3 July 2013
On the bus home I met Little Jake. I said, “Hi, I haven’t seen you for a while.”
“Yeah, I haven’t been down to the park. I’ve been staying at Debbie’s place. The other morning I was walking the neighbor’s four-year old, black lab. I’d never walked him before. He was on a leash but, he just took off. I ended up on my ass; I scraped my arm and tore something in my shoulder. I can barely lift my arm now.”
I said, “I suffered something similar when I was hit by a car. They called it a torn rotator cuff. It took about a month of physiotherapy before I was able to raise my arm, and months before I had full use of it.”
“The worst thing is trying to sleep. I always seem to roll over on that side and the pain wakes me up. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in days.
“I haven’t been drinking all week.”
I said, “That’s a good thing. What made you decide to stop drinking?”
“It’s staying with Debbie. She’s a heavy drinker. If we’re both drunk it’s like oil and water; they don’t mix. I figured if I wanted to stay there, the only thing to do was to stop drinking.”
I said, “I was at the park at noon, so was Shakes, Lucy, Little Chester, Gene and a guy named Keith. Do you know him?”
“Keith? Yeah, I know him.”
“Lucy’s been staying with Shakes. He said she’d be safe there.”
“Yeah, he’s stayed at her place so I guess he’s returning the favor.”
“Have you seen anything of Daimon lately?”
“Yeah, I saw them both today, they were pretty wired. I hope they don’t try to rob Matches. I think I’ll drop in on him tonight to see if he’s alright.”
“I worried about that too. They have a habit of beating and robbing people. Remember, that’s how Daimon got his ankle broken. He and Lucy were trying to rob Buddy. That was a mistake.
“How’s your ear, where Danny punched you?”
“It’s still bleeding. I should get that looked at.”
We were passing a large empty lot with transport trailers being unloaded. Jake said, “Look at that, they’re setting up for Blues Fest. I love going there.”
I said, “That’s a place that Shakes loves to go. He always finds someone to get him drunk and get him high. Except for the disaster in 2011 when the winds blew down the stage for Cheap Trick.”
“Yeah, that was something. We were watching them, then all of a sudden the stage just started to lift. Then all hell broke loose. It’s a miracle that nobody was killed. One roadie was injured.”
I asked, “Have you had any luck with your worker getting you furniture? It must be ten months now.”
“Actually, I put the kibosh on that. When my lease runs out at the end of August I’m going to find a new place.”
“Don’t you like your apartment?”
“I love my apartment, it’s just too far out. It takes me too long to get there and too long to get downtown. I don’t know anybody out there except for Shakes. He lives two buildings down. I get lonely. I want some place closer.’
“it’s more expensive downtown; isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it’s more expensive, but then I wouldn’t have to pay so much for bus fare. I only got out at four this afternoon. I panned for two hours and do you know how much I made?…one dime. A buddy of mine was out for four hours and he made forty cents. Problem is, our regulars aren’t around; they’re on vacation. There are lots of tourists, but they don’t give a shit. They’re not going to see us again.
“Jacques still owes me fifty bucks. I’m going to have to get that from him so I can get my bus pass. I know he’s good for it. I even borrowed money from him to buy some pot. That’s desperate, eh?”
The man sitting in front of us turned around and asked, “You wouldn’t have any extra pot you could sell would you? I’ve only got a few bucks, I guess that wouldn’t buy me very much; would it?”
Jake said, “I only got enough for myself. I’m just going home to get high.”
I asked Jake, “You haven’t seen Joy recently, have you? I haven’t seen her since last Wednesday. I know she was going to see Jake. I just don’t know how that’s going to work out for her.”
“With Joy, you never know how things are going to work out. She can be nasty sometimes. I don’t like to say it, but she brings on a lot of trouble to herself. She’s always down on somebody.”
“Yeah, last Thursday she left because Magdalene was there drunk.”
“I remember that. I was sure there was going to be a fight.
“My stop is coming up, maybe I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll be there.”
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