Posts Tagged ‘prostitute’



2 January 2013

The temperature at noon was 1 degree Fahrenheit with a 13 mph wind, making it feel like -17. Last night it went down to -5. The only person at ‘the heater’ was Magdalene.

She said, “Hi, Dennis, my boyfriend, Alphonse is in hospital.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, which hospital is he in.”

“He’s in the Montfort. He’s been there for a couple of days now. He has pneumonia. Also, he’s had paranoia. He thought he saw people standing around his bed, but there was nobody there. He thought they were trying to kill him. He ran outside. The police brought him back in. They said that if he stayed outside he would die. When he got back to his hospital bed they gave him a glass of whiskey, because he’s an alcoholic.”

“I said, “Irving is on a program at The Oaks. They give him a glass of wine every hour. Gradually he’ll be able to stop drinking altogether. He wants to get back to work moving furniture, but it’s hard for him while he’s an alcoholic.”

Magdalene said, “We’ve been sleeping outside lately. We are on a list to get an apartment, but nothing has happened.”

“Where, exactly, have you been sleeping?” I asked.

“On York street. If you go to the end, there is a little boutique there, turn left into the alley. There’s a place with a heater that blows down on you. We have a covering that goes around us.

“For a couple of days, he wasn’t able to eat. His face was getting very thin. That’s when he decided that he should go to the hospital.”

“Have you thought of staying at some place like the Mission?”

“After Alphonse gets out of the hospital, we may have to. I don’t like those places. They’re rough, noisy, crowded and stuff gets stolen there.”

I said, “Shakes told me that every time he sleeps at the Mission, Shepherd’s or the Salvation Army, things are stolen from him: his backpack, money, bottles, weed, even his clothes.”

“I’m going to see Alphonse at the hospital this afternoon, but first I have to go to Welfare to see if I can get my bus pass. Ambrose has a check waiting there but only he can sign for it. I’m going to talk to them and see if they can release it to me. I’m listed on all his forms. I don’t even have his phone number at the hospital.”

I asked, “When you visit your worker at Welfare, can she help you to get an apartment? She should be able to get the phone number for Alphonse at the hospital.”

“Maybe, I don’t know, they were looking for us, but we haven’t been back there for two weeks. Maybe they found someplace.

“Alphonse has an appointment with his probation officer, tomorrow morning at 8:30. He’s going to have to cancel. I don’t know the phone number, I hope he’s awake, so I can get the number from him.

“This morning I ate at McDonald’s. I didn’t think I had any money, but I found four dollars and twenty-five cents. I was so hungry.

“Next week I start at New Directions. They’re going to help me deal with my anger management issues. I want to stop fighting, especially with Alphonse.”

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25 November 2012

It’s Sunday, I don’t get to see my friends until tomorrow, but I miss them. I wonder where Shakes slept last night. Was it in a bank kiosk? I also wonder where André slept last night. Perhaps, it was behind the dumpsters in the back of Starbucks. I wonder if Joy slept last night since the temperature went below freezing. I’ve slept in a tent in those temperatures and know that it isn’t life threatening if one has the proper sleeping bag and warm clothing. I can also remember shivering so much that I couldn’t get to sleep. There wasn’t anything I could do to improve my situation at the time.

When I read over my previous entries I realize just how important my friends are to me. Despite their addictions, their choices and what life has thrown at them; they are doing the best they can with what they have. Can any of us do any better? They are always entertaining and a joy to be with.

Several colleagues at work have seen me sitting with Joy before I go to work in the mornings. They ask about her story. I give them a condensed version of the facts as I know them. They ask, “Do you believe that what she says is the truth?” I have known Joy for two years now. When she tells her stories there are variations, perhaps due to memory, perhaps due to the amount she’s had to drink, the amount she wishes to reveal; but in essence, what she has told me is consistent and I don’t believe her to be a great actress who can pull tears out of nowhere.

I’ve been asked, “Are these people dangerous?” I know that several have committed murder. Two have served sentences of twenty and twenty-five years in prison. Another wasn’t charged but has lived with the guilt, even attended the dead man’s funeral and met his family. These people, my friends, are capable of murder. I am capable of murder. Most people, in certain situations, especially under the influence of drugs or alcohol, are capable of murder.

