Archive for the 'bed' Category

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.”

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Tony picks guys in the red light district

December 26, 2006

Red light

TONY
“I worked for my aunt back when I was younger. She was a red lighter. I just hung around until she got the guy on the blocks. Then I’d get his pants and pick ’em.”

PHILIP
“How old were you?”

TONY
“About eight I think.”

Red lights

An old hand who can get a warm body in the sack

December 16, 2006

Old hand

TONY
“You’d think a guy who’s been on the street would know the tricks. Nope — I ran into this homeless guy who was going on about sleeping out when it was cold. So I asked him if he knew the trick about how to stay warm. Well, he doesn’t, so I tell him he should keep a quarter [$0.25] until he’s done for the night. Then he should take his sleeping bag to the laundromat and put it in the dryer for a few minutes. When it comes out, he should roll it up really tight. Then when he gets inside, it’s all toasty and warm and he gets a warm start to the night. He’d been on the street longer than me but he learned that trick from Tony.”

Under the sheltering sky

December 4, 2006

PHILIP
“When it gets cold like last night [-5 C], do you go to a sleeping shelter if you can’t get a bed?”

TONY
“Never. Don’t use them. They’re too dangerous.

“People think shelters are safe places because it’s the city that runs them. But they’re not. When the politicians do their visits to check how the shelters are, everyone on the inside knows they’re coming. They clean the place up nice and everyone is on their good behaviour. I’ll sleep outside if I can’t get a good bed.”

The invisible man

December 1, 2006

Tony’s not here

PHILIP
Tony isn’t here this morning.

It’s Buster Keaton weather — but colder. No doubt, umbrella vendors are delighting in visions of pedestrians dancing convexxedly with their soon-to-be mangles of nylon and aluminium.

I don’t know where Tony is; probably no one does. The morning weather might have kept him where he slept last night. Perhaps not. I’ve seen Tony at his post in the deepfreeze of mid-winter.

Sidewalk traffic is sparse and hurried. Given today’s inclement weather, Tony would be hard-put to collect enough for a warm bed. When I next see him, I’ll ask him about the irony.

Breakfast vs. a bed for the night

November 20, 2006

TONY — 6pm/-1 C
“If I knew how cold it was going to be, I wouldn’t have had breakfast.”

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