Panhandler’s Union

 

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25 June 2015

“Good morning, Chuck.”

“Good morning. Remember, I told you about that crazy guy, the one with no legs that scoots around in an electric wheelchair, the one nobody likes. He’s really obnoxious. Anyway, I mentioned that he wanted to start a Panhandler’s Union and I said what a stupid idea it was. Well, he’s done it. He met with a union organizer and there’s a meeting tonight. Look at this.” Chuck showed me a photocopied invitation with a union number.

“The guy’s nuts. He’s high all the time. There isn’t anything that he won’t smoke, pop or shoot.

“You see that woman standing on the corner?”

“Which one?”

“The tall blonde with hair down to her waist and legs up to…where legs go. If she doesn’t come over here and give me a kiss on the lips, I’m going on strike. What do you think of that?”

I said, “It’s your choice.”

“Well, on both counts It’s not going to happen. There was cop in the coffee shop this morning.  I asked him, ‘Do you want to see something funny?’ He said, ‘I see something funny every day.’ He said, ‘I know this guy. I’m going to have a talk with him.’

“There are a few people who are ready to give the guy a shot in the head. They feel the same way towards him as they do towards Big Jake.”

I said, “A number of people were going to give him a beating after Joy died. They’d been holding back because Joy asked them to. Have you seen him lately?”

“I haven’t seen him and I don’t want to see him. He’s scum.”

I asked, “How is Goldie feeling now? She’s acting a bit more chipper.”

“She seems fine now. I should have taken her to the vet a lot sooner. People told me that the lump on her side was just a fatty cyst, It wouldn’t affect her one way or another. Well, the vet had to remove one of her mammary glands.”

I asked, “Did he think that it may have been cancerous?”

“I don’t know. He said that we’d just have to wait and see, but if it is cancer, I’m, not going to let her suffer. I’ll have the vet put her down quick. I’ll be the one to suffer.”

I asked, “Do you think you’ll be going on strike anytime soon?”

“I thought I’d try it Friday. I’ll still be here, but I’ll turn my cap down and will refuse any donations. See how people like that.

“I sure regret the years that I was drinking. I was living in the rooming house then. I’d open a beer first thing in the morning, drink half while I made breakfast, drink the other half while I was eating breakfast. Then, I’d walk out into the hall and yell, ‘Hey you guys, get out of bed, it’s party time!’ I had the biggest room so that’s where we’d gather. When I’d run out of money I’d panhandle. I probably wasted about $50,000, enough to buy a small house.

“Now, I’m saving for winter, for the times I can’t be here because of the cold. Well, I learned my lesson. Too bad it came so late.”

 
 

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Some Good, Some Bad

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22 June 2015

“Good morning, Chuck. How was your weekend?”

“Some good, some bad. After you left on Friday I was nearly attacked by a dog, a big dog, a German Shepherd. He came bounding across the street at me and just stopped about three feet from me. Its owner apologized. I said to him, “That dog has no collar, no licence and no leash. The next time I see it, I’m calling the police.” The stupidity of people baffles me sometimes!

“I took Goldie to the vet. He removed her bandages and said that the incision was healing well. She still has staples in her side. I asked if I could have her clipped for the summer, but he said it was too soon, the clippers may catch on a staple. I didn’t agree, but what am I going to do? She’ll just have to wait.

“On Saturday, I was invited to the birthday party of my grand-niece. The party was about five miles from where I live, so I used my vehicle — I’m still not sure what to call it. Anyway, I had the window down, a guy reached in and grabbed a crucifix I was wearing. The chain didn’t break, but he got away with the crucifix. I wasn’t concerned about the monetary value, but that was a gift from a very special friend. It had a lot of sentimental value, something I can’t replace. Who would do something like that? Probably a crack-head who thought he could sell it for a couple of bucks.

The rest of the day went well. It’s nice to see family once in a while. I never would have recognized a lot of the people there. Some of them didn’t recognize me. I went to the mall had coffee with my friends. That’s about all.”

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I’m Here

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18 June 2015

Good morning, Chuck. How are you today?”

“I’m here. I don’t want to be, but I’m here. I have no choice.”

“Has anything happened today to upset you?

“Are you in pain?”

“No, nothing’s happened I’m just pissed off — not at any person, just pissed off at the world.”

“Do you have any plans for later on?”

“No” he said, “I’ll just go home.”

“Will you be watching television?”

“No, I’m not going to watch television. I’m going to say fuck the world. I wish I didn’t exist. The only reason I’m living is for her (referring to Goldie).”

“She’s really special, Chuck, warning you if you’re about to have a heart seizure; being company for you; sitting contentedly on your lap.

I’ll be going now, Chuck. Will I see you tomorrow?”

“I don’t know.”

 
 

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