12 July 2012

As I got off the bus this morning I was greeted by Metro, “Good Morning, Dennis, Joy’s here today.”

“Thanks, Metro. Have a good day.”

Next, I was greeted by Two-four, “Good morning, Dennis. Joy’s here today.”

“Thanks, Two-four. Have a good day.”

I could just barely see Joy’s cap and her two feet sticking out behind the concrete partition. “Hi, Joy.”

“Hi, Sunshine, how are you today?”

“I’m great. How do you like staying at Chester’s place?”

“Like it. He’s quiet, not like Chuck. Have the house all cleaned and it’ll stay cleaned. There’s no dog tracking in mud all the time. The fridge is full of food. We had bacon and eggs this morning. Have all my laundry done. The only thing I’m waiting for is my GST (Goods and Services Tax) check from the government. I don’t think Chuck would hold that back on me. He says he hasn’t received his yet, either.”

Said, “I haven’t seen Silver or Hippo lately? Heard that Silver is panning near the Mission.”

“That’s strange,” said Joy, “I can see Silver going to the Mission for meals, but he’s had his spot for over ten years. He has regulars that come by. One that drops him a twenty. Can’t see him sticking his nose up at that, to pan near the Mission. As far as Hippo is concerned, I think he’s visiting his folks in Oshawa.

“Another couple of people I don’t expect to see are Daimon and Lucy. He wouldn’t dare come down on crutches. He’d be too vulnerable, and he’s made a lot of enemies. I think he’s going to be lying low for quite a while.”

“Have an appointment to see my probation officer today. On the card she gave me, the date reads Thursday, July eleventh. The eleventh was yesterday. I just noticed it this morning. There shouldn’t be any problem. I’ll tell her I was going by the day of the week, not the date.”

At the park, this noon was Shakes (asleep), Lucy (asleep), Little Jake (barely awake), Andre, Hippo, Ian, Danny, Joy, Chester, Wolf, and his dog Shaggy. Asked Hippo, “You look all cleaned up, you’ve shaved. Have you been home visiting your folks?”

“No, for the last week, I’ve been staying at the West End Hotel (the West End Detention Center).”

“Hippo, did they remove your stitches while you were there?” asked Andre.

“Yeah, the nurse took them out.”

Shaggy was contentedly eating dog treats and licking Joy’s toes. “I’m not sure I like her that close,” said Joy, “Last time she bit my ankle, and she drew blood.”

Danny said, “One time, when I had my work boots on, Shaggy bit my boot. Her teeth went through a quarter of an inch of leather and left a mark on my foot.”

“Did you hear that Bear got a ticket?” said Wolf. “Can you imagine giving a ticket to a dog?”

“Can imagine it,” said Andre, “She’s going to defend herself, your honor.”

“Why would they give her a ticket?” I asked.

“Maybe because of the holes that have been dug in the lawn,’ said Wolf. The cop asked me if it was Shaggy that dug them. Said, ‘No, it was the black one, not the white one.’

Andre said, “You should have seen the breakfast I had this morning. It was all the stuff I got while I was panning last night. Had calamari, octopus, all kinds of seafood, nachos, and fajitas. At The Greasy Oven, the owner pumped up the tires on my bicycle. Holding the bike, my hat was on the ground. Some women came by and asked me, ‘Do you think the man who was here would mind if we left him some food?’ I said, ‘No, ma’am, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. He would appreciate it. I’ll guard it until he comes back.’”

Joy said, “I walked by you guys around six this morning, Ian was asleep, and his pecker was out of his pants, just blowing in the wind. What a revolting sight, first thing in the morning.”

Ian said, “I must have gotten up in the night to pee and forgot to zip up. I was really wasted.

“My people (the people of the Heiltsuk Nation) have had an offer of a billion dollars if they allow an Alaskan pipeline company to go under our waters. We’re on an island off the west coast. We have over a million miles of water rights. We turned down their offer. Can you imagine what would happen if there was an oil leak? It would wreck the fishing industry, kill the ducks and waterfowl. We’d have nothing to live on at all.”

Andre said, “I was drinking with this guy last night. We were sharing my bottle. After it was finished, he brought out a bottle of his own. I said, ‘Now you bring out your bottle? You can be sure that we’re going to stay up until this is finished. If you fall asleep, I’ll finish it myself.’”

Joy was having trouble with her phone. “This is useless.” she said, “I’ve got the phone plan that Jacques recommended. For one thing, I only have free calling after six at night and on weekends. I never phone anyone on the weekend unless it’s seeing if any of you guys are down here. If you’re not, I don’t come. The rest of the time I have to text. I don’t know how to make spaces, so everything comes out as one garbled line. I just got a text back from Glen. He says, ‘Who the fuck is this?’ I answered, ‘Joy.’ he understood that.”

A woman walked toward the group and spoke to Jake. He put on his backpack and walked away with her.

“Who was that?” asked Danny.

“That’s his social worker.”

“You mean, a social worker will come looking for her client?”

“Not many will, but she does.”


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