15 April 2013
This morning was cold. Joy was wearing two hoodies, a jacket and a heavy sweater over top. Her legs were wrapped in a blanket.
“Hi Sweetie, I’m glad you’re here. I have to have a major piss and I can’t go into the pizza place. Will you watch my stuff and do your magic?”
I sat on her crate and guarded her cap with the change in it (the jingle). I smiled and tried to look needy, but nobody was buying it. I noticed the averted eyes. Some of my friends passed without saying hello.
Joy returned, I said, “I didn’t have any luck.”
“Mondays are always bad. I didn’t want to come out today, but I missed Friday and Thursday because of the weather, so I figured I better get out.”
“How did Tuesday go?” I asked,” Do you have your furniture?”
“No, and I’m really pissed off that they cancelled again. I phoned my workers at about 1:00 Tuesday, as I was crossing the bridge. I heard one of them in the background say, ‘If that’s Joy, tell her we’ll have to reschedule.’ She couldn’t even tell me herself. I said, ‘I’ve been waiting five fuckin’ months, this is insane! All my other friends have been taken to the warehouse to get furniture. Why is it that I have to wait so long!’ I don’t know what that woman has against me. If I gave her a shot in the head, they’d phone the police. I guess that wouldn’t be a good move.”
“The table and couch that Andre promised me — he gave them to somebody else.
“I’m not like some of these other people. I have no family to turn to. Mind you, I’d have plenty of places to crash if I lost my apartment.”
I asked, “How was your weekend?”
“It was cool. I went over to Andre’s. Snuffleupagus was there, that’s what I call Hippo. He was whining the whole time. ‘I don’t have any money in my bank account.’ I told him that his GST (Goods and Services Tax) refund would be coming soon. His income tax refund would take a little longer. He’ll just have to wait, like all of us. You can’t hurry the government; but he wants it now!
“Weasel is pissed with me because he invited me over and I haven’t been there yet. He had Jake over and split his eyebrow? I told Jake that when he mixes sherry and beer, like he does with his Jake-inator, he flips out and becomes a real asshole. That’s what happened, so Weasel smacked him upside the head, chased him out the door and across the parking lot.
“Weasel said to me, ‘You know I’d never hit you, Joy!’ I said, ‘Why not? It’s not like I’ve never been hit before. Is it because I’m a woman? Well, I don’t punch like a woman, so don’t worry on that score.’
“I passed out on the couch, Weasel was asleep in a chair and Andre slept on the floor. Andre’s sister was over. I like her. She’s moving into a beautiful place. It’s great if you can afford it. He’d been telling her that he want’s to get together with me, but that’s not going to happen. She’d look over at me with those questioning eyes, Why don’t you like my brother?
“It’s not that I don’t like him, I feel about him like he is my brother. Nothing’s going to happen between us. I’ve been telling him that for two years now. Even when he and Weasel walked me home he had this pouty face and said, ‘Can I at least have a hug?’ When I did hug him he tried to kiss me on the mouth, but I turned my head and he got my cheek.” I said to him, ‘That’s the reason there’ll never be anything between us. The more you try to get closer, the more I’m going to push away.’ Then he said, ‘So, you want me to just leave you alone?’ I said, ‘Yes!’ Maybe he’ll eventually catch on.
“I’m still short $4.00. You don’t have $4.00 do you?”
“No,” I said, “I only use plastic — to get the Air Miles.”
“It’s okay, I see my Dutch guy coming. This could be good.”
A tall, well dressed man said, “Hello.” and dropped two quarters.
“Thanks, honey.” said Joy. To me she said, “That’s not good.”
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