31 July 2014
“Good morning Chuck. Are you managing to stay dry?”
“The rain has managed to hold off. If it gets bad I’ll go across the street where there is an overhang. I’ve got a plastic bag to go over my hand controls.”
“You certainly have a good view from here, Chuck.”
“Yeah, just at the right height. I don’t have to apologize for staring at women, they just walk into my line of view. I remember one time I whistled at a gorgeous woman. She came across the street and gave me shit. She said, ‘Whistling at a woman is disrespectful.’ I said, ‘No it’s not. It indicates that I think you’re a beautiful. Now, I know you’re also a bitch.’ I was at a restaurant a while back. Just as I came in the door, a nice looking waitress spilled something and knelt to wipe it up. I said, ‘You don’t have to bow down to me when I come in, a simple genuflection will do.’ She got so embarrassed that she walked back to her office. We got to be great friends after that.
“Have you heard that they are spending nine million dollars on a bicycle bridge. There is no need for a bicycle bridge. There aren’t that many cyclists who are going to use it. At the best it’s only going to save them a few minutes. I get so mad at our socialist, nazi, city council. They’re as bad as the federal government, holding back our income tax refunds. Hearing about that, two women in the lobby of my apartment, were crying. They had been counting on that money to visit their grandchildren. Now, they won’t be able to.
“The government, or whoever is responsible for my building, won’t put an awning over the back entrance. It’s the only entrance that is wheelchair accessible. When it’s raining, or in the winter when ice and snow are melting, I get water running down my back when I struggle to unlock the door. That’s why I had that crazy spell earlier this year. I caught pneumonia. I couldn’t see, didn’t know where I was, couldn’t find my chair. I could have died. They don’t care about that because it doesn’t affect them. They’re all a bunch of socialist, nazi bastards. There used to be a time when socialism helped people, like in the Great Depression, but not now.
I said, “I phoned the hospital last night. I was hoping to talk to Joy, but she doesn’t have her phone connected. She was going to sign her ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) check and have me cash it for her. I asked my bank. They wouldn’t cash it. They said all they could do for me is to deposit it into her account, but she doesn’t have a bank account. If she did she could have direct deposit. I was able to leave a message at the nursing station to let her know.
“Do you think that a place like MoneyMart would cash a third-party government check?”
Chuck answered, “They’d only do it if you had an account there and it’s expensive. I think they charge twenty bucks for the first three hundred, then it goes up after that. When I was on ODSP I used to go there, but I think that the government has changed the rules for them. They aren’t allowed to charge as much as they used to.”
“I lost some money last night and I don’t know how. I always keep about thirty bucks in my back pocket in case of an emergency, like if I get stranded and have to take a cab somewhere. I keep change in my front pocket for buying stuff. I probably had about ten bucks worth. I thought I remembered taking the thirty bucks out of my pocket and putting it on the kitchen table with my new bus pass. This morning, the bus pass was there, but the money on the table was gone. Nothing else was missing, not even the change in my pocket. The only thing I can think of is that someone cut my screen and reached in to unlock the latch. I’m going to check that when I get home.
“I’m going to stop to buy some bananas, plums and apples. I can’t eat apples as well as I used to, because of my false teeth. Now, I have to peel and slice them.”
A man stopped and handed Chuck a can of V8 juice. He thanked the man, then put the can in the bag that he carries on his wheelchair.
Chuck said, “I’m going to have to remember that I put that in there. I love V8 juice but, in the past, I’ve forgotten that there were cans at the bottom of my bag. By the time I found them they were old and shaken up, so I didn’t want to drink them. A few days ago I put a tomato and a cucumber in my pocket. I had to throw them out. They’d gotten soft.”
I looked at my watch and noticed that the second hand wasn’t moving. I asked, “Chuck, do you know what time it is?”
“I have to be careful that nobody sees this. He discretely pulled out his cell phone and checked the time. It’s 8:30, you’re early. “
“I said, “That’s the time I’ve got. I wonder why my second hand isn’t moving.”
Chuck said, “I went to buy a $14.95 watch. I noticed that all the watches in the case were running. That means that the batteries are wearing out. The jeweler charges ten bucks to replace a battery. At that rate, it’s better to buy a new watch. I’ve had problems with cheap watches where they only worked for a few months.”
“Chuck, I’m going to have to leave. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you, Dennis. Take care.”