These are the people I picked up on July 31st

A very elderly couple from North Hill Safeway to Sunnyside… it’s pouring rain and I’m annoyed… They have tons of groceries… The man is pretty well blind… His wife is very cheerful…

From Sunnyside to Crowchild Inn, a guy, bar staff going to work… he tells me a quick way to go and he’s right… tips good…

In Bowness, a native couple, going to bingo at the community centre… The man’s a jokester. He says, “Hey mind if I pay with a cheque? I look at him and he and his wife laugh and laugh…

Stop by a used books store I’d never seen before… pick up some mags containing some Bill Ward art…

Montgomery Mac’s to Montalban Crescent… a guy with long hair, at his house there is an amazing view and the sky’s clearing in the west…

In Kensington, I think some guy’s flagging me but he’s not… I drive away pissed off but get flagged by a young guy with bleached white hair and piercings… goes downtown…

From a downtown hair place, a very attractive woman with strong, pleasant perfume goes to Duckey’s Pub…

From Goliath’s to Renfrew, a man named Richard, Stonewall T-shirt, so drunk he can hardly walk… I help him to the door… great garden…

From the Crossroads Hotel to the T and C in Forest Lawn, four British soldiers on a night out. There’s a young hooker standing in the parking lot when we arrive. They approach her but she gets in another cab…

From the Big 4 Casino to Mission two guys, sharp dressers… One complains that the gambling was not so good today… I have to take a slight detour because some film production is blocking their street…The one guy has seen this a lot in Toronto “They pay you good money to use your house. Sometime they pay the whole street”…

I stop and check out the film crew. It’s ‘North of 60’, the CBC show about the north. The lighting is bright and unnatural, the crew all quite robust; they tell some of us gawkers to move behind the shot… I chat with an older man. “North of 60? Oh yeah, I watched it for 10 minutes and changed the channel… The whole CBC’s boring… And so is this spectacle… back to work…”

I take Ken from Duckey’s Pub to Bankview… He’s from northern Alberta and he likes ‘North of 60’… He says it’s a realistic portrayal of natives and of the north…

At the Westward… a young hooker jumps out of an Acura and complains that the guys are too drunk to ride with… Besides she just made 200 bucks… we cruise and stop beside a cluster of young women, her friends (one of ’em I’d seen earlier at the T and C)… they discuss drugs, bitches and junkies but she says she’s not a user… “I read the ‘Prostitute’s Diary’… it said the best night’s were Sunday, really late, big bucks”… her busiest nights? “…Thursday, Friday, Saturday”… drop her off on Electric Ave.

A no-trip, Pints and 1/2 Pints, a bar I’m familiar with…

From the Airliner to the big postal depot… the 40 something postal worker… no tip but he acts apologetic anyway…

From Robin’s donuts, to the Huntington Esso… it’s raining again, guy, bicycle, and poor wet skinny little black dog named Ralph… “Named after the Jackie Gleason character…” Tips me with a cherry stick donut… I see this guy with the little dog outside ‘Pints a couple ‘o nights later…

A peeler from Airliner to ‘Body Shoppe’… says she just watched

Juliet’s Castle… this guy’s passing out at his table… he wants more beer, though, and picks up a case at the Cecil… asks me the typical question, “So what do you really do?” “I’m an artist.” “Heh, heh… Well, you’ll never guess what I am…” He looks like one of the characters from ‘North of 60’ but says, “I’m a writer…”

Capri Pizza to Tuxedo, bearded guy who’s very drunk and I can hardly understand…

I stop at the bank and pay some bills.

Prince Royal Inn, a bunch of hotel staff go to Sunnyside… one says, “I had to go out at 7:00 for some Parmesan cheese… God, it was raining…”

Norm’s Pub… Neil… He’s drunk but I’m polite. “Don’t call me ‘sir’… you’re older than me!”, he says.

From Boyztown, Danny goes home. I’ve picked him up quite inebriated many times. “…Did you used to go to the Calgarian?” referring to the ancient punk rock bar…”Yeah…”

Blackfoot Truckstop to Forest Lawn, Art has breathing problems. “Left my truck at Edna’s… can’t breathe… they won’t give me oxygen, though…”

Toni, a hooker in white leather takes Juan, a Spanish emigre… to the Cecil… his buddy follows in his car… “I can’t let the other girls see me take two guys… they’ll be pissed off…

Limbo

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