Blackie R.I.P.

 

blackie

 
24 May 2013
Hi Dennis; Sadly, Blackie passed away today. At a Veterinary check-up a large tumor was discovered in his abdomen. Probably Cancer and the Veterinarian did not think Blackie would survive surgery & Chemo. I was with Blackie as well as Bruce and the wonderful people from B.A.R.K. (The Bytown Association for Rescued Kanines) .He went peacefully as I was holding his paw. Will miss them both Blackie and Weasel).

Stella

 
 

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Payback Is Sweet

 

womanbox

 

24 May 2013

A light rain was falling,  it was see-your-breath cold. Metro said to me, “You won’t believe it, but Joy is at her spot.”

As I approached I could see her huddled over, rocking slightly. “Joy,” I said, “you look cold.”

“I am. I forgot my heavy coat. By the time I realized how cold it was I was half way to the bus stop. I’m wearing Jake’s sweater, two layers of long underwear under my jeans, but I’m still freezing.

I said, “I didn’t go to the park yesterday because of the rain.”

“We just huddled together inside the glassed in bus shelter: Outcast, Jacques, Little Jake. Finally I said, ‘Why don’t we just go to my place? I’ll cook something.’

As I was getting on the bus I slipped and landed on the front step of the bus. I didn’t notice at first but there was a deep gash in my shin. Outcast said, ‘You should go to the hospital.’ I’ll show you.”

“Don’t take the bandage off.” I said.

“It’s okay, unless this kind of stuff really freaks you out.”

“No, I don’t have a problem with that.” Joy removed the bandage and revealed a one inch gash on the front of her shin. “You wouldn’t believe how much blood came out of there, some is still on my shoe.”

I asked, “Has Jake tried to get in contact with you?”

“No, but I’m tempted to park myself in front of the Salvation Army and watch for him. Jacques has seen him. Chester has seen him. He’s still wearing my Leafs Sweatshirt, number sixty-four. I’ll never peel that off him. He’s wearing shorts too. I said to Chester, ‘I bet they’re tan color, cargo shorts.’ Chester said, ‘Yes, that’s what he was wearing.’

“That’s what he was wearing when he went in. They’re supposed to launder them for you before you’re released. I was in for three years. I couldn’t get into the jeans I came in with. They were too tight.”

I asked, “Did you gain weight in prison?”

“Yeah, that and I had my son, Nicholas.”

I said, “I remember you telling me that you had been raped by a jail guard.”

“Yeah, he isn’t with the prison system any more. I saw to that. When Nicholas was old enough, I told him that his father died in the war. One day he came home from school and said to me, ‘My dad didn’t die in the war, if he had that would make you about eighty years old. What really happened? Where did I come from? So I had to tell him the full story.”

“One day, at my mom’s place where we were staying, I heard a banging at the front door. Nicholas was crying upstairs. I was yelling at my mom to answer the door. She was yelling at me to answer it. I could hear a Harley revving up in the driveway. My uncle and some of his friends were there with the jail guard spread-eagled on the driveway. ‘What do you want us to do with him?’ he asked. Fuck, I figured that costing him his job was enough, but my uncle didn’t see it that way. With the back wheel of the bike spinning they forced his hand in, again and again. He ended up with two fingers and a thumb on one hand, the other was just a stump. I still remember the screams.”

 
 

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Sperm Donor

 

womanbox

 

23 May 2013

Joy greeted we with a grimace. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “I hiccupped, it hurt my ribs, apart from that I’m in a good mood. I’m still drunk from yesterday. I was so wasted at noon, I had to go home. I passed out for a few hours then watched the DVD, McClintock, for about the hundredth time. Got drunk again and woke up this morning.

“Guess what? I know where Big Jake is. He’s not staying at Rodent’s place he’s at the Salvation Army. Chester and Jacques saw him there. He’s in a wheelchair. He was wearing my old, number sixty-four, Jay’s sweatshirt. I want to go by there and just watch to see how he gets around. He’s got the long arms, but I bet he can’t do wheelies like I can. I’d like to sneak up behind him and take him for a ride. He might try to stop with his feet, but I don’t think it would help. I’d like to take him for a long ride on a short pier.

“Anyway, I just watch these people go by. Humans — go figure. I wonder what I look like to them. Then I see some crack head, twitching, scratching and I wonder if I used to look like that. I was on a twenty-one day high one time. I tell people that and they say it’s not possible, but I did it. I didn’t eat, just smoked and drank; then I had a meltdown. I saw my ex sitting in a tree, from a twelfth floor apartment window. He was just sitting there, outside the window. ‘Hi Edmund.’

