“I appreciate your apology Tony, but I’m going to need a little time and space to process it,” Whisper said. “Yeah, I can accept that. Why don’t you give me a call when you’re ready to talk about our relationship,” Tony said. I’ve got an … Continue reading And so the game begins/Episode 42 of Street Dreams by Ken David Stewart
ken david stewart’s podcast eps 41 of street dreams
Episode 41 Tony Barrows was starting to feel lonely. He put down the novel that he had been reading, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He thought to himself and started to laugh, “Most people think I’m a punk and a loser. Just another … Continue reading Episode 41 of Street Dreams/Harold Meets Tony
Ricky had been living with his stepdad and Whisper for about three weeks now. During this time, the three of them had been getting along well. Harold was overjoyed that Ricky was now living with him. Harold had never felt comfortable living by himself, but now he had both his son and Whisper around to mitigate his loneliness.
Last week Whisper had a You Tube app open on Harold’s Amazon fire stick. She went to the YouTube search engine and typed in Guns N Roses. She found her favourite Guns N Roses song, Sweet Child of Mine and started to play the track. Harold was sitting in his prized, white Lazy Boy chair. He was reading the novel, Cujo by Stephen King. Ricky was sitting on the couch across from his dad. He, too was reading his own paperback copy of the same book about the rabid St. Bernard. A cute little puppy was sitting contentedly on the floor at Ricky’s feet. Ricky had named the dog Buster and about a week ago asked his dad if he could keep the puppy. Buster had been sitting on the back steps of Harold’s house. The little pug was trembling in the cold and was whimpering with anxiety. Ricky had just returned from Pals, the corner convenience store when he saw Buster. In spite of the fact that Ricky had problems with his behavior, he had not lost part of his childhood innocence. Deep down, he was still a sweet kid who loved animals and little children. When Harold and Clarissa were still together, they took in an old stray tomcat that they named Beater. Ricky had loved the big old tomcat who was now staying with his mother, Clarissa. Unfortunately, Ricky had a very strained relationship with his mother and rarely visited her so he didn’t get to see Beater too much now.
Buster, like most puppies, was very lovable and had already grown very attached to Ricky. The dog liked Harold too, but appeared to have established a stronger bond with Ricky. This was likely because Ricky would take him for walks on a daily basis and would also play fetch in the backyard with Buster. Buster was a very cuddly and affectionate puppy would often come to sit in Ricky’s lap and beg to be cuddled. Ricky would often think the dog’s life was much easier and happier than the existence of their human owners. When Ricky petted and stroked Buster he would kind of be in effect be enveloped by a beautiful trancelike state where parents didn’t get divorced and no one had to go to jail.
Ricky turned towards Whisper and asked, “Do you want to play a game?”
“What game?” Whisper asked.
“It’s a game I just invented. I think I’m going to call it Jukebox.
“Howdo you play it?” Whisper asked.
“I’m making up the rules as we go along. You actually gave me the idea for the game, Whisper,” Ricky answered.
“Gee. Could I play too? Do you think I’m too old for this game, Harold asked with a grin on his face.”
“No, of course you can play, Dad. Actually the rules are very simple. One player uses the search engine on YouTube to find either the name of a song or the name of a band. Meanwhile the two other players go to the kitchen and listen to the song that has been selected. The first player to yell out both the name of the song and the name of the artist who performed it wins and is awarded either one or two points. You score one point for the name of the song and one point for the name of the performer. If the player is right on both counts they are awarded two points If you only get one of the answers right the player gets one point. Time is up at the end of the song and no points are scored,” Ricky explained.
“Hey, Ricky, this game sounds like it could be a lot of fun. Harold, I thought I saw a whiteboard in your office downstairs. Can I bring it up to the living room? We could use it to keep score.”
Harold sat up in his lazy boy chair. “Do you mean the whiteboard I used to use when I was active in Amway. I would take the whiteboard with me when we were showing the plan to prospects. Yeah, I believe there is still a pack of erasable coloured markers in my old desk to the left of the whiteboard. If I remember correctly, there is also a whiteboard eraser and cleaning spray in that old desk too. Why don’t you both you guys go downstairs and bring the game equipment up to the living room. In the meantime, I’m going to put a bag of popcorn in the microwave.We’re going to have ourselves a little party this evening,” Harold said.
When Ricky and Whisper brought the whiteboard and the supplies upstairs and got themselves comfortably seated once again, Harold asked another question.
“Can I add a new rule to the Jukebox game?”
“What’s the new rule?” Whisper asked. The sweet aroma of popping kernels was now drifting into the living room.
It’s more like an amendment or a rider placed on the original rules. Here it is. The song that is selected can only be chosen if it falls between the decades of 1950 up to the decade of 2000. You guys probably know a lot of the old songs, but I stopped listening to contemporary music when the Seattle grunge pop era ended sometime during the nineties,” Harold explained
“I think that Whisper and I can agree to that stipulation,” Ricky answered.” She and I discussed our tastes in music one day last week when you were out running errands. The funny thing is that neither of us likes the current music scene either and we both like old-time rock ‘n’ roll music from the 50’s, 60s,70s. 80s and the 90s. We even like several of the same bands such as Led Zeppelin. the Beatles, Motorhead and Bob Dylan. The list goes on and on.”
“Thank you guys. It sounds like we may have a very interesting and competitive game of Jukebox starting shortly. The microwave popcorn should be ready in under a minute,” Harold said.
Both Ricky and Whisper hadn’t seen Harold look so happy in a long time They gave each other the knowing nod.
