Thursday, December 31, 2009

She Is Still Out

This morning, Karrie and I were stressed out and watching the clock, until the time for us to walk up to the courthouse.
We arrived there, 20 minutes late; partly because one of the officers who had arrested her on 11 charges, stopped his car in front of us, put on his lights and then checked our ID's. He was wondering why Karrie was "out."
We got into the courtroom just in time to hear them call her name in short order.
Carlos said "Due to the considerable amount of jailtime involved here..." and then he went on to appoint an attorney (Shoemaker) and set her next date for February 11th. Yes, we are on a first name basis with Carlos, the Assistant City Attorney.
So, she is still out.
Now I need to go play because I lavished extravigances upon her, during our "last days" together for a while, and my resorces have dwindled a bit.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And Now, To Karrie

I guess this blog has been mostly about Karrie, lately.

Tonight is our last night together for perhaps 10 months.

I went to my spot and played for an hour and a half and people were throwing money into my case. The loss of the stuffed monkey does not seem to have diminished my returns, though, it is impossible for me to do a side-by-side comparison-well, not impossible, but it would involve cloning myself and acquiring another stuffed monkey to be set by the clone of myself...

I thought Karrie would show up, but she didn't. This could mean many things, not all of them bad. She is probably trying to make the camp comfortable with a fire and welcome me, on our last night together.

This morning we put bisquits and potato slices on a baking pan, with olive oil. We scrambled eggs and then poured them over the concoction at the right moment, adding tomatoes at the last minute. It was the kind of meal that I would never make for myself, but, she was happy.

Greener Swamps

Karrie Goes To Court Tommorow

Last night, Karrie and I went to St. Francis house. I wanted to see if a parcel had arrived from London, from a lady and her husband, who had come by last summer (the lady) when I was playing on Cuna St, and who has stayed in touch and has sent me pictures of myself playing on Cuna St. through e-mail.
A man asked to borrow a flashlight from anyone, to illuminate the combination lock on his bike. I unburdened myself of the guitar and then the backpack, fished around, found my flashlight and lent it to him. He disappeared for a while (awful long time just to unlock a bike,) and returned to me my flashlight with, what we didn't discover until back at camp, dead batteries. He must have known that we had made some money, and was exacting his "tax." This is typical, and the reason why I stay in the woods and not at St. Francis House.
The food served was pepperoni pizza, which gives me hearburn, without giving me any energy; and the mail that they DID have was a bill from the hospital for care of a toothache a couple months ago, and also, a letter telling me that my Public Assistance food card was to be cut off. I had had a foreboding about going to St. Francis House that night, I really did.
Karrie and I fumbled around in the dark, back at camp, just to build a fire and arrange the blankets in the tent. It was too dark for her to see me shaking my head in disbelief that someone would stoop to such chicanery just for a couple of batteries. I decided to consider ourselves fortunate that we could go buy more in the morning. Today is Karrie's last day of freedom. "Mixed feelings" is an apt description of my mind now....
I hope that nobody stole any parcel which might have been shipped.
The past few weeks have been less than promising for someone like me, who has higher aspirations,.
It has been mostly about survival lately, with myself playing shorter hours, worrying about Karrie's being alone at camp, and Karrie relying upon the money which I have been making over the holiday season; money which, typically stops flowing after the holidays, and needs to be stored up like a squirrel's nuts....but, I can't expect her to know that....
Well, I am going out to play tonight, as the temperature is high enough so that I will be able to move my fingers. Last night I watched crowds of people go by, unable to play because of the the 45 degree temperature...
I have a bit of wanderlust, especially as Karrie will be salted away for months in the penal system (unless she can melt the heart of the judge, which I wouldn't put past her.)
I might try to take "my show" on the road and look for greener swamps further south.
Karrie and I still have time to flee to Mexico, where, she has every intention of owning a horse.
She said that, when my mom wires me money for Christmas, "It'll be worth a lot more," oh, and a bottle of tequilla is 5 bucks down there, ....incidently....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Life Without Karrie, More Assuredly This Time

