"Brian" is not this fellow's real name. I'm giving him a pseudonym here because of a problem he has that he would like kept secret.
Brian is a needle junkie, a heroin addict. He's also a very good man. He doesn't drive, and called Friday asking for a ride to the grocery store. I said sure, as soon as I got off work.
"Oh, you're at work?" He just lost his job at a credit collection agency, a place that will employ anyone, including convicted felons who have spent time in prison, so long as the conviction wasn't for credit fraud and you don't lie about it on your job application.
Junkies apparently have a hard time holding a job for long. I told him I'd stop by and give him a rode on the way home from work. While he was at the grocery store he bought a case of beer and a fifth of some very good scotch. I wound up drinking with Brian in his apartment. Beats the hell out of sitting in front of the TV or computer on a Friday night.
Heroin addicts, at least this one, will do any kind of drug at all, especially the depressant drugs like alcohol and demerol. Brian can drink Amy under the table. The last time I drank with Brian I walked home, halfway across town, and fell down hard, twice. Once on my head. He'd fallen down as well after I left, because he'd blacked out that night. The next time I saw him, a couple of weeks later, he asked "did we get in a fight?"
He offered me a line of cocaine, and I politely declined. I'd seen what cocaine did to people back in the eighties.
Saturday I slept late, then walked across town back to Brian's to retrieve my car. I cleaned up my pigsty of a house, and called Ralph to inquire about his health. Ralph is an 86 year old WWII veteran who lets a woman named Sam live with him.
"Ralph" and "Sam" are pseudonyms too, because Sam is a prostitute and if I used Ralph's real name people would know who Sam was.
I'm convinced that if it wasn't for Sam and the other hookers Ralph lets stay there, he'd have been dead a long time ago, or at least in a nursing home. She cleans his house, cooks for him, cares for him. So do the other whores who stay there.
Ralph had been ill the previous week, so I called to inquire about his health. He didn't answer. Sam called back from Ralph's phone a few minutes later; Ralph was feeling much better and was in the shower. I told her I'd probably be by to visit hime in a couple of days. She invited me over to smoke some pot.
By the time I got to Ralph's he was gone, visiting another whore on the other side of town. Ralph likes hookers even more than I do.
Sam knows Linda, and told me she'd gotten a letter from her saying that Linda was going to get out of prison in February. I talked and smoked and drank beer with her for a while; she's one of my prostitute friends who I don't have sex with. One reason is although she's got a nice body, her face looks like a man's. I'd need Viagra to have sex with her; she's what they call a "busdown" in "the hood", a cut-rate "ho". It works out well for both Ralph and Sam. It's a co-dependancy. Ralph pretty much supports Sam, and Sam takes care of Ralph. Sam only needs money for cigarettes and reefer; Ralph not only won't buy smokes for her but makes her smoke outside. He'd been around asbestos in his career as a carpenter and had emphysema; it would be stupid for him to allow smoking in his house, and heartless for anyone to smoke there in the first place.
Sam's looks don't deter Ralph, as he has to inject some drug into his penis with a hypodermic to get an erection. The thought makes me shudder; maybe it's not such a good thing for Ralph the hookers have kept him alive. I'd almost rather be dead than to have to stick a needle in my dick to have sex.
He got home and we talked for a while, and he loaned me thirty bucks to tide me over until I got paid.
I stopped by Harry's Adult Day Care for a beer on the way home, and chatted with the pleasantly plump young lady who was tending bar. I never have more than one beer there, because the tap lines are never rinsed well and the beer tastes vinegary.
JW's is on the way home from Harry's so I stopped by there too. I went to bed early. Sunday morning I slept late, and went to Farley's. "Brian" was there, and we talked and drank for a while.
For once I was glad to see Monday; Monday was payday.
Tuesday morning Amy showed up, and said she and her boyfriend were fighting. I told her I wasn't too happy with her, either. She grabbed a few things and left with him, and I went to work. She called during the day, and showed up that night as I was watching the news.
She'd started orientation at her new job and was happy.
I wasn't. Specifically, I wasn't happy with her. We had a long talk. So she's living with the boyfriend now. Poor fool, it's his albatross now. I just hope that, like a cat, she doesn't come back.