A Beggars Paradise

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written by owen on 2008-Sep-16.

Now I often end up at places against my will because I'm not driving anymore. People who drive tend to lie when you ask them how long the "little detour" is going to take. Before I notice it I usually end up half the way across Kingston in a bad side of town. Other times somebody will spot the elusive mechanic that has no cellphone and proceed to convene a meeting or solve a quadratic equation.

On this occasion someone HAD TO HAVE their prescription filled at 10o'clock in the night. York Pharmacy had apparently run out of pills for that particular MENTAL CONDITION so established rules had to be broken. At this point in our little story is where the detour began like a headache brought on by dry erasable markers. By the time we reached Liguanea I had lost track of the time, accepting my fate, contemplating possible roots of escape at this god forsaken hour.

There was a pharmacy, somewhere there, not sure exactly but the parking space was slightly inclined in front of the entrance, so you had to park facing outward - I couldn't see the drug deal taking place inside. I waited, keeping my eye on the local car washer/general idler (its hard to tell nowadays, I try not to judge people by the bucket they carry, could have been salt beef or mutton). On my left were empty parking lots and on right where four (4) cars. A woman in a small SUV came stopped in front, constantly brushing her hair back with her hand while looking in to the rare view mirror. Apparently she was waiting for someone to come out of the pharmacy, a hot date or something and she wanted to look proper. At this point I realized that I had left downtown and had ended up in "North Coast Kingston".

After about 10 minutes of watching the woman adjust her frilly hair with no apparent effect, I virtually gave up on trying to decipher what she was trying to achieve. It was at this point I noticed a woman siting 2 cars away from me in a silver car - an old Lancer. I came to know her as Marlene (or I may have forgotten her name ). She was 40 plus black woman with a unusual foreign accent, lived somewhere in Spanish Town, had just brought her father to the hospital and had the ability to talk. Had I known I probably would not have talked to her in the first place but its hard to avoid people who are in your direct line of site.

10 minutes go by. Apparently Marlene had just recently left her house to rush her dad to the hospital and in "haste" forgot to bring gas money with her so she is sitting in the parking lot awaiting for a "Good Samaritan" to help her out. It was all too suspicious. I wished her luck and proceeded to derail the conversation by talking about religion and faith - I was not in the good Samaritan mood tonight - it seemed all too convenient - especially since I offered her 200 and she said she needed more like 300 so to reduce the chance that she would run out of gas in a "bad area" on the way home. I wished her luck again. I couldn't go anywhere and she had already been there for a couple hours (so she said). I was trapped.

We talked about money and problems and her husband in England. She was far to intelligent, the longer I stayed they the greater the chance I would break. I meet a large amount of random interesting people, often only once, like a paper plane, never in the same place or time. I began to contemplate how profitable her little business venture would be - it was too genius - find a mall, late at night, somewhere uptown, park, wait for them to initiate intercourse, hustle unsuspecting dudes for gas money - I wonder if she has a pimp? hmm. I even began to doubt myself - she was too calm, collected, sure of herself like a brick house - I had to leave ASAP. A couple minutes later I told her that I hope her good Samaritan comes along, waved good bye to her. I have come to no conclusion.

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  1. What happened to your mental patient? I was waiting for you to come back to that. This story is unfinished.

    by Tami 2008-Sep-17 

  2. thats besides the point of the story

    by owen 2008-Sep-17 

  3. ...but i like that part of the story. [cry]

    by Tami 2008-Sep-18 

  4. let sleeping dogs lie. can't please everybody, especially u

    by owen 2008-Sep-21 

  5. Owen,

    let me start by answering the question in your next post. Horlicks is very much with us. i periodically buy a bottle (still the same reassuring fat glass jar with a blue lid) really just for old times' sake because before i ever get around to drinking it it becomes solid as a rock. a beige rock. so i throw it out and buy a new bottle and let is sit there till the beige rock forms again.

    that was a great blog about being captive to various people's automobile trips coz you don';t have one of your own. you're a good writer. the description of various women adjusting their frilly hair or just hoping to bum $300 off some unsuspecting and innocent passenger such as yourself...priceless...i tell you only in Ja...

    by Annie Paul 2008-Sep-20 

  6. I think you need to put the lid back on it after your done. It doesn't like air. Its almost like cement.
    Thank you very much. Its of those rare moments when I actually have something cohesive to write about aside from monkeys. [confident]

    by owen 2008-Sep-21 

  7. pour hot milk on the beige rock, put the lid on and shake.

    by Gods Child 2008-Sep-22 

  8. once its solid you can never get back the rich-creamy-goodness. thats just nasty

    by owen 2008-Sep-22 

  9. Y'all are discussing Horlicks and i'm not involved?

    :( sighs

    by Tami 2008-Sep-22 

  10. no but seriously whenever i'm in need of comfort and sustenance i turn to Horlicks...Ovaltine just isn't the have to make it with pure milk, no watering down...

    by Annie Paul 2008-Sep-22