Karrie goes to court in two days. I think she is showing me mercy and looking out for my emotional well being by being very hard to live with, lately. She knows that it will be easier for me to move on and to not bother to wait for her (a life that she feels will be better for me, but is at a loss to bring about herself) if she shows her worst side to me in these final days before her court date, and makes it easier for me to get over her. I think she is an old pro at things like that.
Money Has Been Good
The money has been good, throughout these holidays. I expected a drop-off on the Monday after the holiday weekend, but, there were plenty of tourists milling about and dropping enough money in my case to pay for expenses. Karrie has had less lucrative outings, which seem to have been inversely proportional to the amounts of money that I had made with the guitar. Last night, I put in the $3 and change, which she was in want of in acquiring a fifth of whiskey. She was sitting up, drinking it, before sunrise, and then, I was treated to the sound of her stammering about how her sister used to tell her that all her husband did was sleep with her (her sister) now, and, that Karrie should give them the first baby, which she had at age 14, so that it could be raised along with another baby, which was on its way, courtesy of her husband's just sleeping with Karrie's sister, "now." Karrie's husband is due to be released from prison in 2 years, whereupon, he will be under "house arrest" for 6 years. I forgot which one of them he killed or mutilated; it's confusing...
It is a story which I have often fallen asleep to, one in series, which I have informally dubbed "The 'early teen years' stories."
Then, in a soliloquy, she expounded upon her belief that nobody wants her, ever did, nor ever would or could, and then punctuated it by saying that she was tempted to put all her stuff in her bags and "hitch-hike" somewhere. She mentioned Mexico.
This was a time when I could had said "Baby, let's get out of here, you and me. Lets hop a freight train with only our tent and our can opener, and a box of Kleenex, and just go wherever it takes us and start a new life. We are inseperable!."
I haven't said it because of some tiny voice, which I hear when I lay in the sun in the morning and clear my mind, focusing upon my breathing. Also, because I think she was prompting me for it, and I just didn't have it in me, and don't like to be prompted.
This morning, I had a biblical verse ("Behold, I stand at the door and knock") in my head as I lay there. I thought "Come on in; it's open."
Then, Karrie came out of the tent and sat down next to me and asked me if I would go and buy her a 4 pack. (I thought that Jesus drank wine...)

Monday, December 28, 2009

It Has Been A Blessed 4 Days

Since I have had access to this computer. To the left is a picture of a Christmas tree, which is the closest to the way ours looked, when I was growing up as a child, which I could find in a quick "Google," of "Christmas tree." Note that we would have NEVER placed the tree in front of some wall with whatever that is hanging there; we put ours right in the "picture" window in the "living room." (we went there to live.)
I Make Good Money Playing For A Surprisingly Large Group Of Tourists
There were tourists swamping the place on Christmas Eve. I sat and played and had a good night, entertaining myself immensly. I had learned one Christmas Song, and played it repeatedly. It was "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."
I Never considered this a great carol, but on the guitar, it lent itself to just the kind of 'recognizability' that about 55 bucks found their ways into my case, or, if given by those young and spry enough to bend down, pick up the beanbag monkey and place the money under it; under the monkey.
The next night was a blessing, also. Eustus, the steel drum player had fenagled his way into playing right on St. George street, which is normally forbidden by local ordinances. (There is a loophole in the ordinace, whereby a business owner could allow you to play right on his/her private property. This is not the norm because the business owners "stuck together" on the decision to outlaw street musicians on St. George street, and, for an owner to allow one would be to be taking an unpopular stance. Nevertheless, one did, and there was Eustus banging on his steel drum (and making the composers of Christmas carols roll in their graves.)
Eustus was splitting his money with a drummer, and I believe I did just as well as he, playing his other-favorite-spot, and not splitting tips with a drummer. Lot's of money.
There was rainfall on a couple of days, through the holiday, which kind of started on Thursday, with this library closing early, and extended untill today, when the library is now open. On Christmas Day, I called my mother to wish her and all, a happy holiday. (Sometimes a holiday is teetering between happy and sad, and all it needs is a little push to turn it "happy.")
Karrie and I were sitting outside the laundromat while rain fell, trapping us there. I know we would not have been trapped if we had procured simple raingear, but, it doesn't seem to be our style to be thinking about the future. We live in the moment. If it is not raining, then why buy ponchos....makes no sense...
100 Bucks
It was Christmas Day and we were sitting right aside the payphones, and near the laundromat with its change machines. I had about 20 bucks. (I'm within 1/743,375,481,602th of Bill Gates now) and so I got some quarters and called mom. She told me that she had wired 100 bucks to the Western Union, which was right next to the laundromat.
Now I had $120, and went and spent 10 bucks on a special gift for Karrie; a pint of Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey (for the girl who has everything.) I could have gotten her a pair of slippers, but, I foresaw her putting them on and gushing "These slippers make me want some whiskey!" or...maybe a watch from the "dollar" store, but, again, I had a premonition of her putting it on, setting the time, winding it and then saying "Hey, it's time for some whiskey!", so, yeah.
She drank it and then started accusing me of having a relationship with her sister (who is 600 miles away)
I Call My Mom Again
I called my mom, thinking that if God used his rain to force me to choose to sit right next to a payphone, outside a laundromat, where there is a machine which exchanges quarters for dollars, and it is Christmas Day, and there is a girl next to me drawling "You ought to call your mom..."(despite the fact that this was potentially beer money that I was pumping into the phone.)
I called my mom and wished everyone a happy Christmas. Mom said that she had been staying current with this blog, and added that "It's been all about Karrie."
Karrie To Go To Jail For A Possibly Long Time
Karrie is to go to court on Thursday. This might be the last that I see of her for a long time, or, forever.
I have mixed feelings. Like I say, I love her with 50.1% of my heart, and I think I mean that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Favorite Horse

