Things didn’t go as planned on Saturday November 14th, the day after my father’s birthday. I miss him so and the candle was bright that night!
I could hear the young man shouting, “HELP, HELP, HELP,” from inside his apartment at the end of the hall despite the fact that there are numerous paramedics and police officers at his door and other’s standing under the resident’s balcony in case he attempts suicide. Wouldn’t be a nice thing to see if he dares. Brought back memories of 2 years ago when a distraught woman who I knew personally and living above me decided to block her apartment entrance with a heavy dresser and jump from her balcony ending her life in plain view on the bloodied concrete below. Never will I forget that sight and I can only hope she is in more peace than those who bore witness to the incident!
Back to Saturday afternoon in TCHC. Apparently he was taunting, screaming and throwing knifes out the window. Threatening to shoot if anyone tried to enter, which is why the cops knocked upon Cathy’s door (she lives across from this man) and told her to take the dog and get out of her apartment for her “own safety”. I peeked my head out and was instructed to stay inside! When I heard the swat team arrive it was the last straw and decided to cancel an impending visit with my amazing 7 year old granddaughter. My anxiety was at a high level and since the last incident involving this person and the police lasted hours and hours I felt it was for the best.
All resources were at hand and eventually after barricading inside for 3 hours the situation was diffused and the patient carried off in a stretcher, calm as could be with cigarette in hand. I recall meeting his parents when they helped to move him in 5 months ago and they seemed so thrilled he’d found a sanctuary. My heart goes out to all involved. After the fact, in need of fresh air and better vibes, out the side door I went running into 3 more cops who were rather sarcastic when I told them in passing that this whole thing had screwed up my family visit.
Afterthought – When it was mentioned to me later that this kid was white and therefore privileged and deserved more than a free ride to the hospital after all the trouble caused, I agreed. In hand cuffs at the very least! Had he been black the outcome may have been different. Very possible! It is what it is!
Streetgirl was out looking for Jeff today, since she hadn’t seen him for weeks and was starting to worry. Whilst walking she took fall photos with her new camera. A gift from a friend and much appreciated! Such a beautiful day, but once again her homeless buddy was not on his spot at The Ramp. Yet, she couldn’t bring herself to set off towards his humble abode, a tent tucked deep in The Hills. She feared to find him dead inside. One more of her crew biting the dust in 2020. Hoping not!
Instead she took out her sign, unused for months now, and tried her panhandling skills once again. Money is difficult to come by these days as are blessings from strangers with everyone isolating themselves. Half an hour later and all she’d garnered in her cup was a toonie and a chocolate bar. Then she spotted Kid walking across traffic towards her, hand stretched out for a shake despite the hazardous times.
“No hands man. Just give me a hug,” she says in advance and he did!
“I missed you so much. I gotta tell you something,” Kid says with a smile, “I got Me and Frankie off the heroin. Cold turkey!”
The young man’s bright blue eyes are clear and his skin is clean, no runny nose, deep scratches, or pimples. She is so proud of him. It must have been a hard feat considering the demons he has battled from childhood. Just shows what the spirit can do when the mind puts it to the test.
Since posting about the current relationship between Minks and COVID on Oct 11th the story has grown and I felt compelled to update! At this very moment the culling of millions of minks is creating a financial catastrophe for the citizens of Denmark and causing Global concerns! Media photos of thousands of dead animal bodies are disturbing to say the least! However, according to the country’s health minister while the COVID originally transmitted to the weasel-like mammals from Human beings, it has now mutated and People are catching it back. Effecting hundreds already and escalating the response!
“You want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable,” says the Wizard to the Tin Man to which he responds, “but I still want one.” From my favorite movie of all time The Wizard of Oz!
Last night Slinky woke me up banging around in the kitchen trying to reach a big moth that flew in the window and was now circulating the light on the ceiling. Turned that off , thereby shutting him down for a minute and reached into the fridge for juice only to knock the container of milk over. Cleaned that up and went back to sleep, waking in the wee hours to pee and that’s when I stepped into a pile of cat’s puke (must have got a taste of the empty pack of hot sauce on the counter which I had forgotten to put into the garbage while on his adventures – serves him right for walking where he shouldn’t:) He’s fine now, sleeping like a champ. As for me, sure glad things only happen in 3’s!