I know that if I was in a desperate situation, any of my friends would do their best to protect me, or help me, with whatever resources they had. They’ve offered food, drink and protection on many occasions.

I don’t really know why I am drawn to the park at noon hours. I say that the conversations there are more interesting than what I hear at work. That is certainly true. More than that I see raw life, without a safety net. Like Silver, who died September twenty-ninth, at the age of fifty-two, most of my friends are only too aware that they won’t see sixty. Many are surprised and sometimes disappointed, that they made it through the night. I enjoy sharing the time they have left. I am honored to have made their acquaintance.

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6 November 2014

“Good morning, Dennis. I have something to tell you. It just happened. There’s a woman who passes every morning. She always says hello, but never drops me any money. That’s okay. This morning I said to her, ‘I’m going to say something to you. You may think I’m bad. You may even call me a sexist pig, but I think you’re beautiful. I wanted to say it.’ She laughed and handed me a five dollar bill. So what do you think? Am I a sexist pig?”

I said, “Well, Chuck, if you’re a sexist pig, so am I.”

“I have to laugh sometimes when I see these women’s groups. Their extremist views alienate many people who would otherwise support them. I know that some men are bastards, they beat women. I don’t know why the women stick around.  I know some prostitutes that come by. Some of them get beaten by their pimps. There’s no way a hundred pound woman can stand up to a two hundred pound, six-foot man.  I tell them, ‘Look, do your tricks, hand over the money to your pimp. Do that a couple of times. Go out again, do your tricks, collect the money then high tail it out of town. Take the first bus and get the hell away. That’s the only way to survive.

“Do you remember Rachelle, she died about four years ago?”

“No, I didn’t know her. What did she die of?”

“Cancer, but that’s not the point. When I was living downtown, I was on street level. Often she’d come by my place, it might be three o’clock in the morning. I’d invite her in, she’d take a shower, hop into bed with me and we’d sleep until morning. Then she’d be on her way. That went on for years. I was single. We both got what we wanted. What’s wrong with that. Like I said the other day, ‘The one who supplies the booze, controls the screws.’ Well, I was controlling the booze.

“These new prostitution laws are only going to make things worse. Prostitution has been around forever. It’s not going to be legislated away.”

“I agree, Chuck. By the way, I saw Magdalene last night, the former girlfriend of Alphonse who committed suicide.”

“I know who you’re talking about. Yeah, she’s lost weight.”

I said, “She was straight and sober and has a new boyfriend now.”

“Yeah, his name is Allan. He seems decent enough. I also saw her drunk with three other guys.

“What do you think of the Fort Lauderdale men who face sixty days in jail and a $500 fine for feeding the homeless?

“The world is going crazy, Chuck. What more can I say?”





5 November 2014

“Good morning Chuck,” I said, “did you enjoy having lunch with your daughter yesterday?”

“My daughter? I went for lunch with my lady friend. My daughter has been staying with me and she makes a damned mess. I wish she’d get a place of her own. I want my place to myself. I don’t know how she collects so much junk. I hate throwing stuff out, you never know when it might be useful, but I did get rid of some stuff. The good news is, I found a lottery ticket that I had misplaced. I’d been looking for it for a couple of months. It got to the point that I couldn’t remember if I actually bought it or not, but I have it now.”

“Did you win anything?”

“I haven’t taken it back to the store to check. I know, for sure, that one time I won two million dollars. They even announced on TV where the ticket was purchased and when, but I couldn’t find my ticket. While I was still drinking I knew this couple. He was an alcoholic, she was a prostitute. He figured that if they saved their money together, eventually they could buy a small corner store where they both could work. In time it happened, they got their store and they were selling lottery tickets. This was before the laws were so strict. They found out how to determine the winning tickets before they were sold. They’d let anyone win the five and ten-dollar prizes, but the big ones they’d save for their friends. There were reports in the newspaper of how many lottery ticket sellers were winning huge jackpots. The Lottery Commission investigated and changed a lot of the rules. They also encouraged buyers to sign their tickets. I always sign my ticket.

