Archive for January, 2007

The justice of sodomy

January 31, 2007

A reader opines.

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Frozen assets

January 29, 2007

Frozen bike

PHILIP
This bike is Tony’s only asset with a street value.

His other assets:

– a box of photos and mementos (stored at a friend’s house);
– a sleeping bag and blankets (hidden during the day); and
– his personal effects (stored at the Don Jail).

Tony in jail — Update #1

January 27, 2007

PHILIP
I visited Tony in jail yesterday. He’ll be there for another 20 days or so, as a result of three minor offences, including a “failure to appear” charge pertaining to the trial for the other two minor offences. However, he’s got two further charges against him that are more serious. These could send him to prison for up to two years as I understand it. Tony wanted to make clear that none of the charges allege any actual or attempted physical harm to anyone. Also, he emphasized that these charges relate to events that occurred well before we started this blog.

Tony asks that if one of his readers is a lawyer — or knows one — who could handle Tony’s case, please email Philip at philip [at] sternthinking.com.

Separately, you are heartily invited to visit him (the Don Jail is located at Broadview and Gerrard). Visiting hours are 130pm – 4pm, 7 days a week. Just tell the front guard that you’re his friend. His full name is Anthony Clemens.

__________

PHILIP
“How are you?”

TONY
“Well I’m staying out of the cold. They put me in the medical ward to fix up my feet and my back and my knees and my collar bone and some other problems. They fixed the crack in my feet already; they’ve got this cream that really works. So that’s good. But I haven’t slept in 4 days so they’re giving me some drugs for that.”

PHILIP
“And they’re treating you right?”

TONY
“Oh yeah. Even when the officer arrested me the other day, he was a decent guy. He locked up my bike for me and even let me finish my cigarette before putting the cuffs on. They still have my glasses at 11th Division but I’ll get them in a few days.

“The problem is mostly that you can’t receive phone calls here and it costs 75 cents to make a call, unless you can call collect.

“Anyway, I’m staying out of that cold and they’re giving me food and fixing me up, so it’s not too bad for now. I’m not even missing my smokes much.”
 

Tony is back in the Don Jail

January 26, 2007

PHILIP
He went in front of a judge yesterday but did not make bail. I don’t know what the charge(s) are.

It’s going to be very cold tonight [-20C], so I see a good side to his situation, although I don’t know if Tony would agree.

I’ll tell you more when I speak to him.

Coffee and cigarettes

January 23, 2007

TONY
“You got a buck?”

PHILIP
“Sure.”

TONY (Tony goes outside; he returns 10 minutes later.)
“Now I’m human again. I needed that first cigarette. Now I’m getting myself a coffee.”

Jamaica farewell

January 22, 2007

jan-9-2007-ps-114.jpg

TONY (walking into a local convenience store)
“Hey Phil.”

PHILIP
“What’s up?”

TONY
“Just going to use their phone to see if my flowers got delivered. My “second mom” just died so I’m sending flowers. I met her 15 years ago when we were both working at this old people’s home where I was the maintenance guy. She asked me to help her get some barrels into a van and I gave her a hand. After she moved back to Jamaica, she came up from time to time to visit her kids up here and she’d give me a bottle of Jamaican rum, extra proof, every time.

She was really a second mom to me. My diabetic friend is pretty sad too. We’re gonna miss her.”

Notes from an exhibition

January 22, 2007

TONY
“Underneath, people are all pretty much the same.”

Arts and crafts

January 18, 2007

KD

PHILIP
“What did you do last night?”

TONY
“I cooked up some Kraft Dinner. Four of ’em.”

PHILIP
“Exactly where did you do that?”

TONY
“I went over to my Dave’s, my friend Dave’s.”

“Anyway, my recipe for Kraft Dinner is you start by chopping up a fresh onion. You boil the noodles the same as always, drain it out, and put in the onion and cook it ’til the onion gets clear. Then you put in the cheese. I like extra cheese so later you grate in some mozzarella, about a quarter of a brick. Then you put in the margarine and cook it up a bit more. Then you put in cream to get it to the right thickness. Most people use milk but cream’s the one to use. Then you put in the mozzarella and stir it up.”

PHILIP
“You ate your way through four boxes of Kraft Dinner last night?”

TONY
“Yup. You think four’s a lot? I should tell you about going to the buffet once when I was working for George Segal. You’d like that one.”

