Category: pain

episode 37 of street dreams a novel

Episode 37

After about a fifteen minute ride Kerry and Hartley Popovich could hear Aleister trying to speak. At first, all Aleister could manage was a few garbled words. His two friends were now starting to hear some words and phrases that were decipherable. Aleister attempted to say a few things that sounded like:

“Where am I? I’m in pain. I need help.”

Kerry turned around and said to Aleister, “We were just at a party. You got the crap beat out of you by a big dude that you were arguing with. Someone called the cops so we picked you up and got you into Hartley’s car. The grey interior of the old Ford Tempo was stained with the blood from the wounds in Aleister’s head. The good news was that the blood coming from Aleister’s head was now starting to coagulate.

Hartley was now doing over 110 km/h when the car skidded on a snow-covered patch of ice and fishtailed off to the right shoulder of the of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

About thirty meters behind them was a red Ford Taurus with Harold Payton driving and Whisper Willows riding shotgun.

“Hey Harold, look to your right. There’s a car on the shoulder up ahead. Looks like they’re going to need help,” Whisper said.

Harold and Whisper were just returning from getting a late night supper at Pizza Hut. The driving was hazardous tonight as a heavy snowfall had just begun.

One of Harold’s personality traits was both a blessing and a curse. He was a nice guy. Too nice a guy. Whenever he encountered someone in trouble, he wouldn’t hesitate to try to assist them. No matter how much trouble a stranger might be in or how dangerous this intervention might prove to be, Harold would jump in to help them without any reservations. Harold Peyton could be very impulsive and perhaps even a bit self-destructive if he felt that the situation warranted it.

Harold drove his car right behind Hartley’s car. He and Whisper got out of the car and trudged through the snow toward the white Ford Tempo. Whisper could make out a bumper sticker that read, ‘Crash and Burn’. Harold approached the driver side door and knocked on the glass. He called out, “Are you people all right? Do you need help?”

Hartley was still in a bit of a daze as he hit his head on the steering wheel causing the car’s horn to go off.

“Yeah, we need help,” Hartley answered as he lowered his shoulder and banged the front door open. The passenger side door was old and rusty making it difficult to push open. The light in the interior of the car came on so Harold could now see inside the vehicle. He could see another young man occupying the passenger seat. He could make out a third young male who was trying to prop himself up in the backseat. This individual gave out a shriek of pain as he tried to move himself into a sitting position.

Whisper opened the back door of the car and made a quick visual inspection of the man who was in obvious pain.

“How do you feel, dude? What the hell happened to you?” Whisper asked Aleister.

Whisper could see that the injured man had bloodstains on his beige Slipknot T-shirt. He also had some bruises on his forehead. She asked Aleister to turn the back of his head towards her. Whisper noticed three small places where blood had previously been flowing from Aleister’s head.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch me, lady. My neck and back are killing me and I feel like I just got run over by a semi- trailer,” Aleister said in a low pained voice.

Kerry spoke up, “Don’t try to talk now, Aleister. Save your strength.”

Then he turned towards Whisper and Harold and said, “Look we just came back from Boogy’s Sports Bar. We were watching a wrestling pay-per-view and having a few beers when we noticed that Aleister had been in the washroom for a long time. Hartley went into the men’s room to check on him and found Aleister slumped on the floor. There were bloodstains on the wall behind him. Hartley and I got Aleister out of the bathroom and into our car.

Harold Peyton moved closer to Kerry, “Hey, my name is Harold and this is my friend, Whisper. Back in the day I was a medic during the war in Vietnam. Can I check on your friend’s condition?”

Before Kerry could answer a police patrol car with its lights flashing pulled up right behind him. Constable Bill Noble and Constable Melissa Parks got out of the patrol car. Constable Bill took a quick check around the area to see if there was anything dangerous around the scene that he and his partner were about to investigate. The wind had picked up and Bill’s ears were getting cold. Hartley panicked and placed his car key in the ignition. Constable Noble saw what Hartley was trying to do and snatched the car keys out of his hand.

“What’s your hurry, Bud? Are you trying to get away from us? Let’s see your driver’s license and registration.”

Hartley remembered that he had put his bag of drugs in the glove compartment. He knew the cops were going to search the car. He gave Constable Bill a shove and was tackled from behind by Constable Parks. She quickly and efficiently put the hand cuffs on Hartley. 20180924_100134

Episodes 5-7 of Street Dreams, a Novel by Ken David Stewart

Episode 5:

Harold watched after the Ford 150 drove away. He stood and stared at the young woman and started to think what he was going to do about her. Harold didn’t even consider calling the police. Instead he opened the front door of his house and called loudly to the girl in distress.