“Another thing I found are photos of two dogs I had, Patches and D-4 (D for dog). Patches was laying on the couch. The cat was on top of him trying to swat his head. Patches was rolling over, trying to swat the cat. They got along well together. D-4 lived to be eleven years old. One morning I noticed that she’d lost control of her kidneys, so I knew it was near the end. I phoned the kids, two of them came over to say their goodbyes. Then I walked her towards the vet’s office. She wasn’t on her leash, but the road was clear. I stepped off the curb and she ran ahead. Suddenly, a car pulled around the corner. I yelled,’D-4, stay!’ She stopped right where she was. The car stopped. The driver leaned out of the window and said, Sir, You’ve got a well-trained dog there!’ Then we continued on to the vet, so she died with a compliment.

“How have you been feeling lately?” I asked.

“I’ve been fine. Goldie’s  been fine. I was afraid that she’d re-injured the leg that was operated on. She’d been limping a bit. I took her to the vet. He said that there was no damage, but he gave me a prescription for painkillers that I’ve been giving her with her food. He also gave her a yearly shot and pulled one of her teeth. That came to $68.00. I don’t trust those guys. I kept a close eye on her teeth, they seemed fine to me.

“Anyway, her leg is feeling a lot better. In the hot weather she was lethargic, but now she’s eager to go for walks. Her tail is held high, her little bum wiggling. That’s how I can tell she’s happy.





24 September 2014

Good morning, Chuck. Tomorrow is the big day, isn’t it? The day you get your enclosed scooter?”

“Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. My son has promised to drive me out there. My lady friend has taken time off work to come with me. I can never depend on my son, he may decide that he has to drive to the other side of town first.  He’ll say, ‘Relax, you got all day. What else do you have to do?’ The thing is I do have things to do. I have people depending on me. His ex-wife was like that. She’s native and they have a different way of looking at time. She had a good job. Her boss asked her to come into his office. She thought to herself, I’ve got plans right now. I’ll go see him tomorrow.  Well, when she came to work the next day he fired her. She could never understand why. I have a lot of natives in my family. I love them all, but they try to live the way they did two hundred years ago.

“It’s the same with the States and Britain.  If things aren’t going their way, they act like they did in Colonial times — invade here, invade there, to hell with everybody else.

“I’ve been a drug addict an alcoholic, but the natives in my family are all alcoholics. They can’t handle it. Their systems haven’t had thousands of years of building immunity.

“Speaking of natives, there used to be a very pretty woman who’d sit on the grass across the street from the coffee shop. She wouldn’t panhandle she’d just sit.  Every so often she’d get a phone call and would head off to one of the hotels. She’d be gone for about an hour then she’d be back again.

I said, “I know her, it’s Gwendolyn. I’ve given her meal cards. I’ve also met her at the park. She’s beautiful and very friendly. I remember her asking me if I had a cigarette. I said, ‘Sorry, I don’t smoke.’ She said, ‘ I wish I didn’t.’ Then we chatted for a while before joining the rest of the group. I heard that she’s going out with a big guy, with a beard, who’s never far away.’

Chuck said, “It’s the drugs and the booze that drives them into that line of work.’





“Good morning, Dennis,” said Chuck. “good to see you. I’m in a better mood than yesterday, but I’m still mad. After you left yesterday I was going to pick up a few veggies, go for my blood test, like I do every month. They didn’t have the regular people in the clinic. The woman behind the desk said that my requisition was expired by one day. I asked her, ‘What does that mean?’ She said, ‘That means you’ll have to come back with a current requisition.’ I said, ‘Surely you have all my information on file. I’m in here every month. Perhaps you could phone my doctor.’ She said, ‘We don’t do that. You’ll have to come back.’ I was so mad. I stormed out of there and came back downtown. Even in that scorching heat, I had my cap out until 4:00. When I got home I phoned my doctor and left a message about what I needed. It’s stupid, I have to get these tests every month for the rest of my life, you’d think they’d give me a permanent requisition.  It’s because of my Doctor, every time he signs a requisition he charges twenty bucks. If he sends a fax, he charges five bucks.

