Floating East Toledo Queen

As I am sitting on my porch smoking my after work cigarette I see Ro coming across the street. Her walk is usually impaired by alcohol, but today she is definitely favoring one foot. It’s more of a limp than the usual swerve. She stops repeatedly on her journey, throwing her arms up and looking back at her house muttering cuss words. I know she is on her way to the store to buy another beer. And I also know she will stop at my porch to tell me why she is walking worse than normal. It takes her an entire cigarette to cross the street. She finally leans against my porch railing breathing heavily.

“I broke my foot,” she announces.

“How you do that?”

“Fucking Teddy did it,” she says raising her voice and looking in Teddy’s direction. He is standing on the porch looking back at us.

“Oh yeah, how’s that?”

“His mom come and took us to Aldis to grocery shop. I was in the back of the minivan. When I got in the back to sit down he slammed the big ass sliding door on my foot.” She turns again to look at him and yells “asshole” in his direction.

“I know that hurt.”

“Yeah, it did the first time and the second time.”

“Second time?”

“The door wouldn’t shut ’cause my foot was there. So this mother fucker swings it back and slams it again. Harder.”

“Why didn’t you tell him your foot was there?”

“It hurt so bad I couldn’t make no sound. He finally looked down the second time and saw it there. Doctor says it’s broke, but they can’t put no cast on it ‘cause of where the bone is on my foot.”

I look down at her foot and see a dirty Ace bandage wrapped around it.

“Why are you walking around? Shouldn’t you stay off of it?”

“I wanted a beer and ASSHOLE,” she yells across the street, “wouldn’t go get me one. Said I can’t drink with pain pills. Those pills ain’t doin’ shit and I need a beer.”

“What are ya doin’, telling her your life story?” Teddy shouts from their porch.

“Shut up, I’m resting ’cause my foot got broke by some blind dipshit and he won’t go to the fucking store for me,” she retorts.

“I’ll go. Come on and sit down,” he says.

“Give me a piggy back ride so I don’t have to walk.”

“God damn it,” he says jumping off the porch.

She turns to me and says, “It’s his fault I can’t walk anyway, he scrapped my crutches.”

“He what?” I ask.

“He took my crutches to the recycle place and scrapped them. He only got three dollars.”

Teddy comes and she gets on his back. He heads across the street to their house.

“Where you going?” Roe asks him.

“I’m taking you home and then I’m going to the store to get your damn beer.”

“No, take me up to the store. I want to see if Kim is working, I need to talk to her,” she says hitting him on the head.

“Alright, stop hitting me.” He turns to walk to the gas station.

Ro looks back at me, smiles and waves good-by.

The East Toledo Queen on her float.

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