14 May 2013
It was sunny and almost warm at the park today. I sat between Hippo and Joy. On her other side was Mariah, Wolf and his dog Shaggy. Shakes was sprawled, as usual, on the sidewalk.
“Shakes,” said Joy, “For Christ sake, will you sit up before we get reported and the cops come? I saw one pass on his bicycle just a few minutes ago.” With great effort, and not much balance, Shakes relocated to the curb.
With talk of cops came talk of prisons. Joy said, “The worst I’ve seen is Bordeaux Prison in Cartierville. I visited my boyfriend there. We’d been walking around Montreal and Big Jake decided to boost a car. He was drunk, so I said I’d crack it, but no, he’s The Man. He drove the car away, realized how drunk she was , parked it, got out and fell asleep on somebody’s lawn. He woke up a couple of hours later and took the car, but by that time there were two of Montreal’s finest tailing him. Anyway, he went to Bordeaux. It was half H.A, (Hell’s Angels) half Rock Machine. Talk about tense.”
Debbie said, “Hey, this leaves me in the middle. If I go to either end I won’t be able to talk to anybody. Wolf will you make some room and let me sit beside Shakes?”
“Hold on! Get out of my fuckin’ way, woman. I can only do so many things at once.”
Wolf maneuvered Shaggy’s cart further down. He wasn’t happy about it. Debbie sat between Shakes and Wolf. She said to Shakes, “You know, in all the years I’ve known you, I’ve never known you to get laid.”
Shakes said, “I can’t afford it unless women come on to me.”
“Does that ever happen?”
“No, because I play hard to get.”
Debbie said, “I guess I’m the same way. Every once in a while I get a little urge.”
Joy said to me, “Just shoot me right now.”
From Shaggy’s cart, Heinz pulled a six-pack of Old Milwaukee and passed the cans around. Joy took one. “The only reason I drink this is to make me burp. Here it comes. I hate the taste of this stuff and it’s hard to hide. If a cop comes and tells me to dump it I won’t mind at all.”
I asked Joy, “How did you sleep last night?”
“I ended up sleeping on my side with the broken ribs. I managed a few hours sleep, but when I got up and tried to take a deep breath, that’s when the pain hit. This morning native Brent came by. We haven’t seen each other in ages. I said, ‘Don’t try to hug me — broken ribs.’ He grabbed me anyway. I thought I was going to pass out.
“I’m not sure if I will go to Chuck’s for that barbecue today. It means taking one bus then walking about five blocks. I don’t think I’m up to that. I think I’ll just go to my place and relax. I know Nicholas will be pissed, he brought those moose steaks especially for me. He’ll get over it.
“This morning one of my regulars stopped by. She asked, ‘How are you feeling now? Is there any chance you’ll be able to get a job?’
“I should have told her, ‘I don’t do employment.’ I had a job at Arby’s once. That lasted about two hours. Then I said, ‘That’s it I’m out of here.’ I had a warehouse job one time. I liked that. It was a big place so I was always moving; not like being behind a counter somewhere.”
“Hippo, do you want to come to my place?” asked Joy. ” I’ve got chicken for supper.”
“I haven’t had chicken for months. Sure I’ll come. I’m expecting a care package from home. Can we stop at my place on the way?”
Debbie looked at Mo and said, “You’re not looking right. I can sense these things.”
“Well, I’ve been on my period for fifteen weeks now. I didn’t think I had that much blood in me. If I tried to slash my wrists my veins would be fartin’ dust. Before that I’d gone five months without a period. I don’t know what’s happening.”
Katy said, “I wasn’t expecting that much information.”
Mariah asked, “Where are we meeting for Weasel’s funeral? I heard that a lot of people aren’t coming.”
I turned to Hippo and asked, “How are you liking your apartment?”
“The place is okay, it’s just the fuckin’ neighbors. If I had a gun with a silencer I’d shoot them.”
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