“Come here young lady. You need to get out of the cold or you’ll freeze to death!”

The young female looked towards Harold with a confused and frightened look. She wiped the snowflakes off her hoodie and walked awkwardly towards the door that Harold was holding open for her.

“Thank you so much Mister. You may have saved my life. May I come in your house?

“Step into the living room and make yourself at home,” Harold replied.

“Thanks. Hey, I should introduce myself. My name is Whisper,” the strange young woman said as she found a place to sit on Harold’s yellow and orange patterned sofa. Whisper admired the brass antique lamp to the left of the sofa. The full décor of Harold Peyton’s living room had the ambiance that could only come from a man who appreciated fine art.

“Could I interest you in a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or perhaps a mug of hot chocolate?” Harold asked. “By the way, Whisper is a beautiful name. Who gave you that name?”

“My grandma came up with it if I remember correctly,” Whisper replied.
While standing in the hall, Harold now had a good opportunity to observe Whisper. Her hair was blonde highlighted by orange streaks. It presently looked wet and tangled. There were still some snowflakes in her hair. Whisper’s make up was smudged and smeared from her tears. Whisper had a gold rod piercing through her nose. She wore orange lipstick and had a pentagram tattoo on her left forearm. She was not very attractive and was slightly overweight giving her somewhat of a pudgy look. Harold thought that Whisper resembled a naughty, terribly neglected little elf.

Episode 6:

“I would love to have a hot chocolate, sir. What’s your name?” Whisper asked.

“My word, where did all my manners go? With all the excitement going on, I failed to recall that I haven’t told you my name. It’s Harold, Harold Peyton.”

“Could I ask a big favour of you. Mr. Peyton?” Whisper asked sheepishly.

“Oh, you don’t have to call me Mr. Peyton. I’d like it very much if you just called me ‘Harold’. What would you like me to do as a favour to you?”

“I would like to take a shower and get myself cleaned up,” Whisper asked as her face reddened with embarrassment. “But I would like to drink my hot chocolate first, if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, you can my dear,” Harold answered. Harold wondered why he had called Whisper ‘my dear’. After all he didn’t even know this girl yet.

“Did you bring a clean change of clothes to put on after you wash up?”

“Yes, I have some clean clothes in my duffle bag,” Whisper replied.

“I just asked in case you didn’t have a fresh change of clothes with you. I still have all my daughter’s clothes in a closet in her bedroom. You appear to be about the same size as she was and her clothes would probably fit you.” Harold’s countenance suddenly looked very pained.

“You said ‘was’ Harold. What happened to your daughter?”

“Today is the first anniversary of Erica’s passing. While getting a ride home from a party her friend’s car was involved in a head on collision. The driver of the other car was inebriated. Erica’s friend suffered severe injuries but survived. Unfortunately, my daughter did not survive the accident. As soon as he finished saying this, Harold Peyton sobbed, and his body began to shake uncontrollably.

Episode 7:

“Sit down in your Lazy Boy, Harold. I’ll make myself a hot chocolate. Would you like something to drink too?” Whisper asked.

“Yes, I would like a cup of coffee if you don’t mind making a pot,” Harold replied starting to regain his composure.

“No problem. I see that you’ve got the good stuff, Tim Hortons. It should be ready in a few minutes.”

After setting up and turning on the percolator Whisper returned to the living room.

“I’m very sorry to hear about you losing your daughter. It must be very painful for you.”

Yes, it is, but I should be an old hand at grieving by now. My wife Clarissa divorced me five years ago,” Harold said, causing another tear to trickle down his cheek.

“That’s terrible, man. Two major losses in five years! No one should have to suffer that much.”

“I agree, but it happened to me. It is what it is,” Harold said taking out a handkerchief to wipe away his tears.

“But I’ve told you enough for now about my problems. What happened to you out on the street. Who was that guy that pushed you out of his truck?”

“That would be Tony. He’s a real piece of work, man. He pushed me out of his truck after I told him that I wouldn’t have sex with him. Tony just figured that I owed it to him. He called it ‘taking it out in trade’. He said it was only fair because he let me sleep on his couch for a few nights.”

“Why did he drop you off in front of my house?” Harold asked.

“For no particular reason. Tony and I had been having a wicked fight for about fifteen minutes before he drove the truck down your street. Tony told me that I was giving him a migraine headache when he pushed me out on the road. We were just driving around in circles. I really don’t have any place to go anyway,” Whisper explained. ken-2018

Episode 37 of Street Dreams, a Novel by Ken David Stewart

Episode 37

After about a fifteen minute ride Kerry and Hartley Popovich could hear Aleister trying to speak. At first, all Aleister could manage was a few garbled words. His two friends were now starting to hear some words and phrases that were decipherable.Aleister attempted to say a few things that sounded like:

“Where am I? I’m in pain. I need help.”