“Then I went to my mom’s place and begged her to take me in. She pretty well locked me in the basement for about three weeks. That’s how long it took for me to dry out, but I did it. Then I went out-of-town for a while. I used to weigh two hundred and sixty-five pounds. I was always fat. Even in my baby pictures you can see a belly hanging out. I dropped that weight because of crack. When I came to visit my mother I was still skinny, so she thought I was using. She wouldn’t let me see my kids. I went through every kind of test, because that stuff stays in your system for at least a month. I had hair follicle tests, piss tests, blood tests. I’d bring the results to her. She wouldn’t believe me.

‘Now, she’s dead.  My oldest son and I write letters back and forth, but I don’t hear from the others. I saw my father when I was in Montreal. I said, ‘Hi John.’ He said, “Don’t call me, John. I’m your father.’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘you’re just a sperm donor. You were never a father to me.’

“I think I’ve drunk myself sober.”

 

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Back to Prison

 

homeless family L

 

22 May 2013

There had been a torrential rain shower earlier in the day, so at noon the sidewalks were damp and the weather was muggy. I sat on the curb nest to Katy.

Standing in front of Wolf was a portly, bald man, holding four lighters. He was shaking each one of them to see which had the most fluid. After he had decided, he put one in his pocket and left the rest. He said, “I can get a hundred bucks for this in prison. The only other way to light a cigarette is to spark two electrical wires together.” He looked at his watch and said, “I’m going to be late.” He hurried off and returned a few minutes later. He grabbed his jacket off Shaggy’s cart and said, “Now, I’m really going to be late.” Again, he hurried off.

Wolf said, “That’s Kenny, my neighbor. He’s also my connection, I should say my white connection, but he got caught trying to sell two bricks to a narc. They gave him two years. There’s good money selling drugs, but it’s illegal, you take your chances.  Now, he’s going to turn himself in with fifty pills and a lighter up his ass. He knew it was coming. He’d only been putting off the inevitable.

“What I worry about is the baby pit bull terrier he has. I guess his roommate will be looking after him. He’s a big guy who rides with a motor cycle gang.

“My cousin was up from Virginia. He couldn’t get over how we drink beer on the street and smoke joints. Mind you down there you could be sitting there cleaning your gun. That would be fine, but pull out a joint or a beer and you’re looking at a prison sentence.

“That’s Virginia. I’ve heard it’s even worse in places like Alabama. When his son turned sixteen the first thing he did was to enroll him in the N.R.A. He figured that if his son was going to be around guns, he better know how to use one.”

Debbie turned to me and asked, “Did I tell you that I presented a paper at the university, about a housing project for the homeless. This professor put me down, made me look like a fool. What would he know about the homeless? You can listen to my ideas or not — I don’t give a fuck.

“One day I’m going to write a book.”

I said, “That’s a good idea, to write about the homeless.”

“It’ll go way deeper than that. I’ll show where the corruption started. It’s been all down hill from there.”

I asked, “Do you think that the government is to blame?”

“Partly, with all the treaties they broke, but it’s more than that. I’m looking for a sponsor. Do you know anybody who would sponsor me?”

“What would be required of this sponsor?”

“I’d need office supplies, paper, a filing cabinet.”

“How about a computer? Do you think that would help?”

“I don’t know anything about computers. I do everything the old-fashioned way.”

“Have you thought of using a computer at the library? They’re free.”

“I can’t go to the library. I’m banned. There’s a book I never returned. I can’t get a library card until I pay for that book.”

 

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Pimp

Bible of a Pimp
Bible of a Pimp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

22 May 2013

Joy was in good spirits this morning. She said, “I almost thought you were going to walk right by. Who is that woman sitting on the box? For some reason I’m in a good mood today, I don’t know why. I was at Bearded Bruce’s yesterday. I did some cleaning for him. What is it about guys that they leave things in such a mess?”

“I’m surprised,” I said, “with him being a cook and all.”

“Yeah, if it was a restaurant, I wouldn’t want to eat there. I was just about to throw out a cup of bacon grease. Bruce said, ‘Hey, don’t throw that out. That’s my grease. I use it for everything I cook.’

“He does, I couldn’t find any margarine, so I buttered his toast with it. It’s no wonder he had a heart attack.