“They make everything too complicated now. I tried to call about my telephone, but first I had to hear all this stuff about television packages and internet plans. I don’t even own a computer. Finally, they give me a list of choices. What I wanted to call about wasn’t on the list. All they need is a simple answering machine. I’d tell them my problem, and someone who deals with that problem could phone me back.

‘It’s as complicated as getting welfare. I was in a car accident, my arm was nearly torn from my shoulder. I was in one of those casts that stick out to the side.  I was in that for six months. My disability benefits ran out, so I called the welfare office. They told me to come to the office and fill out a bunch of forms.  This was on a Monday. They said there’d be no problem, a check would be ready for me the next day. I went in the next day, no check. They said for sure the next day. I went in again, no check. This went on until Friday when somebody told me that my claim had been rejected. I didn’t have a cent. I talked to my wife and we decided to go to the priest. We went to his house. I rang the doorbell. I could see the housekeeper inside, but she wouldn’t answer the door. I started pounding with my fist. That brought the priest out. I told him our problem. He said, “I can understand your situation and I can give you some help. Here’s sixty dollars for groceries.” Sixty dollars worth of groceries would last us about six weeks. Then he said, “You and your wife probably like to see movies, so here’s another twenty. Carl, you probably enjoy watching hockey, so here’s another twenty. You’d probably like a few beers with your friends to talk about the game, so here’s another twenty.” I was flabbergasted.  You can bet that I took the money, I couldn’t refuse. I didn’t go to the bar though. I didn’t want to pay their prices. First thing I did, was go to the beer store and pick up a twenty-four. My wife took care of the rest.

“Talking about bars, got me thinking about a waiter I used to know. He was kind of quiet, didn’t say much. One day, in the middle of his shift, he went to the back, threw his apron down and walked out. He was half way across the bridge, when he jumped over the rail. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the water wasn’t very deep, but it was very rocky. If he’d jumped a dozen feet back he would have died on the rocks; a dozen feet the other way and the current would have taken him. He couldn’t swim. He ended up with a broken arm and he injured his back. I didn’t see him for a long time, until I went into this small bar at the edge of town. There he was. He turned all of his money over to his wife, but she allowed him to keep the pennies. We’d save up our pennies to make sure he could put some money away for himself. He’d take a trip every winter to Florida. He’d stay drunk and would hire a different hooker every night. During the rest of the year he didn’t drink.

“I got a joke for you. There was this German guy, his last name was Sexhauer.  He had a heavy accent and the receptionist thought he said, ‘When is your sex hour?’ She said, ‘Sex hour, we don’t even get a coffee break.’ I think I may have forgotten part of that joke, but that’s the best I can do.”





11 August 2014

“Good morning, Dennis.”

“Good morning, Chuck, how was your weekend?”

“It was quiet. I went down Saturday, panned for a few hours, made forty bucks. When I got to McDonald’s, my friends were out front having a cigarette. I sat and talked with them for a while, bought some groceries, then came home.  That was about it.”

“Did you go to the Food Court?”

“No, it wasn’t open. If it’s not open you’re not allowed to sit in the chairs. It’s not so bad for me, but it must be inconvenient for the people who work in the mall. They’re also trying to keep the teenagers out. I don’t blame them, they make such a mess. They don’t put trays away, they drop food on the floor. They don’t care, leave it for the old guys whose job it is to clean up.

“I remember one girl, who served behind the counter. She was really efficient. She probably did as much work in an hour as some of them did all day. The customers  liked her, she was always smiling. For some reason she and management didn’t hit it off. Maybe, because she liked to take a break every once in a while.  She deserved it, but they fired her.”

I said, “With a good work attitude and good customer relations, I’m sure she could get a better job than that.”

“Last time I saw her, she was working the street as a prostitute.

“Well, I told you about how I have to get my mail. I go out the back, around the building and come in through the front. I got a surprise this morning. I went to go out the back door and saw that the street was closed. I had no way to get to my regular bus stop. I had to go three blocks out of my way to another stop. It was my usual driver, he told me that the other route has changed until the construction has been finished. Nobody was told.

