Aug 21 2006

A day late and a dollar short

Posted by J. Craig Canada in broken tooth, greenway, Homeless

I broke a tooth Monday. It’s the last molar I have, or one of the last. Left upper. It’s been disintegrating for years. The filling fell out while I was fighting the cultivation/eviction chrages in San Bernardino. Or, now that I think about it, a couple of years before, when I was living in Desert Hot Springs.

I need to ask my mother, but I think I had two sets of molars cut out as a child, to make way for the third set.

There are a lot of things I’d like to ask her, that only she can answer. But every time we try to talk…

For instance, when I went back to Alabama, in ’97, Nema told me a story about a little girl, 5 years old, who was told she was going to have a cake and a party for her birthday only to be woke up at the crack of dawn and told she was going to pick cotton all day. And laughed at while she cried.

Nema had a tendency to bend the truth, and more than a little. Especially when she didn’t like someone. Or when she wanted something. She used to tell terrible stories about Agnes, particularly. And Bea. And Sue.

Greenway gave me a sticker for a 25% discount, which I would guestimate to be at cost. Which means I may be able to smoke all month if I spend every cent I have on medicine. And that’s only a slight exaggeration. I literally do spend every cent on food, cigarettes, laundry and medicine.

I got to the coffee shop early yesterday morning, about 8:30-9:00am. And by two hunger was gnawing at my stomach. And I didn’t have enough medicine to make it through till Monday. Or if I did it would be tight. And despair is keeping me terribly depressed.

I thought about walking to the 7-11 where I could get a couple of chili-cheese dogs and a soda for under $4. And thought about the Foster Freeze where I could get a couple of corn dogs for $1 each. But I needed cash, I didn’t have enough for coffee in the morning. And I needed medicine. And I really didn’t want to face the grimness of the charity feed at Elm Street.

But it’s at least an hour’s walk there, and another hour back. There’s no bus service to Harvey West on the weekends. Nor after 4pm, or something like that.

So I opted to walk to the Mexican place and spend $8 for a burrito and soda (and salsa and chips). Eat, and then walk the hour or so to the dispensary with time to spare before they close at 6pm.

It took me from 2pm until 10pm to walk to Harvey West, buy an 1/8th of medicine, and walk back to my sleeping spot. Of course, I ate and stopped to rest along the way. I had to rest.

I left the Mexican restaurant about 4pm and got to the pot shop at 5. It was 7 when I left the plaza across highway 1 from Homeless Services. I remember because I had a confrontation with someone who wouldn’t leave me alone as I$$$ sat smoking a bowl after walking 2 hours to the pot shop and back to the highway. I ended up yelling at them to leave me alone, and then needed something to drink. And the coffee shop where I got a soda was closing and I noticed the time was 7pm.

I stopped by Long’s to get some cash, and also got a couple of Arizona ice teas and some chocolate.

And today I couldn’t make myself go to the church to eat. I sat and thought about it; 3 nights a week at $8/meal is 12 meals is $100/month I would save by eating at the church. But it’s just not worth it.

I was hoping to take this journal in a less personal direction. I remember when I started this I actually believed if people only knew what the drug war does to people – to their lives – that the people would rise up in outrage and stop it.

I can see now I was unbelievably naive.

This morning when I got to the coffee shop, M. FitzGerald was there. I’ve seen her before around town and we’ve spoken. She must have just met Robert because she mentioned the radio show, and she called in five times this morning.

Robert had just played an interview about Mary Koury. It seems they 86’d her from the Concentration Camp.

She was one of the first people I noticed there.

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