“His place is even smaller than mine. If his was this much bigger (holding her arms apart about four feet) it would be my apartment. Then he has this huge bed. It takes up almost the entire room.

“I had a great time playing with Blacky. I took him down to the river. He ran right in. I tried putting this collar on him (indicating a strap wrapped around her ankle). He wouldn’t have anything to do with it. I put it around my neck and said to him, ‘See, Mommy wears a collar. It’s okay.’ I’m glad that he’s with Bruce now. He’s officially retired. Bruce doesn’t take him panning like Weasel did.

“Can you get me a copy of Weasel’s obituary? Wolf was showing it around yesterday, but he snatched it back before I could read it. I don’t know why Little Jake was so upset, considering how Weasel abused him. Wolf read a few things that really seemed funny, like Weasel being an athlete. He could barely get up off his ass. There was something else about him being caring. He didn’t care about anybody but himself, but something happened a week or so ago. I asked him for two dollars. He said, ‘I’ve only got a twenty.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m not running for change.’ He said, ‘Keep the whole thing. Consider it a gift.’ I said, ‘Sure, it’s eighteen dollars more than I needed.’ A few days later he died.”

A man walked by and sneezed, Joy said, “Bless you!” To me she said, “I wish I could sneeze like that. You can’t imagine how much that would hurt my ribs.”

I asked, “Are you going to see the doctor today?”

“No, tomorrow. Yesterday I phoned and made an appointment. I’m so glad I have my immunization card. I asked if he wanted my Birth Certificate. He said, (imitating a deep voice) ‘Yes, please bring that along too.’ So, I’ll get everything checked out and taken care of.”

Metro walked by, seeing Joy and I sitting together he said, “What’s the split — sixty forty? Seventy thirty? Is he your pimp?”

“Pimp, none of the girls have pimps anymore, unless they’re high-class call girls. Now, forty to sixty bucks will get you anything you want. Fuck, a crack ho will do you for soup and a sandwich.

“When I was in Montreal, my girlfriend and I had a pimp — a big black guy. We did all the work, he got most of the money. We figured, ‘What do we need this guy for? Protection? We were getting the shit beaten out of us by the johns all the time. We decided to go independent. That was a mistake. One night a big black car came down the street where we were working. It stopped, we were told to get in. They took us to the bus station, gave us a ticket and said, ‘You’re going to Detroit.’ I said, ‘Better kill me right now, ’cause there’s no way I’m going to Detroit alive.’

A large garbage truck stopped near by, Joy yelled, “Hi, Sunshine!” A good-looking, young man waved before emptying the garbage cans. I asked Joy, “I’ve been introduced to him before, but I forget his name.” Joy said, “I forget his name too. I just like looking at his tight butt.” He came over, shook hands with us both, then went on his way.

A man wearing a Leafs hockey jersey walked by. Joy said, “Hi, Father Peter!” He stopped and chatted for a while. Joy said, “I see you’re not wearing your collar today.” He said, “I just came from breakfast; I didn’t want to get it dirty.” Joy asked, “Have you seen Father Jacob lately?” After he left she said, “They’re getting younger and cuter every day. Those priests would surprise you. I saw Father Jacob grab some woman’s ass the other day; at least it wasn’t a guy’s ass he grabbed.

Chester came shuffling along. I took that as my cue to leave. I asked Joy, “Will I see you at noon today?” She said, “You sure will, even if it’s just to bitch at the guys.”

Pimp C in mid-2005.
Pimp C in mid-2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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Weasel’s Obituary

 

homeless family L

 

 July 10, 1965 – May 8, 2013. Outdoors-man, dog lover, storyteller, avid reader, sportsman, son, brother, stepson, brother-in-law, uncle, great-uncle, nephew, friend and faithful Boston Bruins fan. His was a sensitive and creative soul whose life did not follow a conventional path.

In his early years, David was an athlete who excelled at hockey and soccer. He also enjoyed a love of sailing.

He worked as a videographer, a tradesman and a nanny.

While David lived most of his life in Ottawa, he also lived in Vancouver and spent time in Ireland.

His last years were challenging and he spent much of his time on the streets of Toronto with his loyal companion, his dog Blackie. They were very grateful for the kindness of strangers.

David’s family and friends love him, miss him and wish him safe and happy travels.

A private celebration of David’s life has taken place. His ashes are now in Halifax and will be scattered on the Atlantic, as he wished.