Kerry turned around and said to Aleister, “We were just at a party. You got the crap beat out of you by a big dude that you were arguing with. Someone called the cops so we picked you up and got you into Hartley’s car. The grey interior of the old Ford Tempo was stained with the blood from the wounds in Aleister’s head. The good news was that the blood coming from Aleister’s head was now starting to coagulate.

Hartley was now doing over 110 km/h when the car skidded on a snow-covered patch of ice and fishtailed off to the right shoulder of the of Bishop Grandin Boulevard.

About thirty meters behind them was a red Ford Taurus with Harold Payton driving and Whisper Willows riding shotgun.

“Hey Harold, look to your right. There’s a car on the shoulder up ahead. Looks like they’re going to need help,” Whisper said.

Harold and Whisper were just returning from getting a late night supper at Pizza Hut. The driving was hazardous tonight as a heavy snowfall had just begun.

One of Harold’s personality traits was both a blessing and a curse. He was a nice guy. Too nice a guy. Whenever he encountered someone in trouble, he wouldn’t hesitate to try to assist them. No matter how much trouble a stranger might be in or how dangerous this intervention might prove to be, Harold would jump in to help them without any reservations. Harold Peyton could be very impulsive and perhaps even a bit self-destructive if he felt that the situation warranted it.

Harold drove his car right behind Hartley’s car. He and Whisper got out of the car and trudged through the snow toward the white Ford Tempo. Whisper could make out a bumper sticker that read, ‘Crash and Burn’. Harold approached the driver side door and knocked on the glass. He called out, “Are you people all right? Do you need help?”

Hartley was still in a bit of a daze as he hit his head on the steering wheel causing the car’s horn to go off.

“Yeah, we need help,” Hartley answered as he lowered his shoulder and banged the front door open. The passenger side door was old and rusty making it difficult to push open. The light in the interior of the car came on so Harold could now see inside the vehicle. He could see another young man occupying the passenger seat. He could make out a third young male who was trying to prop himself up in the backseat. This individual gave out a shriek of pain as he tried to move himself into a sitting position.

Whisper opened the back door of the car and made a quick visual inspection of the man who was in obvious pain.

“How do you feel, dude? What the hell happened to you?” Whisper asked Aleister.

Whisper could see that the injured man had bloodstains on his beige Slipknot T-shirt. He also had some bruises on his forehead. She asked Aleister to turn the back of his head towards her. Whisper noticed three small places where blood had previously been flowing from Aleister’s head.

“Whatever you do, don’t touch me, lady. My neck and back are killing me and I feel like I just got run over by a semi- trailer,” Aleister said in a low pained voice.

Kerry spoke up, “Don’t try to talk now, Aleister. Save your strength.”

Then he turned towards Whisper and Harold and said, “Look we just came back from Boogy’s Sports Bar. We were watching a wrestling pay-per-view and having a few beers when we noticed that Aleister had been in the washroom for a long time. Hartley went into the men’s room to check on him and found Aleister slumped on the floor. There were bloodstains on the wall behind him. Hartley and I got Aleister out of the bathroom and into our car.

Harold Peyton moved closer to Kerry, “Hey, my name is Harold and this is my friend, Whisper. Back in the day I was a medic during the war in Vietnam. Can I check on your friend’s condition?”

Before Kerry could answer a police patrol car with its lights flashing pulled up right behind him. Constable Bill Noble and Constable Melissa Parks got out of the patrol car. Constable Bill took a quick check around the area to see if there was anything dangerous around the scene that he and his partner were about to investigate. The wind had picked up and Bill’s ears were getting cold. Hartley panicked and placed his car key in the ignition. Constable Noble saw what Hartley was trying to do and snatched the car keys out of his hand.

“What’s your hurry, Bud? Are you trying to get away from us? Let’s see your driver’s license and registration.”

Hartley remembered that he had put his bag of drugs in the glove compartment. He knew the cops were going to search the car. He gave Constable Bill a shove and was tackled from behind by Constable Parks. She quickly and efficiently put the hand cuffs on Hartley.

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Episode 26 Herby Schultz by Ken David Stewart

Episode 26 Herby Schult

Herby Schultz lived in a bachelor’s apartment in the Fort Rouge area of Winnipeg. For the last two years, Herby had been in and out of homeless shelters in the Main Street area of Winnipeg. As he sipped from his first cup of no-name brand coffee, Herby started to reflect on his life. At thirty-three years of age his life could be seen as a long strange trip, a lyric from a Grateful Dead song called Truckin. Herby had never known what a stable home life was like. He has been adopted by his foster parents when he was very young. Herby lived with them for four years until his foster parents split up. From there, it was on to a series of residential group homes that took in young people.