Here’s some scary news! According to Daily Star COVID has wiped out thousands of innocent Minks down in the USA where they are mass farmed for their silky fur. Which in itself, according to Streetgirl is an interesting fact, considering this is 2020 and not 1983 when she was walking the streets of Toronto wearing a glamorous full length Russian Lynx and Fox coat; luxuriating in its warmth. Today is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada in the middle of a Pandemic. Farmers in Ontario are adapting and have marketed smaller Turkeys, social distancing and an uptick in cases has destroyed the dream of a big family feast. In the state of Utah there are now nine mink farms currently under quarantine and the bodies of the dead are being burned and buried in mass graves and it’s not over yet. This began last week when (destined to die before their official slaughter date) the sleek critters started showing signs of the virus which moved fast killing most within 24 hours. Here’s the caveat to this story. The animals themselves are blameless. They contracted the COVID from People and not the other way around as U might prefer to believe. And outbreaks have been reported in other Countries too! Another fun fact: Mink is not one of Utah’s top revenue generating agricultural product, just a side-line to a thriving Cattle and Hog industry, producing butter and milk and most valuable meat for many. We love animals in my family but also like to eat a bit of meat too, so let’s hope that COVID doesn’t spread to other livestock. That would create quite the challenge, put a hole in that economy, and a led to a frightening scenario. Don’t U think?
As the light changed to red Streetgirl turned back to start at the beginning again, coming face to face with a young black guy carrying a back-pack and wearing a bright coloured Simpson’s tee-shirt featuring Bart! She figured he was just cutting past towards the mall, as the few ‘deviant’ pedestrians will do, including her kind who habitually dart across traffic as is the game, narrowly avoiding calamity on a regular basis. Over the years standing, walking, and observing many a different traffic behavior she’ll attest that less than ten percent of the general population in her neighborhood jaywalks, regardless of age, gender, or race, and at least thirty percent will dart across the intersection on the final countdown. However, this is far less than the estimated percentage of drivers who roll through yellow and reds on a daily basis and the number of individuals who do this cell-phone in hand!
The man stopped short, eye to eye, whilst placing his right hand upon his heart, a gesture that was her pal Alex’s characteristic mark, a symbol of sincere blessing that touches her soul so deeply. He kept his distance and wasn’t wearing a mask as they were both outside and she did pull hers down for a moment to smile when he said, “I have no money. But I wanted to wish you all the best in every way. Bless you. I felt your shine from across the street! You are an angel.”
I promised Alex that I would not publish a photo of him while he was alive but sadly he died spring 2020. Took this in 2012; walking the streets that he called home in the vicinity of Lawrence and Allen Road (The Jungle) where he was a fixture panhandling on the Ramp for the past 15 years and known for his sense of humor and love of people (especially fond of the ladies). May you rest in peace my friend!
What looked like a full pack of cards lay sprawled out upon the lawn. Most were face down and I couldn’t resist drawing up a singleton to turn over and test my luck. Six of hearts! A low ranking number, but a prize in the roll of the dice and the flush suit is my personal preference when playing the deck. Seemed a positive sign so I stuffed it into my shorts and there it stayed until now. That was a week ago. Since then my daughter has given birth to a baby boy. I had the fortune to be by her side at the hospital during the emotional and blessed occasion and to spend a few days with my granddaughter as well, which may seem a normal occurrence, but not so straightforward during the pandemic.
Today, after retrieving that six of hearts from my pocket I Goggled the significance of the lone card. The first interpretation (out of over 300,000.000 results) was spot on! According to sevenreflections.com, it is a “birth card” and the “card of a Soul. It represents the Law of Love – the Christ principle, which itself entails sacrifice and selflessness. It stands for a family – Father-Mother-Child principle, for beauty, harmony, order, and completion. It is union and cooperation, adjustment and responsibility.”