“He was also ten minutes late. He said that he likes to give people extra time, in case they’re late. That’s okay for people that are late, but for people, like me, who are there on time, it means a longer wait. They’ve also shortened the route at the other end, three blocks from here. I told him where I wanted to go. He said, ‘Just stay on the bus. I have to go that way before I turn around.’

“That was the last straw, it caused me to make a decision. You know how I’ve been debating with myself about getting an enclosed scooter?  Well now I have to.  It’s the only way I can have any quality of life at all.”

I said, “I wish you all the best with that. I have to go now. I’ll see you tomorrow, Chuck.”

“Bye, Dennis.”





11 June 2014

More uncertain weather. When I approached Metro he said, “Joy’s up there.”

“Thanks Metro, Have a good day. Stay out of the rain.” He waved and nodded his head.

“Hi Sunshine,” said, Joy.

“Hi,” I said, “Mariah told me that you’ve been having trouble with your legs and may have to go to hospital again.”

“Yeah, my ankles are still swollen, but they’re better than yesterday. Big Jake’s coming down later. He’s having more trouble with his wheelchair. He’s thinking it’s maybe the crazy guy upstairs. He’s had two flat tires in two weeks. That’s not right.”

I said, “Chuck’s been having problems with his chair. Has he told you?”

“Yeah, he’s always whining about something.

“I told Jake to chain his chair in front of the window, so he can keep an eye on it.”

I asked, “Do you mean at the Sally, or at your place?”

“My place. He’s out drinking with the boys now –as long as he keeps away from me, I don’t care.

“Did you hear that Willard is coming after Jake? I don’t know what that’s about. Willard is Raven’s boyfriend. Do you know him? Anyway, I thought everything was cool. Last week I grabbed Raven by the throat and told her to get out of my fuckin’ sight, for stealing money from Albert. That’s what she does, she gets guys drunk —  doing whatever it is that she does  — then goes for their wallets. Willard does the same thing behind the Mission. He’ll sit with a guy, bum a few beers. When the guy runs out he beats the shit out of him for the change he has in his pockets.

Raven said, ‘Willard wants to meet with Frank.’  I said, “We know where he hangs out. We’ll be there. I may just punch out Willard myself. He’s a wife beater, but he hasn’t come up against a someone like me before. I don’t punch like a woman.”

I looked at my watch. Joy said, “I guess it’s getting that time again. I’m getting out of here anyway. Will I see you at the park?”

“No, not today. I have a doctor’s appointment. I’ll catch you tomorrow.”

“Okay, until tomorrow. Here’s a banana. Do you want it?”

“Sure, lots of potassium.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

On my way to work I just had a minute to say hello to Chuck, “I’m running late, but I wanted to stop and say hello.”

“Hang on a minute, I got a joke for you. You have to have a dirty mind for this. It’s from an actual commercial on the radio. This woman, with a sexy voice asks, ‘Do you have leakage down below? If so, call the Crack Doctor at such and such a phone number.’ I swear that’s what I heard on the radio. I may have gotten the words mixed up, but that’s basically it. Do you get it?”

“Yes, I get it, Chuck.”

“I won’t keep you. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll see you, Chuck.”





28 April 2014

“Good morning, Chuck. I see that you have your winter coat on.”

“Yeah, I had a lighter jacket on yesterday and I nearly froze. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the wind. As it is only my hands and feet are cold. I’ve got some nice leather mitts at home somewhere, but I can’t find them.

I asked, “How was your weekend?”

“Pretty good; I only got into one fight. For me, that’s good.”

“What happened.”

“There was this cranky old guy, complaining that he didn’t have enough money for a coffee. I was going to buy him one,  then this guy comes by with a case of  empty beer cans. He said, ‘Take these, they’re worth ten cents a can,  you can turn them in for enough money to buy a coffee.’ ‘Oh no,’ the guy says, ‘I can’t have people see me trading in empties. They’d think I’m poor. I don’t want that.’ I really laid into him for that. I put myself on the line out here. A cop could give me a hundred-dollar ticket for panhandling. If I didn’t appear for court, I could do jail time. Mind you, if I did appear. The judge would probably throw the case out. I’ve never actually seen the charges stick. I’d probably say something like, ‘Your honor, I can’t afford to pay the ticket now, but if you’ll give me a few days, I can probably collect enough money panning, to pay for it.’

