“Stand tall, don’t you fall oh, don’t go and do something foolish,” Burton Cummings, 1976
“Hey, where you been? Aren’t you working now?” Streetgirl asks the younger panhandler who she hasn’t seen for a few months.
“I lost the job, my home burned down, and my Dad died after being diagnosed with stage four cancer; a blessing in the sense that he didn’t suffer long.” With sadness in her eyes she described being “so depressed”. Back now, ready to humble her-self once again in order to survive. To stand tall and “keep on going”.
All Streetgirl could offer the other was a hug. Such is life!
“Fill your belly. .. make merry. Let days be full of joy. Dance and make music day and night.” From the original Old Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Afterthought: On Freebies – I apologize to my Mother if I arbitrarily portrayed her as a lush, chugging down Beer, Boilermakers, and Mudslides and making merry day and night!
Jeff almost died from an overdose last month, but by sheer luck and/or the Grace of God he did not! This is what he told me when I paused to say hello on my way to a long postponed mammogram; a symptom of severe anxiety drives me to defer essential medical appointments among other things, but this year I am pushing forward and forcing myself do what may seem simple to you.
One evening he decided to treat himself to a twenty piece of crack, purchasing the product from an established local dealer, stopping at the empty bus shelter on Flemington to have a “quick puff” before trudging through the snow up a steep ridge, then descending the ravine and settling into his tent for the night. The drug was an afterthought; the pleasure of a crackling glow to ease the darkness of loneliness. Having purchased extra batteries at the dollar store beforehand, the short term plan was to smoke the rest while listening to the game on his portable radio. Instead, Jeffry passed out the second he inhaled. Continue reading “Still Alive!”
I want to say hooray, but after watching CTV News on Sunday, I was surprised to hear a woman praise the prices. Continue reading “Pot Shop’s open in T.O.”
When the 3rd period is too much to take!
“What better way to pass the day than drinking a tall glass of whisky and beer on ice at Buddy K’s.” (Most commonly called a Boilermaker/ Originated in Butte, Montana, in the 1890’s, then-called a “Sean O’Farrell” and drunk by copper miners after shift in the heyday of America’s first major industrial city. No ice cubes back then though!)
That’s what Mom said Saturday evening back in March, as we were winding down after a week of watching over Granddaughter at our humble abode while Big Sis was away solo-backpacking in faraway Thailand. Fortunately all went well with the little one, which is not always the case when living in TCHC where anything can happen to spoil the mood at any given moment.
“Even better when it’s free,” Buddy quipped, in regards to her choice of beverage. Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Freebie!”
From my archives – Winter of 2015
Seeking solace and a blessed place to say her prayers, Streetgirl flew her sign yesterday, straddling the curb and strolling up and down the island. Those same paths that her panning peer, so-tagged The Veteran, had ambled thousands of times. It was chilly, but they’d been out in far worse weather and enjoyed it too; a freedom of sorts. If it was Joe he would be wearing a toque, thin shirt under a jacket year-round day and night, and sandals without socks; even though someone had given him a pair of boots two months before his passing. Thrilled to tell the tale, how he’d been snoozing in the sun behind the gas station when a guy came by and offered to take him to Canadian Tire to buy a winter coat and footwear. One of so many kind gestures afforded him by strangers. That night they dumped his dirty smelly old one down the garbage shoot in our building as a ceremonial gesture and he donned the gift until the day he died. Continue reading “Quotes from Streets: Farewell Friend”
I was going to post a happy go lucky egotistical tail about how great my X-mas was. That’s me in the photo heading east on the GO Bus to Big Sister’s. And about our Happy New Year down in Buddy K’s basement where the hosts are the most, the living is easy, and copious meals are served right on time; best bacon loaded weekend breakfast in the World! However, with the passing of Homeless Joe my mood has soured, plus it’s already January 12th and the deadline has passed. Instead I will take this opportunity to tell my faithful friend see u in Heaven!
“There are not enough Josephs in the world!” John Deacon
“Joseph was a soldier. Him know him gonna fall one day!” Delroy, my Jamaican neighbor sitting in the lobby making the motions as he speaks fondly.
Happy New Year Everyone! The last couple of years I haven’t taken Keeba to my daughter’s for Christmas. She’s stayed with a good friend, as I don’t drive and the GO Transit did not allow pets up until recently. Continue reading “Happy New Year!”
Farewell Joseph. My heart is broken! Never again will I hear your knock at my door and this saddens me so I can barely breath. Rest in Peace.
With the legalization of Marijuana in its current state, Canada has opened the gate-way to becoming one of the world’s leading contributor of single-use plastic pollution.
“Cause you’re the joke of the neighborhood…Why should you care if you’re feeling good…Take the long way home,” SUPERTRAMP. (1ST concert Mother went to in the summer of 1979, Lansdowne Park, Ottawa.)
I feel sort of sorry for some People. Continue reading “A Dog’s Eye View – Take the Long Way Home!”
A five dollar bill visible in one hand the woman pokes her head partway out the window and says, “Quick question. Who is the composer?”
Never been strong on trivia, perhaps due to perceived trauma Christmas 1980, 20 years old and playing the brand new board game sensation “Trivial Pursuit” with the family, led by an intellectual and dominating father and two older smarty-pants brothers; she was bound to lose. However, today the unmistakable ominous first four notes of “Symphony No. 5” coming from inside the car jogged Streetgirl’s mind to emit an immediate unwavering response.
And the music lover passes the money with a smile, “You win.”
I took this photo late November 2012. Looking at it today, I am still stricken by the incongruity of the Nike symbol on the shoes, the Canadian flag hanging so prominent, and the Allen Expressway in the back ground; bold statements in a harsh environment. Continue reading “We are Canadian”
I would like to take a moment to thank my Russian friend Val and his family for gifting me Easter cake and a red egg and for confirming that indeed “Christ is Risen”. I am blessed by your kindness and never-wavering support.