Herby performed poorly at school because he had ADHD. At that time his teachers did not know about this disorder and just saw him as a student who couldn’t sit still, was easily distracted and was rarely able to complete any of his assignments. Herby quit attending school when he was sixteen. He was a high school dropout.

After he left school Herby needed to find employment. There would be the odd factory job that he could hold down for one or two months, but there were always problems. Although he tried hard, Herby had difficulty with the tasks required on his job and his coworkers often felt uncomfortable working with him. They complained to their supervisor about the issues they were having with Herby. It wouldn’t be long before the supervisor had to inform Herby that he was being terminated. Some employers were gentle when they had to inform the employee that he would have to be let go, others not so much. Herby always experienced job termination as an extremely painful and humiliating event in his life.

The main issue that Herby’s former coworkers mentioned was that Herby would often look like he was in a trance when a co-worker approached him. Some workers stated that when Herby would be at his work station he would be heard talking to himself. It wasn’t any wonder that his coworkers thought he was strange and that some were even afraid of him.

One night when Herby was overheard yelling and screaming in his apartment. His next-door neighbour called 911. When the police and paramedics arrived, they found that Herbie was experiencing a psychotic break. He did not respond when a police constable knocked on the door of his apartment. As Herby had not locked his door, the police officer just needed to turn the doorknob to gain entry.

When Herby finally acknowledged the presence of visitors in his room, he ran to his kitchen drawer and grabbed a large cooking knife with a black candle. As soon as Herbie lifted the knife to shoulder level height, a young constable sprayed Herby in the eyes with mace. As Herby was temporarily blinded, two police constables forced Herby to drop the knife and then put the handcuffs on. Herbie was placed in an ambulance and was transported to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. The police and the paramedics have encountered this type of incident many times before and knew that the young man that they had just arrested was either in a psychosis caused by ingesting illegal street drugs or had experienced a psychotic break as a symptom of his schizophrenia.

 

When they arrived at the ER, and intern treated Herby with an injection of Haldol and strapped him into a hospital bed. Herby spent two days in the hospital. A psychiatrist diagnosed his patient as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He was sent home with a note providing him with the address and phone number of a psychiatrist and was advised to get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible. He was also given a prescription for Seroquel, an antipsychotic medication.

When Herby arrived at his apartment, the building supervisor called him into his office. “You caused quite a disturbance last week, Mr. Schultz. The police and paramedics were called you were driven away in an ambulance,” the supervisor a balding man in his fifties,” said.

“I’m very sorry sir. I have a grand mal epileptic seizure,” Herby lied.

“Are you presently seeing a doctor about your condition?” the apartment supervisor asked.

“Yes,” Herby replied shuffling around in his seat. My grand mal seizures occur very infrequently. The last time I had a seizure was about three years ago.

“Well, Mr. Schultz, you’ve been a good tenant over the last two years. You pay your rent on time and this is the only incident that occurred while you’ve been staying here. Furthermore, I can sympathize with your medical condition as I have a brother-in-law who has epilepsy. Are you feeling better now?” asked the kindly supervisor.

“Yes, I am sir. I’m very sorry for any trouble I may have caused you,” Herby said.

“I’ll tell you what Herby. Normally, I would be forced to evict a resident after an incident like you had last week, but I’ll tell you what. You strike me as a well behaved, polite, young man so I’m going to allow you to stay here,” the supervisor said.

“Thank you for showing me such compassion sir. I greatly appreciate it.” Herby Schultz sighed with relief, as he took the next flight of stairs back to his a[audio

 

 

 

Spiritual Warfare by Ken David Stewart

What’s Up? November 2019 Edition by Ken David Stewart

As a Christian one thing is very apparent to me. When you really start pressing in or basically step up your game for Jesus, the devil will retaliate. This form of retribution appears to be in direct proportion to the degree one attempts to know Jesus intimately and tries to follow his example and teachings. If you are active to any degree in a ministry, it’s like Satan has put a target on your back. The key is not to let him defeat you. If one gets serious about his walk with Jesus expect backlash.