Episode 40 Ricky had been living with his stepdad and Whisper for about three weeks now. During this time, the three of them had been getting along well. Harold was overjoyed that Ricky was now living with him. Harold had never felt comfortable living by … Continue reading Episode 40 of Street Dreams Novel/Jukebox
Episode 39 The Proposition When they arrived Pizza Hut Harold and Whisper were seated by a handsome young waiter. Their table was seated next to a window. The waiter spoke with bit of a stutter,” Are you ready to order?” the waiter asked with a … Continue reading episode 39 Street Dreams the Proposition
Episode 38 Pizza Hut
“What should I cook for supper tonight?” Whisper asked Harold.
“ Nothing,” Harold replied.
“Aren’t you getting hungry? It’s already after 5 PM,” Whisper asked as she sat up on the couch that was close to Harold’s white Lazy Boy chair.
“Oh, I’m hungry all right but I’m a little pressed for time this evening. I need to buy a new ice pick at Canadian Tire. I can’t find my old one. I was looking for it in the woodshed, but it was nowhere to be found. Both the front and back steps are getting very icy and I will need to break up the ice with a pick. I was thinking about heading out to the Canadian Tire store in Southdale,” Harold explained.
“Why would you want to drive all the way to St. Vital? There’s a Canadian Tire outlet on Regent. That would be your closest one,” Whisper said.
“I know,” Harold replied, “but a friend of mine works the evening shift at the Southdale store. He was my neighbour for a few years but I haven’t talked to him for a while and I want to ask how his new job is going. His name is James and he is a nice young man. He was a schoolteacher for a couple of years, but found that he wasn’t cut out for the job. When his second year of teaching was over, he resigned and picked up an assistant manager’s job at Canadian Tire.”
“That’s interesting Harold but what are we going to do for supper? You said that you were hungry,” Whisper said.
“I’ve got that covered. You’ve cooked a lot of good meals for us during the last two weeks. I think it’s only fair that I treat you to dinner at Pizza Hut tonight. We’ll eat supper before we go to Canadian Tire.”
“You mean like a date or something, Harold?” Whisper asked mischeiviously Harold laughed out loud.
“That’s a good one Whisper. I’m sixty-five and you are twenty-two. Don’t you think there’s a bit of an age differential at work here?”
“|I’m flattered anyway. I would love to go out for supper with you,” Whisper replied.
“Well, let’s get going,” Harold said.
“You might need me to go out and clean the snow off the car. It’s been snowing quite a bit today and there’s probably two or three inches of snow on the roof of the car. I also need to shovel around the tires of the car so that we won’t get stuck,” Whisper said.
“You’ve only been staying with me a little while, but I’m starting to wonder how I ever managed before I met you. I could clear off the snow myself, but I would feel pain every time I moved a muscle. This arthritis has really been giving me grief. The funny thing about osteoarthritis is this. It won’t kill you, but it sure can make your life miserable,” Harold said.
Whisper put on her white downfilled parka that Harold and bought for her at Hangers clothing store.She then pulled on her new black leather snow boots that were also a present from Harold.
“My God, Harold thought to himself. Whisper looks beautiful today. So did Erica, but she had a different kind of beauty.”
Harold’s turned on the ignition to start warming up his red Ford Taurus. Whisper brushed off the snow on the roof of the car. Whisper used the rubber broom with a long white handle. It was so much easier taking off the large clumps of snow with the rubber broom that she found in Harold’s cleaning supplies closet
“Where did you get this broom, Harold?” Whisper asked.
“I’ve had that white broom for ages now. I bought it for myself when I used to be a part-time Amway distributor.”
“What’s Amway? Whisper asked.
“I’ll reserve my answer for another time. It’s too long a story,” Harold replied.
Once Whisper had removed all the snow from the car, she threw the rubber room in the back seat and climbed into the passenger beside Harold. As soon as they drove a short distance out of Harold’s driveway, he felt his car shake lightly for a few seconds.
“There are some wicked patches of ice under the snow,” Harold said. “Thank goodness that my neighbour recommended that I get snow tires installed for the winter season. Before I had winter tires, my car would often fishtail whenever I tried to stop at an intersection. I feel much safer safer now.”
As soon as Whisper climbed into the passenger seat she automatically fastened her seatbelt. As she turned her head she noticed a zippered red binder in the back seat of the car. “What’s in the red binder?” Whisper asked.
It contains my favourite CDs. The CD player in the old Taurus is still in good working order,” Harold answered.
“Can I look through the binder to check what CDs you have?” Whisper asked.
“Sure, but if you’re looking for any contemporary music you won’t find any in there. I pretty much stopped listening to modern music after the 1990s grunge era ended.
“That’s awesome. I love the music from that era. You got any Nirvana in your binder?”
Yes, I do. Nirvana is my favourite Seattle grunge era band,” Harold replied. As Whisper was going through the plastic sleeves in the red binder she found the Nirvana’s Greatest Hits CD.
“Do you mind if I play Nirvana’s Greatest Hits in your CD player?”
“Knock yourself out. I love Nirvana’s music. I was upset for a long time when I heard the news about Kurt Cobain killing himself,” Harold said.
“Some people don’t believe it was a suicide. They think that maybe Courtney Love paid someone to put a hit on her husband,” Whisper said.
“Yes, it’s still a very controversial topic. Apparently the surviving members of Nirvana don’t believe the report that Courtney had something to do with Kurt’s death,” Harold stated.
The first track on the CD was You Know You’re Right. Harold and Whisper listened to the whole album with both of them singing along with the choruses on the songs.
Episode 38 Pizza Hut “What should I cook for supper tonight?” Whisper asked Harold. “ Nothing,” Harold replied. “Aren’t you getting hungry? It’s already after 5 PM,” Whisper asked as she sat up on the couch that was close to Harold’s white Lazy Boy chair. … Continue reading Pizza Hut Episode 38 of Street Dreams Podcast Version