 

 

18 May 2013

Wolf handed me Weasel’s obituary. He said, “I like the line, ‘His was a sensitive and creative soul.’ He was a good friend and I don’t want to get Little Jake upset, but just between me and you, it doesn’t say anything about how many times he punched Jake in the head when he was high on crack; or the time he kicked my door down, trashed my apartment and beat me. I know I shouldn’t speak bad of the dead, but I just had to say that. You understand?”

“I understand, Wolf.”

“Okay, enough said about that. I really enjoyed the book you gave me, the  one about the war;  not the one about the racehorse. Horse racing is for rich people. I didn’t think I’d understand the racing terms. I put it in my bookshelf and I’ll read it some day: but the other book, by Ken Follett, that was really great. It gave me something to read all weekend. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. Did you like it?”

“I haven’t read it.”

“You haven’t? Do you want me to bring it back to you? Have you, at least, read the back of the book, so you know what it’s about?”

“Yes, I read the back, but no, Wolf, you hang on to it. I’ve got too many books on the go right now.”

“Okay, I understand, but just so you know, that’s the kind of book I can really get into. Did you know that it starts on the first day of the Second World War? They had some massive planes that could land on the sea, but then they built so many runways that these planes just weren’t practical. After all the whole idea was to use them for bombing and if they had to land near the shore that wasn’t so good.  Have you ever seen a big plane that could land on the ocean?”

“I’ve seen pictures of big sea planes.”

“At first, when I started reading, I thought the Germans were after a spy on the plane, but it turned out that they were really looking for a  scientist. If they caught him they’d put him in chains in some prison and would have interrogated him until they got all the information they needed to develop the atomic bomb. You know what would’ve  happened then.  We wouldn’t be here.”

I asked, “Has anyone seen or heard anything about Serge,  in the past six months?”

Little Frank said, “No, the last I heard, he was in hospital, on life support. He didn’t have any family, that anyone knew of. We didn’t even know his last name.  Another person we haven’t seen for a while is Blaine. I’m guessing that they’ve both passed on.

Mariah was sitting on the other side of me. I asked her, “How have you been feeling?”

“I’m okay today, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I’ve got a pain in my hip caused by two slipped disks in my spine. I have two others  that have been fused since I was nineteen. I was having treatment for about six months.  At first,  I could hardly move.  My back was hunched over and I couldn’t straighten up. They gave me anti inflammatory pills, and put those little electric pads on me; but that’s all they could do for the first couple of months. They couldn’t manipulate my back,  have me do exercises, or anything. Eventually, it eased up and they got the disks back in alignment. That was a year ago. Now, when I feel a pain coming on. I just rest at home for a few days. That seems to take care of it.”

 
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Joy Alone

 

womanbox

 

21 May 2013

All weekend I’ve been anxious about Joy, wondering what Jake will do. When I saw her sitting in her usual spot I was so relieved.

“Joy, I’ve been worrying about you all weekend!.

“Why?”

“Friday you were so nervous about what Jake might do.”

“Yeah, I guess I was. He didn’t do anything. I was so bored on Sunday, I borrowed Chester’s phone and called Rodent. I said, ‘Hi, whatcha doin’? Care to come over to my place for a barbecue?’ He got all flustered, he said, ‘Jake stayed with me for a few days, but he’s gone now. I don’t know where he is.  He has all this paper work about how he’s supposed to stay away from you.’ I said, ‘Yeah, so when has that ever stopped him before? Usually, he’d just move back in with me.’

“That Rodent, he’s such a liar and a scum bag. Jake was probably sitting right beside him. We’ll meet up, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Who knows?”

I said, “That’s the thing with life, we never know what the next moment will bring.”

“Life’s a bitch and then you die.”

“Joy’s words of wisdom and inspiration for the week?”

“Yeah,  something like that. I’ve got a splitting headache and the dizzy spells have come back. Hippo went to the General Hospital and got my immunization card with my medical number on it.  I don’t have it with me now, but I’ll bring it tomorrow. I’ll stop by the Mission, or go to the clinic on Somerset, to have a doctor check me out.

“I’ve been reading this book by Justin Cronin, The Passage Trilogy.  I’m nearly finished and it’s over nine hundred pages. The only other time I can remember finishing a book was when I was doing time.”

“Will I see you at the park at noon?”

“Yeah, as long as it’s not pissin’ down rain.”

 

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