For the last few years my life has followed a pattern that I want to break. My life has been a series of extreme mountains and valleys. From August to the beginning of November 2019, I felt greatly blessed and highly favoured. I just recovered from a two month period of being so depressed that I could barely function. I was not quite bedridden, but I was definitely couch ridden. About the only time I vacated the couch was to go upstairs to use the bathroom. Now that’s what you call clinical depression. During June and July all I could do was watch television. For the Christian who suffers from depression the battle is also one of intense spiritual nature. The devil loves using major affective disorder or clinical depression as of mighty and effective tool in his arsenal.  He wants to keep the Christian down. Once he has you functionally out of commission, you can no longer do him any damage. When I am stranded on the couch, my spiritual life dies. I no longer read the Word, spend time with Jesus, pray for myself, my family and others. In other words, my ministry and spiritual life has been halted dead in its tracks.

Looking back on it, I think I may know part of the reason I fell into such miserable state. But what I’m not sure of is what brought me back to the land of the living once again. Certainly it was nothing that I did because I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything. One day I simply woke up and started to feel a bit better. Within a couple of days, I could feel my depression start to break and I actually felt like doing a few small things. Within a week or two, I was finally back on my feet. What I was not expecting were such great compassion from the Lord. I’m a part-time substitute teacher and I experienced the best season I had ever had up until the beginning of November 2019. I was being very well received by the students and was asked by several teachers if they could request me to substitute in their classrooms. Although I’m still experiencing some pain in my left knee it was manageable and allowed me to keep working.

After many years I found a church that I enjoyed attending. This was quite an experience for me as most of my life I didn’t like attending church. I would only go to a church service on rare occasions.

Overall, I was enjoying every day of my life during this three month period of God’s extreme favour. During this whole time, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was feeling uncomfortable. This felt too good to last much longer. I almost felt high every day for three months.

During this season I was really pressing in with my spiritual life. I started to pray for people in the church that I was now attending.

Aout the second week of November I felt that my overall mood was starting to decline and even get a bit low. I was very afraid that I was starting to go down into another depressive cycle. During this time, I caught a bacterial infection that was very severe. As of this writing, I’m still not fully recovered from it. To make matters worse, the pain in my left leg and the was becoming intense. It seemed that every time I got up and moved around, even a little bit, the pain would start to escalate. How was I going to go to work when I was in constant pain?

 

During this time I continued to keep up with writing my blogs, and working on my fiction writing and podcasts. During periods of clinical depression,I am usually unable to write all. My writing was going very well for a while until I started running into many technical challenges. My computer was on its last legs and was not functioning properly. I purchased some new video equipment as I was interested in starting up a YouTube video series again. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t seem to get my new camcorder working.

I am now fully aware that I was under spiritual attack. I decided to take some actions. I told myself that I was not going to sink into another severe depression this time. The vicious cycle would need to be broken, once and for all. I began to decree this in Jesus name. I started to read my God’s promises books on my Samsung tablet. I also started listening to my God’s promises audiobooks. I have started to speak the promises out loud and include them in my podcasts. I put God in remembrance of his promises. I made a decision to remain optimistic during this time of spiritual attack.

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Episodes 23 and 24 of Street Dreams

Episode 23

Harold hadn’t been away from his house for at least two weeks.  Life could be very lonely for a senior citizen who was divorced from his wife and had a stepson that was in and out of prison.  His two biological children who he had with Clarissa had their own lives now.  They both relocated to the United States a few years ago.  Harold’s biological son and daughter had not approved of Harold’s marriage to Clarissa and they had never liked their stepbrother, Ricky.  Harold’s two biological children, Derek and Jasmine, had little in common with Ricky.  Although Clarissa’s divorce from Harold was painful, they turned out to be well-adjusted kids.  Most of their friends’ parents were also living apart so they both had several peers with which they could commiserate.  Despite the tension between Harold and Clarissa, his children lived relatively stable lives as adults.  Jasmine and Derek were very smart and were on the honour roles while they attended high school.  Although they had some knowledge of how unstable Ricky’s life had been and heard that he had been badly mistreated by his biological father, they were unable to relate to him on any level.  Derek and Jasmine did not know the true extent of abuse that Ricky had suffered at the hands of his real father, Tim Kramer.

Tim was an angry, violent man who hated every aspect of his life.  He been laid off by a company that he had been loyal to for over ten years.  Then, out of the blue, Tim was informed that his services were no longer required.  Tim had worked hard at the iron foundry as an iron grinder.  He had good reason to be upset.  It was simply a bottom- line issue with his former employer.  They had not been making much of a profit during the last five years and during the last two years the plant had been losing money.  The company was more than happy to be bought out by a competitor who thought that they could turn the foundry around and start making it a profitable enterprise. It was all business and politics, two things that were totally out of Tim’s control.

