Last week the temperature was below freezing (-2 degrees Celsius, 28 degrees Fahrenheit) today it’s hot (32 degrees C, 90 degrees F) with the humidex reading it feels like 43 degrees C (110 degrees F). Nobody in the park had much energy. Hippo had a bad sunburn on both of his legs.
I said, “I heard of Hippo’s adventures last night. What else happened?”
Joy said, “It was hilarious, I got a phone call from Mariah, she said, “You’ll never guess, but Hippo phoned. He just got out of jail.’ I said, “I’d wondered what happened to him. He was in my apartment, I went out to get some honey garlic wings, when I came back he was gone. I ate four and put the rest in the fridge.
“How can someone, going from point A to point B, end up in jail?”
Hippo said, “It was because of that bitch.”
“What bitch? You mean that crazy Portuguese woman down the hall?”
“No, the bitch cop. Sorry, I meant woman cop.”
I said, “Hippo, you could have been shot.”
“She had her gun out, alright. She said get down.I got down. They put the hand cuffs on and dragged me to the back of the cruiser. That’s how I got these scrapes on my arm.”
Joy said, “I’d rather be shot that tazed. When they get you down they always give you a few extra zaps to increase the pain.
“Let’s back up a bit, Hippo, I don’t mind you calling her a bitch. I got no problem with that, but you chased a woman with a hammer?”
“I guess I did. I don’t remember.” Joy smacked his left sunburned thigh, Mariah smacked the other.”
Joy asked, “How do I know that you won’t hit me with a hammer some time?”
“I’d never do that, Joy.”
“You just keep talking and I’ll do to you what I did to Brian yesterday. He just wouldn’t stop talking.
“Yesterday, you and me went to the bank. You could only get $120.00 out. ”
“Yeah, that’s all the bank machine would let me take. We’ll go back today and I’ll talk to a teller.”
Joy said, “You mean go inside the bank, just like humans?”
“Yeah, just like humans.”
“Then we’ll go to my place and finish those wings.
“Before this night’s out I’m going to get your PIN (Personal Identification Number) for the bank machine.”
Hippo said, “What year was the first Harley built?”
“That’s my PIN.
“People always say I’m full of shit, but down a quart.”
Joy was looking beyond the railing into the park, “Jacques, take a look. Doesn’t that dog look just like Harley; you know, Rosie’s dog — big titties Rosie?”
“Ah, yes, I remember her. Harley looked something like that but didn’t have the white on his nose. Also he was skinnier.”
“I know it’s not the same dog, but the same breed.”
“Yes, maybe you’re right.”
Delbert was sitting beside me. He’s been deaf since birth, so he sometimes has trouble communicating. He said, “I can read lips, you know. Even if two people are across the street I can tell what they’re saying. It nearly got me in trouble one day. I walked across the street and repeated word for word what these people had been saying. The guy got really pissed off.
“I’ll show you. I’ll go over to the fence and you mouth something. I’ll tell you what you said.”
I mouthed, “Hi Delbert, are you having a good day?”
“You said, Hi Delbert, you’re deaf? Is that right.”
“No, I said, ‘Hi Delbert, are you having a good day?”
“You move your lips too fast. Let Joy try it. Say something to me, Joy.”
You said, “I’ve got shit stains on my underwear?”
Joy said, “That’s right. That’s what I said.”
Delbert said, “I got news for you. I’m not wearing underwear.”
Joy said, “I’m not sure if I really want to go there, but why aren’t you wearing underwear?”
“Because I’m wearing white pants and I’m clean.
“I have to go for my methadone treatment, but after that I’ll buy some chicken and maybe Hippo and I could come over to your place for supper?”
“That ain’t hapennin’, dude. You’re never coming to my place. I’m down here, dude. Look at me.”
Delbert left, Joy said, “That guy gives me the creeps, especially when he does that thing with his eyes. I think he was dropped on his head too many times when he was a baby.”
I said, “He told me that, while his mother was pregnant with him, his father beat her up and threw her down a flight of stairs.”
“Yeah, I heard that. Just before my second son was born, my ex beat me something fierce. The baby was born with a broken leg and two broken ribs. Jay did two years for that.
“I can also read lips and sign. When I was a kid I had lots of ear infections and got a perforated ear drum. I can’t hear with my right ear. It’s handy sometimes even with Delbert. I watch his eyes, and can say things when he’s not looking.”