11 August 2017
“Hi Dennis, I’m in recovery mode this morning. I’ve been hitting my homebrewed wine too hard. Fuck, that’s potent stuff. I let it ferment eleven days longer than I was supposed to. Maybe that’s what made it so strong. My vodka should be ready in three days. It’s really frothing up in the metal container. I’m going to stay away from drinking that stuff. It’s too hard on me.”
“Do you plan to sell it?”
“Yeah, that’s the idea, to make extra money. I’ve thought of offering it to the people in my building. There’s a group that hangs around the back wall, drinking beer and smoking. I’ve had problems with landlords before. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to have a lineup of noisy drunks coming to my room at all hours.”
I asked, “Do you have a bed yet?”
“No, I was supposed to go Tuesday, but I was too drunk. I was supposed to go yesterday, but I had a visitor. Marcia came over and stayed the night. I can’t keep up with her. I don’t know what mental problems she has but she gets an injection from her doctor once a month because she can’t remember to take her pills. I can’t even have a conversation with her. She’ll be laughing then ten minutes later she’ll be screaming at me. She doesn’t listen. I can see it in her eyes, maybe she’s thinking about what to say to me next.”
I said, “She’s probably taking other drugs as well.”
“You bet. She asked for some meth yesterday so I gave her half a tab. Fifteen minutes later she was screaming for more. She was into my wine too. I gave her a bottle, but took a big swig out of it first. A full bottle will even put me out. She saw the big glass container in the fridge and wanted more. Just because I’ve got a lot doesn’t mean we have to drink it all at once. I’m a drunk, but I’ve got a level where I’m still functional and I quit drinking there. Not her.
“Then she started getting upset about her kid. She had to go to court to sign a form releasing the baby for an additional six months. I told her, ‘Sign it off permanently. You’re in no shape to take care of a kid. Let it go to a family that can give it a good home, take care that it’s fed right.’ Marcie wasn’t allowed to breast feed because of all the junk in her system. She looked at me kind of funny. I told you that there is a possibility that I’m the father. I can barely take care of myself.”
I asked is Marcie still staying at the women’s shelter?”
“She does the rounds. One week she’ll stay with her mother, the next week will be the Shep then the other place.”
“If I knew for positive that it was my kid I’d find some way of taking care of it. I’d take the blood test, offer financial support. My mother, brother and sister would insist on helping. My sister would probably take it.”
“I told you I’ve still got that tiny mattress. I’ve also got five sleeping bags piled on the other side of the room. I said, ‘You sleep there.’ She flipped out at that, called me a queer because I didn’t want to sleep with her.”
“I know a lot about mental illness but I don’t know what her problem is. There’s no way I can help her. Maybe I’d have to take courses. I can’t stand to be with her for too long. She’ll probably be by this morning with an apology.”
“The good news is I’ve been out fishing. I caught some nice sized pickerel the other day.
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