Saturday, July 25, 2009

Downtown Eastside (DES) resident interview

How long have you lived in the neighbourhood?

Well, I first got a hotel room down here in 1991, when the court ordered me to stay away from my wife. However, she found me. That was in the Hazelwood.

It wasn't long before I moved down here as a resident, into the Columbia Hotel, in 1996. I needed an economical place to rent.

And what were you doing then?

Landscaping. I was soon introduced to a quaint local custom of spending all your disposable income on alcohol and going to the food lines for your sustenance. My companions were unsatisfied with this acclimatization and began plying me with rice wine, a toxic brew that destroys the liver through agents other than alcohol. If it weren't for my various superhuman qualities, I would surely be dead.

I remember, one of the guys I knew at the Columbia used to walk up the fire escape to the roof and run around the parapet, with eight stories beneath him and hard concrete below. I see him from time to time on the street, and we always greet each other. He can barely walk now, and he trembles. He is covered with horrible scars.

If it were not for my well developed sense of nausea and vomiting, I would no doubt have suffered the same fate.

Now I have a mental health diagnosis. I resist the pills they tried to give me in the past, so now I take an injection - Resperitol Consta. I looked it up on the internet, and see that it is usually prescribed to schizophrenics, and there is a litany of side effects that are quite alarming, including fatigue - which, like any good hypochondriac, I can easily imagine myself suffering from.

All in all, I can say that I was less a victim of society than its parasite. Please do not crush me, however, for I have made valuable contributions to society in the past and, who knows? If I continue to be supported in my leisure, I may (emphasis) make further contributions.


  1. There are some aspects of "G", the interviewee, that have not been squelched entirely by the drugs. It gives me hope. Maybe the new drugs are better. He seems a little more like himself.

  2. stephanie -the cousinJuly 25, 2009 at 5:00 PM

    Enjoyed reading this.(and the rest of your blog stuff) interesting and enterprising idea. I wish you well Tamara on your fundraising endeavors. I have donated much locally for this cause so won't do so again, but appreciate your efforts and applaud you.
    Thanks for doing it.


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