Years back Streetgirl found a horse-shoe on one of her walkabouts, can’t quite remember which spot, somewhere between here and there. It laid about for awhile and then I decided to hang it by the door. Inside of course. Before doing so, I googled which way was the right way, but found there wasn’t one. Up or down, doesn’t matter, all depends on what you choose to believe. I put it left of the door out at arms length upwards with the heels pointing down; to hold the luck and good karma inside my small space and to ward off bad luck and negative vibes that may try to enter. It’s been there for at least a year likely more as time does roll by, and yesterday Streetgirl decided to reach up and touch it before heading out to panhandle. After ten minutes of no change drops at all some guy just handed her a $50 bill. Talk about good luck! So which way would you hang your horse-shoe if you had one?
“Oh well! I was at home sleeping in my bed,” said the TCHC Special Constable who has been assigned part-time to monitor and protect our building, tenants and property, due to a recent upsurge in gun and gang activity city-wide which has prompted media coverage, political posturing, and a demand for solutions to the problem which appears to be radiating from community housing corridors.
Within our building and the surrounding neighborhood the authorities do have to deal with a high level of crime; assaults, thefts, property damage and false fire alarms (several per week and recently 3 in one day, 1 at 3 a.m which rang on for 15 minutes and occupied 4 fire trucks and crews until it was deemed malicious, ending with a verbal request over the speakers for anyone with info to call police). We are all sick of that one, wasted resources, interrupted sleeps, pathetic cries for attention that scare the shit out of my dog, but wondering why with all the new security cameras the culprits are never apprehended and charged. Dealers, druggies, and drifters roam about frazzled day and night, each on a mission of their own, resulting in high anxiety for those out-side the social circle, the elderly and disabled ones. The longer the subculture is able to function feeding off the deviance, the more it becomes the norm, drawing new people faster than it can spit other’s out. Continue reading “TCHC: Quote of week”
Looks like an ideal spot for a nap by the lake, doesn’t it? Not! This is a hammock hung by a Canadian Aboriginal homeless man on a steep slope of trees and bushes along the edge of the highway leading to the Allan Road Ramp where he panhandles on a daily basis.
“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam,” Popeye the Sailor Man.
“Do you want a job?” the middle aged man inquires while idling his pickup with a younger co-worker smiling and digging his pocket for change in the passenger seat. Not the first time someone has asked her this, before departing on the green light without a solid lead.
“What kind of job?” the panhandler replies, curious as always. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: It is what it is!”
Apparently the dramatic take-down in our neighborhood began over an hour ago, but we only got a view of the tail end (no witnesses here). Snapped a quick picture before retreating into the safety of home. It’s pretty much over now and the canine cops are back in the back of the handler’s car. I hear them, barking like mad, still on duty and raring to move on to the next call. And, once again, despite provocation, Toronto’s finest failed to fire a shot! They did yell a lot, smash the windows of a civilian’s vehicle, sprayed a bit of pepper into it;necessary in order to get that suspect to come out and stop trying to drive away. Wrapping up the incident now. All in a day’s work.
(Warning: The following contains disturbing details and graphic imagery.)
Defeated, she sits on the edge of the bed belonging to a fragile senior resident whom she has known for years, has harbored her before, and shares some of the same habits. After a three week crack binge, which I doubt is yet over, she is famished and for the privilege of making and eating four grill cheese sandwiches in a flash is massaging that woman’s sore feet and shoulders. Anything to ensure she doesn’t get thrown out again. Far from her home across the city, without money and in no condition to bargain, she knows no-one else will open the door for her tonight. Running amok for days, several violent outbursts against people and property have angered and alienated her peers, so she is lucky to have this temporary sanctuary.
“I black out. You know I black out? I have an anger problem. I was living with my mom (who has mental health and anger issues herself). We moved out of housing to get away from this, I went to talk to the counselor two times a week. I’ve been working so hard to stay straight. Why did I come back here?”
Speaking of Polar Bears! Heard the bad news on 680 News Toronto just now. The bears who live in the Arctic are losing weight, cause of climate change which is making it harder for them to navigate warming waters, shifting landscape and thinning ice; tragically shrinking their hunting grounds. Mom’s a bit of a news fiend although lately with serial killers at hand and children chained in filthy conditions by their own parents and so much more horrific tails , she’s questioning her need to know.
As the traffic idles on the red a man takes the time to place a small paper cup on his dashboard, opens a thermos and pours. Streetgirl watches, thinking it might be espresso. Hasn’t had one of those since Salvatore passed; along-side a shot of ouzo, burning coffee beans on top, accompanied by dessert after dinner in a restaurant of her choice. That was their thing. May he rest in peace. The driver doesn’t seem to notice her standing at the curb. He slides something onto the lid of the cup, a chocolate perhaps. Then, to her surprise, opens his window and offers the drink to her.
“It’s a date!” he declares. Continue reading “It’s a date!”