Episode 24:

It was Friday afternoon around one PM, when Harold and Whisper arrived at the Grunge.    There was a light snowfall, but the temperature was still relatively warm for November.  Harold’s long silver mane of hair was blown around by the wind.  He had to be careful when he exited his car.  He almost slipped on a small icy patch as he was dismounting from his Ford Taurus. Harold had been using a cane for the last three weeks as the osteoarthritis in his left knee was causing him severe pain.  He did not like having to use a cane as he thought it made him look old and disabled.  Harold was very young at heart and had a hard time picturing himself as an old man. It did not fit with the way he envisioned himself.  Even at age sixty-five, he thought of himself as being very cool and many of his students would agree with his self -assessment.  Harold also regarded himself as being an artist and he was.  After all, he was a published author and his teaching style was more like performance art. If Harold Peyton had to use a cane to aid with his mobility, it would have to be more like a walking stick that was conguent his self-image.

He had recently been looking for bargains at an estate sale when he spotted exactly what he was looking for.  In the left corner of the immaculate house where the estate sale was held, Harold’s eyes focused on a white walking stick which.   had the shape of a black Labrador retriever carved into its handle.

Harold was approached by a man that appeared to be in his early forties.

“I noticed that you’ve been looking at that cane for several minutes, sir.  It had been my father’s favourite walking stick.”

Harold was quite startled as the young man approached him and he trembled slightly.

“I’m sorry to have scared you,” the young man said as he took a few steps back.

“That’s all right,” Harold said, feeling slightly embarrassed. “It’s just that your father’s walking stick is so beautiful.”

“My dad had an appreciation for fine art.  He was especially fond of that walking stick as the handle was a tribute to his deceased dog, Tyrone.  My God, he loved that dog.  He cried for three days when it was finally time to put Tyrone down,” the son of the deceased man said.

“My father was an excellent artist.  He excelled at oil paintings.  I have a few of his canvases on display if you are at all interested.”

“I love art too,” Harold said as he ran his fingers over the finely detailed texture of the white walking stick.

“While browsing your father’s collection, I viewed all the paintings that I would like to have in my home, but I’m wondering if I even have enough money to pay for the walking stick.”  Harold said.

“The young man was of medium build and had well-groomed curly brown hair.  I understand sir and am willing to make you a very reasonable offer on the walking stick.  If my father were still alive, he would surely want a man like you to have it.” he said.  Does two hundred dollars sound fair to you, sir?”

“Yes, I can afford that amount,” Harold said as he reached for his old leather wallet.  He had brought $275 with him to the estate sale.  Harold handed the son ten $20 bills.  Both men proceeded to shake hands on the deal.

“This beautiful walking stick is now yours, sir.  If my father is looking down from heaven, he will have a big smile on his face, knowing that I sold it to a gentleman with such impeccable taste,” the young man said.

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Painting Cars Part Two

Painting Cars Part Two

I turned to one of my little pals, Chucky.  Chucky was a cute little five-year-old with blonde hair and a buzz cut.

“Hey, Chucky, look what I found in the bushes,  An open can of white paint and a piece of board that we can use like a brush,”

 

“That’s cool.  What are you going to do with it?”  Chucky asked with a quizzical look on his face.  My little buddy probably hadn’t washed his face in about a week.  You could almost see a film of dark grey covering his face.

 

“See that red Ford Thunderbird just off to my left?” I asked

“Yeah, it’s a beauty,” Chucky replied.

“It is indeed a beauty, but you know what it’s missing?”

“What?”  Chucky asked.

“It needs a little white stripe along both sides of the car,” I said.

“Yeah, it would probably make the car look even cooler,” Chucky said.  He was starting to shift and shuffle his feet.  You’re not thinking what I’m thinking are you?  Chucky asked.

“Well, we’ve got the equipment. We’d be doing the guy who owns the car a big favour,” I said.  “Chucky, look in the bush and see if you can find another piece of wood that we can paint with.”

Chucky started to sort through the brambles when he spotted the handle of a small brush under a large rock.  He lifted the rock up and pulled out had a dried- out paint brush. It still had partly solidified yellow paint on it. Chucky shared his find with me.

“An actual paint brush, that’s even better as it has some yellow dried out paint on it.  All we need to do is find some water to loosen up the paint on the brush,” I said.

Chucky and I looked across the back lane and spotted a waterspout attached to the apartment building. In a couple of minutes, we had a suitably wet paint brush.

“You know something, Chucky?  The yellow paint on the brush probably means that there’s still a can of yellow paint somewhere close to where you found the brush,” I said.  In less than a minute Chucky and I were stomping through the twigs, branches and discarded garbage in the thicket.  Our diligent search paid off.  Covered by several copies of old newspapers was a small can of yellow paint. The paint in the can was hard. It had mostly solidified.

“How about if I paint the Plymouth and you work on the Ford Thunderbird?” Chucky suggested.