“I bought a lottery ticket yesterday. It sure would be nice to win some money. I know it’s selfish, but what I’d really like is to buy a small electric car. They cost about seven thousand, but if I could get a down payment of three thousand, a guy I know would let me pay the rest in monthly installments. That would give me a lot more freedom. Since the Wheelchair Taxi can’t get near my place in winter because of the snow drifts, I’m stuck inside. If I’m desperate I can get through the snow with my walker. I have enough strength to get to the corner store and back, but that’s about it.

I said, “I met Little Jake and Little Albert yesterday. Jake chased Albert away, he was drunk.”

“Drunk or sober that guy is an imbecile. I’ve chased him away a few times myself. If a person has a mental disorder I can empathize with that. I’m a bit crazy myself. I remember when I was a kid in Perth there was a kid that was slow. A local bully dropped a candy, rolled it in the mud, then gave it to this kid to eat. I slapped it out of his hand. I got beaten up for it, but I didn’t care. I don’t like to see people treated like that. When I got home I got a beating from my dad for fighting.

“At school I told my teacher off one day. Of course my parents were phoned. I got a beating for that too. Seems  I got a beating for just about everything.

“Sitting here, day after day, I see a lot of things. Quite a few hookers stop to talk to me; not a bout sex, just because they’re bored and I’m bored.  Speaking of hookers.  I was reading about some of these film stars from the thirties. Clara Bow had quite a reputation. A newspaper named her as the mistress of several men and claimed that she of ten had sex in public, engaged in threesomes with prostitutes, slept with women when no man was available and turned to animals when no human companionship was at hand.stated that between scenes. She’d go to her trailer and ask her manager to bring her some good-looking extra or stage hand. Another one was the same, I can’t remember her name — the one from Mommy Dearest” … Joan Fontaine. She had a ninety year feud with her sister Olivia de Havilland.  When wrestling, as children, Olivia broke Joan’s collarbone. They were both interested in Howard Hughes at the same time.

A beautiful woman, bent over, placed a five dollar bill in Chuck’s cap and smiled at him.

When she left I said, “That woman is gorgeous!”

“Yeah,” said Chuck, “I’d love to dive into that. Some people say I’m a dirty old man, but I’ve died nine times, so I’m entitled.

That reminds me of  nursery rhymes. They sound innocent until you start looking into them, Like The Muffin Man.” He sang:

Oh, do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane?

Oh, yes, I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives in Drury Lane.

He’s never in a hurry
Never has a worry
Bringin’ joy to everyone
Then he knows his work is done

Oh, you should know the Muffin Man
The Muffin Man, the Muffin Man
You should know the Muffin Man
Who dwells in Drury Lane

I’ve read two versions  of this story. In the first, the Muffin Man was a pimp who went by the name  of Muff.  He worked Drury Lane which was the Red Light District of London.  Actors, drunks, and even Queen Elizabeth flocked to the street after a play for a quick hand or blow job (or the like, for the females). That’s where the term ‘muff diver’ came from. His main street cookie went by the name Ginger Bread.

In the other version, the Muffin Man was actually a baker, otherwise known as the Drury Lane Dicer.  He would tie a muffin to a string, and as one of the street urchins tried to grab it, he pulled the string, eventually luring the child to his house. He’d knock the child out with a wooden spoon. He was convicted of killing fifteen children and seven rival pastry chefs.

There are also some other rhymes like:

Mary had a little lamb
she also had a bear.
I’ve often seen her little lamb
but never seen her bare.

Or this one:

Mary had a little lamb.
She tied it to a pylon.
10,000 volts went up its arse,
And turned its wool to nylon.


Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she bent over,
Then Rover drove her,
‘Cause he had a bone of his own.

