Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dinner Party Anecdote

I once had a roommate who had a very big heart. The summer before we lived together, she befriended a streetkid from Toronto, a wannabe punk, with a mohawk, worshipping Greenday, who we called Little D. He moved in with us in the fall, like a little brother. He was a sweet kid really, and for some reason he hero-worshipped us. This was quite something for a couple of geeks like us, and we like having him around.

Little D also attracted other streetkids. One, named Chris, later became a real badass. He had a little sister but his mother was couchsurfing and couldn't provide a roof for them. So he sometimes crashed at our place. Sometimes they slept in the parkade by the Eaton's Centre. When Chris came over, he almost always brought catfood for our kittens. He bought it with some of the money he got panhandling.

Jamie, who was younger, also came to hang out sometimes but he had a decent-sounding family and went home at night. I don't really know why he hung out with these kids, because he seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and his family sounded ok. Jamie got together with a young girl who had already had her daughter taken away from her by Children's Aid. I think she ended up pregnant by Jamie and didn't get to keep that child either.

Finally, there was J. He was addicted to crystal meth, and I hated him. He was always high and unpredictable and uncontrollable. One time he came over he spraypainted the word fuck on the kitchen wall with textured spray paint and we had to sand it off and repaint before we moved out. He said he worked as a prostitute in Toronto sometimes; I didn't know whether to believe him.

That winter my roommate and I watched Six Degrees of Separation and it really struck us. Especially at the end when Stockard Channing gets upset because her encounter with Will Smith has become just a dinner party anecdote.

Now those kids have become blog fodder. Today we went for a walk downtown and I noticed all the badass teenagers around (at least they want you to think they're badasses). They reminded me of those streetkids we knew who got us into so much trouble with our landlord.

My ex-roommate says she saw J a few weeks ago and he's cleaned up and working as a cook. I'm glad. I saw Chris a few years ago and his latest girlfriend was expecting a baby (his third) any day. He said she was crazy, and he was drunk, hiding from her. Chris went to jail for carrying a knife shortly after we knew him. He'd just turned 18 so he went to real jail and learned how to be a real criminal. I don't know what happened to Jamie. I've heard that Little D has been in and out of Queen Street Mental Health for schizophrenia. He was sometimes paranoid when we lived with him.

I'm glad I knew them. Well, ok, not really J but I liked the rest of them.

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