3 May 2013
When I stepped off the bus this morning, I was met by Metro. He had a grave look on his face, unusual for him. He said, “Joy is up there. She’s in pretty rough shape. She’s going to need some sympathy, her sister just died.”
I approached Joy and offered my condolences. She said, “Oh, don’t worry about that. I didn’t even like my sister; not like a normal human being would like their sister. She used to beat the shit out of me when I was a kid. She also used to think she was so much better than us. She was still a pot headed crack addict, but she didn’t hang downtown like the rest of us.
“I remember one time, when the father of her baby left her, she came to me for money. I said, ‘Well, do what I do when I need money.’ That when I was prostituting. I gave her a talk, we went to a certain corner. I told her, ‘When a guy comes along and asks you for something, work out a price then take him into the alley.’ She said, ‘I can’t do that.’ I said, “If you run into problems give me a shout.’ Soon I heard her shouting for me. I went into the alley. The guy was trying to take her from behind. That’s not what he paid for. I gave him a shot in the head, then we both beat the shit out of him. I grabbed his wallet. She said, ‘Joy, I just can’t do this.’ I handed her the cash and said, ‘It’s your choice.’
“It was her creepy kid that tried to choke my son. I was in Montreal for the weekend and saw him again. He said, ‘Hi Aunty Joy, mom used to make me lunch around this time.’ I said to him, ‘Look honey, I may be your Aunty Joy, but I don’t do lunches and that sort of shit.’ When I looked into his eyes, bells started going off, like I’ve just reached the Bates Motel, you know, from Psycho. He’s psycho alright.
“When I first arrived in Montreal I took a cab to the address and saw my uncle Ronnie’s bike in the driveway. Nobody had told me what happened, just that I had to come to Toronto. It was important. I asked him, ‘So who’s dead? Is it one of my kids?’ I rhymed off their names and asked, ‘Which one?’ He said, ‘It’s your sister.’ ‘Shit,’ I said, ‘I wouldn’t have come all this way just for her. He said, ‘You had to come, she made you executive (sic) of her estate.’ She’d put one last screw in me, even after she was dead. I didn’t even know what an executive (sic) of an estate did. I thought that maybe I had to live in her house, or something. Ronnie said, ‘You got to divide up her stuff, three ways.’
“I don’t know how to do that shit.”
“Joy,” I said, I’m not a lawyer, but just because she designated you as executrix, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Get some lawyer to look after it. That’s what they get paid for. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.”
“Really? I talked to a lawyer in Montreal, but he didn’t know squat. I know lawyers here, but they’re criminal lawyers. I guess they could refer me to somebody.
“Christ, she has a niece that lives right across the street. Why couldn’t she do it? We were over there. I met her asshole boyfriend. He was yelling something at her. She was holding a kid on each hip, and her belly’s way out to here. I was holding one kid. There were a couple of others running around somewhere. I put the one I had on the couch. I walked over to the guy and punched him one in the face. He fell against the refrigerator. He was going to come after me, but my two sons came in. They said, ‘Don’t you dare touch our mother!’ I’m glad I had sons. Anyway, they pushed him out the back door and beat the shit out of him. That’s the last I saw of him all weekend.
“I have to go back there this afternoon at three.”
I asked, “How are you going to get there. Do they pay your fare?”
“No, there’s no costs involved. Ronnie said, ‘I’ll give you a ride, as long as you don’t mind riding on the back of a bike.’ I said, ‘As long as you got a belt.’ I really can’t say anything, but he’s way, way up with the gangs in Montrreal. He’s in town because he has friends in construction working on that highrise over there. If I wanted to move back there I could have anything I wanted, but I don’t want that life again. My friends, the ones I consider family, are here.
I had to get to work, Joy said, “If I don’t see you at noon, I’ll see you Monday. I haven’t told any of my other friends about this. They didn’t know her, and they sure as hell couldn’t help.”
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