I said, “I was talking to Bearded Bruce, Friday night. He said he was getting a job in Scarborough. He didn’t say what he’d be doing. I wonder if he’ll be a cook in a restaurant. That’s what he’s trained for.”

“He’s supposed to be working with my son, Chuck, laying sod. I hope Chuck doesn’t screw up. It would be just like him.”





14 April 2014

“Good morning, Chuck, have you heard anything more about Joy?”

“No, I was just talking to the one guy. He said there was some kind of altercation between Michelle and Joy. He said something about fifteen hundred dollars or fifteen dollars. Knowing Joy, it would be the latter. There’s no way she could get hold of fifteen hundred dollars. There was also something about a bus fare. Michelle was either drunk or high, I don’t know which. She pulled a knife and stabbed Joy.

I said, “I’ve met Michelle many times. She’s always seemed nice to me.”

“Yes, when she’s sober. She stabbed her idiot boyfriend a couple of times and he’s still with her. He’s a real asshole. I don’t know what she sees in him. That’s all I’ve heard. I don’t know if Joy is a t home or in hospital.

“I guess you heard about that other stabbing involving Brittany Hawk. I know her.  She’s a nice enough person when she’s straight and sober. She’s a prostitute, met a guy in front of the Shepherd. They went to his apartment, got drunk.  An argument broke out, she tabbed him  in the face, head, chest, thigh and hand with one of his own kitchen knives. One of the wounds pierced his heart.  She was still on probation for stabbing her mother and stepfather. She’d previously stabbed a man during a home invasion robbery, cutting his thigh before saying sorry, asking him not to report it to police, and kissing him on the cheek. You never know about people. Anyway, she plead guilty. They expect that she’ll be sentenced to fourteen years.”

“I got in a real row with my son this past weekend. I’ve mentioned that I have a lady friend that lives in Brampton.  I’ve decided that when I die I wanted to be cremated. The ashes are to be saved. When Goldie and my lady  friend die the three sets of ashes are to be mixed in one urn.  They have this special cemetery for people without much money. They’ll be buried there. Chuck Junior wanted to know all about this woman in Cornwall and why I wanted to be buried with her. I said to him, ‘It’s my funeral, it’s my decision. It’s got nothing to do with you?’ He said, “Yeah, It’s always about you.’ I said to him, “Do you know why nobody likes you? It’s because you talk too damn much and you don’t mind your own business.’ He was even on Facebook sending messages to people I know. They’re not friends of mine they just happen to live in the same building as me. There are probably only two people in that building that I would consider friends. In the summer sometimes, a bunch of tenants will gather in the parking lot and have a barbecue, share a few beer; that doesn’t mean they’re friends.”

I asked, “How was the rest of your weekend?

“It was quiet. I have to get new glasses. Welfare will pay for the eye exam and lenses, but I have to pay for the frames. I phoned all around the city to find the cheapest price, mind you with Welfare we only have so many to choose from. I had to go way out to the end of Scarborough for the frames. They were regularly a hundred and eighteen, but I got them on sale, fifty percent off.

“It’s the same with my electric wheelchair. They’ll pay for the chair, but not servicing. If I have a chair, they won’t pay for a walker. Sometimes I go to places without wheelchair access, like my daughter’s home.

“I even had a guy complain that he saw me using a cell phone. Well, why shouldn’t I use a cell phone? How else can I get the Wheelchair Taxi to pick me up?

“Here comes trouble. See that man across the street with the dog?” Chuck put his cap over Goldie’s head.

The man said, “Don’t worry, my dog won’t hurt your dog.”

Chuck yelled, “Just keep your dog away from me.”

To me he said, “Some pet owners are so irresponsible. It happens in my building. Guests with dogs will come over and let them run loose in the halls. I knew who it was and I complained. I said, ‘Either keep that dog in the apartment, or get it out of the building.’

“We have the same problem with tenants letting their friends use the laundry facilities. They always leave a mess. We have recycling boxes and they don’t use them properly. There was one neighbor who even let her friend use our trash disposal. I told her, ‘You do that one more time and I’ll report you.’ I get so mad sometimes.”