“That sounds like a plan to me,” I said as I proceeded to dunk my wooden stick into the container of white paint.  Chucky did the same with his yellow paint can.  It took most of my strength to loosen up the dried out white paint until I got to about the midpoint on my broken piece of wood.  Although the paint was a bit waxy, I was able to make a somewhat horizontal white strip along the passenger side of the Ford Thunderbird.  Chucky was a little more creative with his handiwork than I was.  He started to make several different designs on the blue Plymouth.  As I took a short break from my painting job.  I walked over to check the car that Chucky was working on to examine his work. In a few short minutes, he had painted a symbol of a star, the moon and his initials, CB.

‘Isn’t it beautiful?”  Chucky asked.

“Oh yes, the Plymouth looks so much better now.  I wonder if the owners will pay us for this?”  I wondered.

“Yeah, maybe the owners will give us five dollars each,” Chucky replied.

“After they pay us, let’s go over to Clancy’s Corner Store and buy some football cards,” I said.

In the nineteen fifties, you could buy a pack of CFL football cards that came with a stick of pink gum.  My buddies and I had a lot of fun.  both collecting and trading these cards.

Just as we were finishing our conversation, a young woman who was still in her housecoat and curlers ran out of the apartment building’s back door.  She started yelling at us, “What do you little brats think that you’re doing?  My husband just bought that new Ford Thunderbird last Thursday and now you’ve ruined it.  I’m calling the police,” she said as she stomped back to the apartment block.

Chucky and I just froze in our spots. We immediately turned around and took off down the back lane so fast that we were almost tripping over our own feet.  When I made it to my house, my grandmother met me at the door. “I see white paint stains on your hands and on your T-shirt.  Where have you been young man, and just what have you been up to?  Where did all these white paint stains come from?” my grandmother asked.

“My grandmother was a very imposing woman and had a very stern look on her face.

“Chucky and I found an open can of paint in the back lane and started playing around with it,” I said, as my face was starting to turn a deep shade of red.  My grandmother looked very suspicious, but seemed to be giving me the benefit of the doubt. A few minutes later, my grandmother, known in the neighborhood as Bapi, was visited by a young man who was one of our neighbours from the apartment block.  He was an office clerk about twenty-five years old.  His face was beet red and he had tears flowing down his cheeks.  He was so distraught that he was stuttering and stumbling over his own words.  All my grandmother could make out of his rambling speech were a few keywords and phrases such as ‘your kid’ and ‘painting my brand-new car with an ugly white stripe’. Bapi also could hear the perplexed young man yell loudly, “Who’s going to pay to get my car fixed?”

When my grandmother stared at the young man she heard a car door slam across the street.  By looking passed the man’s right shoulder, she could see two police officers approaching our house.

 

“How are you today, ma’am?” the older police constable asked politely.

With great trepidation, my grandmother asked. “What’s wrong, officer?”

A younger constable climbed up one more step leading to my grandmother’s front porch.  “We had a report that your grandson and some of his little friends were vandalizing some cars this afternoon.”

“Yes,” added the older constable with the grey hair, “the boys began applying paint to this man’s Ford Thunderbird and one Plymouth belonging to one of his neighbours.”

Shortly after, another car pulled up.  This time it was my parents.  My grandmother was trying to tell them what the police officers had just said.  The police constables informed them that they were unable arrest such young children and told my parents to discipline me as they saw fit.  And believe me, my parents did just that.  One at a time, they took turns giving me a very hard spanking.

After the third spanking, it was over.  My bottom was now a bright shade of red, I still wondered what I had done to deserve such severe punishment. I was still surprised that the young man who stopped at our front door wasn’t going to pay me for the beautiful white stripe that I had painted on his new red Ford Mustang.images-81

Street Dreams Eps. 19 and 20

Episode Nineteen:

On Monday afternoon Whisper was browsing on Harold’s computer when she found Harold’s Spotify playlists. She noticed that one of the playlists was titled as gospel. On Sunday evening Whisper located Harold’s iTunes audiobook downloads. She was cognizant of how many of Harold’s downloads were of different versions of the Bible.

Shortly after Harold returned with the bags of groceries that he had just purchased at Sobeys.

“Let me carry those bags in the house for you, Harold,” Whisper offered.

Whisper noticed how many pain medications Harold was prescribed when she discreetly went through Harold’s medicine bag.

“Why do you need to take so many pain pills, Harold? Whisper asked as a concerned expression crossed her face.

“For my arthritis, dear. I also suffer periodic bouts and flareups of fibromyalgia,” Harold answered.

“Have you ever considered managing your pain with medical marijuana? Whispered asked.