Monday night went alright. I made some money, while not compromising my values. I played "My Favorite Horse," which is a song that I wrote for every horse that went by my church spot, but then later distilled down to be specifically about a certain white horse which pulls a white carriage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bananna To Go With Stuffed Monkey

Saturday night, I played at the parking garge spot and made about $55.
The place was swarmed with people and I was playing "the right song in the right place, at the right time," to quote Chris, the recorder player.

Brandesqueing n. The act of adding to a street musicians tip jar,
only after seeing a substantial amount of money contained therein, and becoming
impelled by this sight to add to it.
Latin: brandis brandes
brandatomos: the tendency to follow a herd.

It was very nice to see the pile of money grow like a fire; from the twigs of the first few ones, to the roaring inferno, of about 25 bucks, which attracted more people, like moths to the vary same infermo. 25 soon turned into 55 as people began to appreciate my talent increasingly, noticing that others, who had come before them, had obviously done the same. I need to think of a name for this principle, a Snigglet (ala Rich Hall) perhaps.
That will be my snigglet. Of course, it could have been because of the banana....
Banana Added to act.I decided to place a banana next to the stuffed beanbag monkey which I use to hold down my money. The premise is that people could think that someone apparently tipped the monkey a banana. Tourists seem to love it. I made 55 bucks Saturday night!


Friday, which was 3 days ago, was alright money-wise. One person came by and threw me a 20 dollar bill, which I didn't notice right away, and I probably gave them the $1 "Thanks," as is often the case. When I am concentrating enough to be oblivious to them, that is often when they will throw the 20's.
Karrie came by and, seeing the 25 bucks or so in my case, became preoccupied with going back to the camp and starting a fire, which is what she did.
I Return To CVS, The Site Of My Trespassing.
The night manager at CVS, who trespassed me, causing me to spend a long time in jail, no longer works there. The cashier who has always been cool informed me of this, when I went in and asked her if the b**** was there.
The cashier asked me where my girlfriend was, told me that she liked her; and then said "You take care of her."
I thought she was telling me to take care of Karrie.
She was actually making the statement that she could see that I indeed do take care of her (she had seen Karrie come in and buy the 4 pack of Mickey's Ice, fulfilling her needs.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jacksonville For Christmas

Today is Thursday, and not Friday, which is good, given the fact that I am getting another horrendously late start on the day, and would hate to be frittering away Friday tips. Rain is threatening. We are officially broke.

I found a dime in the sleeping bag, sparing me from abject poverty.

Last night, I made 2 bucks, again. I am appreciative for anything that I get and wish that there were more people like those 2, who tipped.

I returned to camp with $3.16.

Karrie hadn't made anything. Her willingness to ride all the way to CVS for a 4 pack of beer touched me, and I gave her all of my money. A 4 pack is $3.17, so, I told her that she would have to panhandle the missing penny.

I am at the point where I sit here at the library, instead of going to my spot, out of dread of not making anything. This is the same reason that I don't check my foodcard balance, because of the hopeful ignorant bliss which comes from not knowing for sure just how low it is.

This is a low point. Jacksonville for Christmas seems to be the wise choice. At least that city is not swamped with musicians, making us a kind of novelty; something that people don't see every day, nor, every 5 minutes of every day.

Karrie was up at the crack of dawn, as usual. She went to get hot water and firewood, as usual. She washed clothes and dishes and drank the last of the beer, ditto. Then, we finally left camp and went to the market, where she panhandled enough for another 4 pack.
The Morning Babble
I sat with her in a patch of woods and listened to her recount stories from her past. This time it was the one about her wanting to sue her mother, because her mother is living in a trailor at the top of a mountain in Tennesse, which Karrie rightfully owns, (the trailor, not the mountain) but is afraid to go back to because "They beat me, and make me sleep outside, under the trailor." They are taking and cashing the checks earmarked for her, due to her disability (being burned as an infant, having bones broken during a series of attacks, and sustaining a head injury in one of the car accidents which she was involved in; not the one where her chest was crushed, when she escaped death only because a doctor was on the scene; but another one. I've lost track of the tragedies...)
She apparently gets a check every month, which is commondered by her family, whom has gotten some kind of Power of Attorney and are supposed to be applying the money towards her welfare. But, that's not the way thing's work in Tennessee, I guess.

