13 October 2017
I saw Ted’s green upturned hat. When I approached he appeared to be asleep. I was about to walk past when I saw his eyes open. “Good morning Ted.”
“Good morning, Dennis, I drank four tall boys already this morning, so I’m a bit wasted. I’ve had a fever for the past two days. Yesterday I stayed in my sleeping bag. I pulled it over my head and that’s the way I spent the day. My face is frying. I must have some sort of infection, maybe in my teeth. I need an Advil or something.”
“Did you buy a new bed?”
“No, I used the money to exploit women. That’s the way I am.”
I said, “Maybe you should go to a walk-in clinic, or do you have your own doctor.”
“Doctors! What do they know.
“I read that in Australia they’ve had their worst ‘flu season in ten years — a hundred and seventy thousand cases so far this year. Two and a half times more than last year. They’ve already had seventy-two deaths from the ‘flu. From the flu! I’d go get a shot, but I can’t while I have this fever. Make sure you get yours.
“Have you seen Bernard? I told you he gave me a twenty towards the money he stole from me. I was really drunk last night, but I briefly awoke to see him going through my wallet. I just rolled over at the time, but I remember. He’s a slimy bastard. I told you that when Rhea pulled the fire alarm he said he had to leave because the police were coming. I think he’s a pedophile. I’ve never asked him about it. He’d lie anyway, but he did go to prison shortly after he was with Rhea. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
I asked, “Will you be here on the weekend?”
“No, I don’t do well on weekends. I don’t see any of my regulars. I’ll go fishing instead. I’m going to leave now. I’m going to the pharmacy to buy some Advil and a new pair of glasses so I can read the newspaper.”
“Did you lose your glasses?”
“Well, yes and no. I know exactly where they are — at my fishing place. I put them a few feet from where I usually sit, so I can reach them when I need them.”
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