck, it’s so good to see you. Remember this and remember that.’ I didn’t remember the guy. Later it came to me, I’d throw him out of a bar where I’d worked as a beer jockey. He gave me a dollar, but I don’t want to see him again.”

Said, I must go now Chuck, but take care. I’m sorry about Joy, we’ll miss her.”

“Yes, we all have to die.”

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