The Morning Stare
Then she started staring at me.
Like a charmed snake, she will stare at me, as if mesmerized. This only happens after about 6 beers. Her gaze will drift, but will always snap back to me. People really do have a sense of being stared at, and it is not always comfortable. One wants to shout "What!?! Why are you staring at me?" This is just her way of expressing adoration for the second most important thing in her life, behind alcohol, and I just try to cope.

Now, I have procrastinated long enough. If I am going to go and have a miserable day and only make 2 bucks, I might as well get to it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Vision, Now.

I Just like Linda Ronsadt.

It is sunny and in the 70's here, with a warm breeze blowing.

I have been surviving upon playing at Eustus' spot, until such a time as he arrives and asks me "How much longer?" I then add one more hour to the workload, afterwhich, I leave.
Time is ticking on that heautiful day out there, so, off I go to my spot.

Will It Help Her?
I can see Karrie at the edge of the road, holding her sign. She did away with the simple word "help," and has changed it to something else. She felt that the word "help" might alarm people; perhaps make them think that she is being forced into holding the sign by some sort of pimp, who is waiting in the bushes to take her money and who holds her in slavery. She made the decision this morning, after having a vision come to her in a dream.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Carribean Sunset

The Spot Where Eustus Plays Sometimes
Friday night, I went to play at a spot that Nick, the flute player had told me was legal.
The spot is frequented by Eustus, the steel drum player. He plays loud and ambiguous music on the steel drum, which is an instrument which conjures up a vague sense of "the carribean," in the average listener, and which, accompanied by the fact that Eustus weighs 300 pounds and is a mix of two exotic races, neither 'carribean," by the way; he makes good money.
People seem to think that they are being treated to authentic exotic music, played on a funny steel thing, by the "real deal, " a guy who braved the ocean between here and, well, the Carribean, with only a steel drum and a steel resolve to make it in this strange land of funny white people; that's worth a couple of bucks.
He wasn't there on Friday, (maybe he was in the Carribean) I sat and played and my own form of exotica earned me a good chunk of cash.

People who come out of pubs are generally good tippers; people who come out of
pubs that sell pints of beer for $5.75 are generally better tippers.

I didn't hear Eustus playing anywhere, which was curious. I was happy with my 40 bucks or so. The next night, he informed me that he had been "sick" the prior eve.
Eustus comes back the next night and sets up 50 feet from me, after walking by and looking in my case (which I had artificially inflated, based upon my assesment that people who patronized the A1 Aleworks are (generally) the type that would expect the street musician out front of the establishment, which they choose to frequent because of the "high quality" of it, to be of the highest quality herself, and would be comforted by the sight of a case full of one's, he set up 50 feet from me and started playing loud, ambuguous music which was vaguely "Carribean-esque."

Like the proverbial shark smelling blood in the water, (the blood being green and in my case in this instance,) he went at it as if in a frenzy.
"He ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"

I tuned my guitar to his exotic steel drum and began to sing "I was here first; that's just disrespectful..." to a simple blues vamp. He couldn't hear me because of the exotic steel drum in his face, but the patrons of the A1 Aleworks, whom had stepped out did. I improvised lyrics about exotic steel drums, and the rudeness of those who set up 50 feet from another and play them, and made better tips for chastising him musically than he did playing the exotic steel drum, his 300 pounds notwithstanding! Tonight, I will circulate "He ain't Heavy; He's My Brother," the Hollies classic, in tune with his drum and see who get's the humor...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wax Off

I made 2 dollars yesterday.

To say that this is not stressing me out, and contributing to a lot of my "problems,' I think, would be a form of some kind of "denial." I came here to make $100 a night, after someone told me that a guitarist he knew who "Isn't even half as good as you," did. Things have "changed," I guess...

Even my cheap AM radio (on which I listen to talk show hosts berating the president, or talking about aliens) is malfunctioning, and, the flashlight fell apart last night, rubber cap came off, spring fell out along with a little gizmo which I couldn't see to replace (without my flashlight.) But, I still have Karrie...for 24 more days. She is thinking of jumping ship, to Texas.