About last night

January 16, 2007

TONY
“I just about froze to death last night. Man it was cold. Also there was a problem where I can sleep most of the time, which at least doesn’t let the wind in. Anyway, I couldn’t get into a room, so I ended up just nearby the train overpass there. Something didn’t seem safe so I made sure folks could see me. The next thing I know, I’m waking up being hugged by these two Indian women; they were street people too. They only found me by luck because they were going to ask me for cigarettes, but they saw I was asleep and that my feet were blue, so they put my ass on a piece of cardboard and dragged me almost up to Bloor, you know where they’ve got that black Baptist church up there?

“So you might want to know how they warmed up my feet after that. One foot between their legs, nice and snug between their legs. No joke, that’s the way I woke up this morning.

“If they hadn’t found me back there, I could’ve froze to death.”

A night for six packs

January 15, 2007

jan-15-2007-ps-023.jpg

TONY
“Did I tell you about my other trick for staying warm when it’s really cold? I found it out by accident; I can’t even remember who told me. It’s going down to -12 C tonight so I’ll try to do this one later if I can’t get a room.

“You know those plastic packs for warming your hands and your feet, you can get them at the hardware store and other places. You just squeeze them to get them started. When it’s real cold, I try to buy six of them before I get into the sack: 2 for my front pockets of my pants, 2 for the shoulders up in front here, and 2 in your socks for your feet. They go for a pretty reasonable time so it works pretty well.”

Is there a God?

January 11, 2007

PHILIP
“Do you believe in God?”

TONY
“Yes, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here.”

PHILIP
“What do you mean that you ‘wouldn’t be here’ ?”

TONY
“Let me put it this way. My mother told me that if it wasn’t for God, I wouldn’t be here. I’m just telling you what she told me. Besides, I wouldn’t have let my wife go if there was no God.”

PHILIP
“What do you mean by that?”

TONY
“I’ll tell you what I mean: I’d be wearing her ashes around my neck instead of giving them to my daughter. But since I know I’ll be joining her up in Heaven, I don’t need to keep her ashes with me right now.”

Getting high, getting up

January 9, 2007

Windows for washing

TONY
“Hey Phil, I’ve got a good headline for the next time we put something on the Internet. How about we do something about the time when ‘Tony got high’?

“Here’s how it goes. A while back, I cleaned windows for a living. Not for the street level; you can’t make any money there and there’s too much competition. I used to work on those platforms with the ropes that you see on the highrises.

“When I was doing a building once where luckily they were doing renovations below, I fell off. It was a few stories on the way down, let me tell you. I fell flat down on my back into the mud, in a kind of like a gingerbread man shape, pretty deep in the mud, which was there because of the renovating. So the guys on the ground, they couldn’t find me. All they saw was my plaform hanging ass-over-tea kettle and no one up there. I was right in the mud but they couldn’t see me. Anyway, I wasn’t hurt but they couldn’t find me until I got out of the mud myself.”

The patience of job

January 6, 2007

Odd jobs, good rates

PHILIP
“I see you’ve got a new sign. You’re offering to do odd jobs now. Why didn’t you have the same message on your old sign?

TONY
“You know how many jobs I’ve been stiffed on? I’ll do a job like raking leaves or cleaning up someone’s alleyway and he swears he’s paying minimum wage or something. Then afterwards, the guy says he doesn’t have the cash and writes me a cheque. I’ve seen some rubber cheques do their bouncing, believe me. What am I going to do, beat ’em up?

“Anyway, now I learned to get half my money up front. Well some folks don’t like me being uppity like that and they go look for someone else. Of course, then their job doesn’t get done right so now they’re asking me again, and no problem with cash upfront this time. Well, the way I see it, they had their chance and they didn’t want me then. So they can do their own job, as far as I’m concerned.”

PHILIP
“So why are you offering to do odd jobs again?”

TONY
“I’m just fed up the way things are so I figured I’d try again.”

T’was the night before Christmas

January 3, 2007

T'was the lights before Christmas

PHILIP
“What did you do over Christmas?

TONY
“A few of us went over to a guy we know. We’d said there wouldn’t be any drinking, no nothing, but this one guy comes in plain pissed, and that’s it for me. You know, we’d all promised to be clean but this guy, no, he has to hit the juice anyway. I got out of there. I was pretty pissed off. We all collected to buy a 7-pound turkey and he goes and screws it up. I just had to leave ’cause there was going to be a fight. Not on Christmas Eve, you can’t be fightin’ Christmas Eve.”

___________
PS: [Jan. 4] For a fierce denunciation of Tony and homeless people in general, read Randy’s comment in response to “From Tony’s cold case files“.

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