The boys from the old restaurant have taken to calling and introducing me as "The Family Lawyer", an ironic stab at my fashion sense and the fact that I don't generally go out in track pants, a hoody and baseball cap. This is all fine, if the evenings young and still yet sober I can correct anyone that takes them seriously, although it should be noted the sad correction has cost me more than a few dates.

But when the evening's a little farther along and strung out it gets harder to refute them, the nephew cutting off my denials with "HE'S A LAWYER...THE FAMILY LAWYER", and I find myself cornered by a little crack whore who's stopped by on her evening rounds to grab a little pick me up on her way to work...the Nephew keeps the best company, and if I were indeed a  lawyer I would have no shortage of clients in this circle.

She's grilling me on what kind of law I practice, the Nephew answers "CRIMINAL", we have a short conversation without my saying a word, her merely asking me questions and the Nephew loudly in the background yelling out answers. It seems a bit cruel, but I take solace in the fact that I haven't said a word to incriminate myself.

Party over, think nothing of it, just another absurd night out with the boys. Then the phone calls start, unknown number, local, I answer:

"Hey, remember me...its ******* from the party...look, I got sideswiped on Deerfoot the other day and so I followed the driver until they pulled over...it was road rage, you know, and then they got out and threatened me and I got the plates...but by the time I got home the police were there charging me...it wasn't my fault and my passenger, he's got warrants, he doesn't want to testify that it wasn't my fault...."

She's speaking at a mile a minute, breathless,...

"What do you think I should do...?"

"Call Legal Aid" I tell her, she's thinking I'm making 6 figures and she can't afford me but has a theory, probably not misplaced, that she can work out some sort of "Pro-Bono" arrangement, although her understanding of the words "Pro" and "Bono" differ from the common Latin I'm pretty sure they represent an accurate understanding of the legal profession in general....

How did she get my number? I don't ask, I know, she called the Nephew who happily sold me down the river, there's going to have to be some form of creative revenge...

"OK...and I've been getting calls from the police, 3 times a day, because my girlfriend, she rolled a drug dealer, and he thinks it's me and is threatening to kill me, and I tried to tell the police and they wouldn't listen, they've been calling me three times a day and they refuse to give me their names or badge numbers...I mean, Constable Squirrel, does that sound like a cops name to you? Anyways, my parents, they're going to throw me out of the house and I don't want anyone to get shot, and the police said they're going to charge me with selling drugs..."

"Call Legal Aid" I tell her, I'm getting pretty good at this lawyering thing...I'm trying not to laugh at the "Constable Squirrel" comment...

"OK...now yesterday, I was at the bar with my friends and there was this Psych Nurse from when I was admitted last year, and she was telling everyone in the bar that I was crazy and an addict and we had a fight and, I mean, that's not legal, is it? I called the hospital to complain and they wouldn't give me her last name..."

"I think you have enough on your plate with the car accident and the drug dealer. Deal with those first...leave the nurse bit alone for now..." I tell her, this is turning into a long call...

Eventually, after dispensing more sound bits of advice all of which involve recommending legal aid, and straightening out and prioritizing her thoughts, I persuade her to hang up, excuse myself, I've things to do. She calls again the next day to tell me she's squared things away with the dealer, she's putting up $75 and her friend is putting up the other $75 that was stolen from him, she's hoping that will end the death threats, it's just the accident, she's waiting on legal aid to call her back, wants to leave the province, is going to get some Adderall and or Oxycodin, wonders if she can drive on it, I refer her to her doctor, and after I hang up I think to myself that lawyers, criminal lawyers at least, deal with these people all fucking day, and for a brief moment there's a small window of compassion for them, no wonder they're all such fucking assholes...

I'm at the thrift shop, revisiting old haunts, hunting for the essentials I'll need to be able to enjoy my apartment. A short list: Kitchen table & chairs, loveseat, 2 armchairs, a couple of coffee tables, I'm looking for quality, but the kind of quality I can sell again when I'm done, Garage Sale quality, the locker won't hold any more belongings...

No furniture, not today, but arriving at the till with my other treasures the clerk advises me: "You're in luck, it's Senior's day today, you'll get 10% off...."

Now I know I don't photograph well, but I always put that down to me being a vampire, it's like my reflection, nothing to look at, nothing to see, but still there's that voice in my head that's telling me "I gotta stop drinking..."

While perusing the vintage photos at the flea market I find this:

Which is good, not least because it bears a striking resemblance to a certain dishwasher (ELMO). I gave it to him, he professed not to see the resemblance, everyone else did, and I held it up as proof of the transmigration of souls, that this was Elmo in another life, probably killed in the Austian/Prussian war, and asked if he remembered anything, anything at all, and like all good conversations at work it's ended before it begins by the need to get back to work...

He's completely asexual, he has a girlfriend but in the three years they've been dating they've had sex twice, "I'm not really a fan" he explains to me.

For someone who isn't a fan he takes an unhealthy interest in my sex life, or lack thereof, and pries me for nonexistent details, eventually, getting nowhere he begins to offer advice...

"Treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen..." he says, he's follows a certain dating guru and explains to me what I'm doing wrong..."A lot of guys think that if they complement a girl they'll get them, but what you gotta do is insult 'em, tell 'em that lipstick is horrible or that dress makes them look fat...get their attention". This guru, think Tom Cruise in Magnolia.

He ruminates a moment, contemplating his own failures, "I think that's what I've been doing wrong" he says, as if somehow he's been the fount of human kindness, and I have to laugh, any girlfriend of his has to endure his 7:00 PM bedtime, his taste in movies (any docu-drama on WW2), his gifts ("I didn't draw her name in the gift exchange...") his cooking (aged leftovers stirred together in a pan), he's got the recipes for neglect and abuse down to a fine art, only he doesn't realize it...