“I’ve thought about it. My sister, Jamie, has used cannabis for pain management for about two years now. She also has arthritis. I guess it runs in the family.”

“Has it helped her?” Whisper asked.

“It must. She keeps ordering it. Jamie even has a legal cannabis medical card that she obtained from her doctor,” Harold answered.

After Whisper carried Harold’s groceries out of the car and into the house she started placing them in Harold’s refrigerator.

“Hey Harold. Did you buy anything that you can actually cook? Whisper asked.

Harold laughed. “What would be the use? I can’t cook a thing.”

Harold’s grocery purchases consisted of pizza pops, yogurt, granola bars, block cheese, cereal and assorted other items that do not require actual culinary skills.

“I’ll teach you how to cook. I’ll start you off with easy things. We’ll start with the baby steps. In the meantime, I’ll do all the cooking for you for now,” Whisper explained.

“Sounds like a plan to me,” Harold responded.

“Let’s get back your pain management. I’ll start you off on one bowl of weed and we’re going to see how you respond,” Whisper said.

“Where are we going to get the marijuana?” Harold asked

“I have some in my backpack,” Whisper answered. Whisper reached into her paisley covered backpack and found the pocket that contained a plastic sandwich bag filled with pink bubba marijuana. She reached into another compartment in her backpack and pulled out a pipe with a pink and white swirly design. Whisper proceeded to place a tiny round screen in the bottom of the pipe and then loaded the bowl with a small amount of weed. Whisper passed the luminescent pot pipe to Harold along with her lighter that displayed a picture of a marijuana leaf.

“Just light up the pipe and take some small puffs. You don’t need to hold the smoke deep in your lungs to get the full effect,” Whisper instructed.

Harold complied and took a few hits off the pipe. Almost immediately he felt some positive sensations.

“I’ve got a question for you Harold. I want you to answer before you smoke anymore dope. I want you to be reasonably lucid and articulate when you respond to my question.”

“Now you got me curious. What’s your damn question anyway?” Harold asked now sitting near the front of his Lazy Boy chair.

“Do you believe in God, Harold?” Whisper asked.

“Why do you ask?” Harold reluctantly placed his pipe in a sudden ceramic ashtray.

“I’ve noticed all the Bible audiobooks you downloaded to your computer,” Whisper said as she took out a pack of Zigzag rolling papers and made a perfect joint. She seated herself comfortably on Harold’s couch, but positioned herself so that she could look directly into Harold’s eyes.

Episode Twenty:

Harold slid back in his Lazy Boy chair. He let out a big sigh.

“You sure like to ask the heavy -duty questions, don’t you? “The simple answer is ‘Yes’. I have believed in God since I was a little child. My family didn’t go to church, but our public school teachers would read to us every morning from a book of Bible stories for children. The book contained modified, paraphrased accounts of famous Bible stories such as Noah and the ark and David and Goliath.

“As little children we lived near the Red River and hung out at the river bank. On a Friday or Saturday night we would often have a wiener roast and discuss the Bible stories that are teachers had read us during the past week. A recurring topic was the future of our own our eternal destinies. The kids in our little gang who gave their parents and teachers a lot of trouble surmised that their eternal fate was almost certainly to be tortured endlessly in hell. You also need to remember that in those days there was only one depiction of the abode of eternal damnation.”

“What was that representation?” Whisper asked.

“The fiery furnace. Your body would burn forever in a state of eternal torment. This, of course, had the predictable effect upon a child’s mind and emotions,” Harold answered.

“That sounds horrible, Harold. Were you given an alternative?” Whisper asked.

“Yes. If you were a model citizen and did everything your parents and teachers told you to do and didn’t say any bad swears, you’d likely end up in heaven with Jesus after you died,” Harold answered while looking longingly at the cannabis pipe sitting comfortably in the ceramic ashtray.

“When you were little boy did you believe this?” Whisper asked.

“Absolutely. Nobody told us anything different. Even if our parents didn’t attend church, they found this teaching to be an effective tool when it came to keeping their kids in line.”

“Now that you’re an adult you still don’t believe the same thing, do you, Harold?” Whisper asked as she reached over to pass the pipe to Harold.

“I still believe in God, but I absolutely think that I was taught the wrong message about God’s character,” Harold answered while gratefully taking the pipe from Whisper.

“So that means you’re still a believer? Whisper asked.

“With all my heart,” Harold responded, “Despite what some of my Christian brothers and sisters may think about my present spiritual condition.”

“Why in the world would your Christian friends doubt your sincerity?” Whisper asked.

Harold hesitated for a few seconds while he picked up Whisper’s marijuana lighter, lit up the bowl of cannabis and took three deep puffs off the swirly ceramic pipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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