I always wanted to check out Austin, Texas, but; maybe not with the "ball and chain," a term which she has affectionately come to be known by, attached.

As much as I am coming to love her, I often feel like I am in a three-legged race, against unfettered sprinters.
The spot at the Episcopal church, where I used to play, because of its great acoustics, is now banned by the city's new ordinance. The ordinance passed on the 1st of October, when I was in jail.
The cops came by on their bicycles and one of them, stopping in front of me, yelled "Hey!" right in the middle of a Bob Dylan song. I wished it was one of his songs about the oppression of the artist by cops on bicycles; I'm sure there is one in his catalogue.
I kept playing, empowered by my belief in a sense of protection that the constitution, in its "free speech" clause has surely given us all.
The cop grabbed my guitar and stated something like: "I'll take this away from you."
Then I said something like: 'You need to read the United States constitution, especially as it pertains to personal property and the rights of the ordinary citizen."
I was just winging it.
Not backing down,
which would, in their line of work be a blunder, the cop threatened to arrest me and bring me to jail. He went on to say that they were only there to tell me to move but, since I wanted to be "Mr. Constutional Rights," they now needed to see my ID. I said that my ID had been eroded away from the friction of passing it back and forth to cops, and no longer existed. They actually dropped the subject at that point!

I went on to tell them that I had always played that spot. They asked me how long ago was that? I told them that it was in August. I didn't say that the interim was spent in jail.
They finally let me move on, telling me that in a battle of the constitution against bicycle-riding cops, the cyclists always win.
Whatever, I'm not an attorney.

And, in the meantime, other musicians are leaving here and the one's that come back are telling great tales about other places, like Ashville, North Carolina.Karrie And I Make Up
Karrie and I made up. I appologized to her in the morning. I know that she has feelings which can be hurt, even though she hides them under her scars, which, apparently shield her from feeling hot wax (it wasn't much, just a few drops.)
She was never aware that wax was poured upon her, and she explained the jacket and the money satisfactorily enough, got up, fetched firewood, water, and made coffee. She ate the tortillas and the grilling beans, but, I'm not hungry in the morning, usually, so, better her than the raccoons.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We Slept.

Here it is Wednesday.
Yesterday, I met Doug the Drummer and we played at the parking garage.
Karrie Draws Suspicion
Karrie showed up wearing a leather jacket which she said was given to her by a guy in a car.
She said she hadn't made any money.
She then told me about some oak wood which she had seen at a spot where she goes to hide and drink. If she hadn't made anything, then, what was she doing at her drinking spot?

She was exibiting the symptoms of alcohol consumption, which I have come to recognize in her.
She also asked me for a cigarette, to give to some guy. "He say's that I'm the light of his life," was her response to my inquiry as to whom she was giving one of my precious cigarettes to. She usually GETS me cigarettes and this was the first time that she asked one of me. Who is more important to her than me, was my thought.
Doug the Drummer and I hadn't drummed up more than 4 bucks and, when Karrie showed up, she said that she had a beer.
Then, she encouraged me to spend the 4 bucks on a 4 pack. I thought that it would be economical to spend this way, so that I could share with Doug the Drummer. Karrie returned with the 4 pack and then wanted one of them. I told her to drink her's before it became warm. "I want to save it," she said. Now I was thinking that whomever gave her the jacket had probably took her somewhere and smoked crack with her.
I refused to give her one of the beers. She pouted and then got on her bike and left.
I got back to camp and Karrie was curled up and sleeping. The leather jacket had been (symbolically, I think) thrown onto the ground. The shirt she had been wearing was draped over the broom which she uses every morning to sweep out the tent. My bed had been made on one side of the tent, and she was laying to the extreme other side, giving me the room which I complain about not having. There were two buckets of water by the fire-pit and the food which we had found that morning and placed in the cooler and hidden, was sitting there. The holy candle with Mary and a prayer on it, was lit and positioned so as to cast its holy glow upon her.
"Guilty," I thought.
I Pour Hot Wax On Her
I picked up the holy candle with Mother Mary on it and, in my half-drunken rage, poured hot wax on her shoulder. She didn't even wake up.
I went for a walk to calm down. I visited the other camp, where the other homeless gentlemen put me through sort of an inquisition:
"Do you think that you have been attentive to her needs?," they asked.
I thought of romantic scenes from Hollywood, where the guy waxes poetic, staring into the girl's eyes and telling her that she is his moon and sun and stars, to boot, and that, without her he would be like a ship without a sea...
"No, probably not.'
"Well, there you go." They went on to say that "possesiveness" stems from caring about someone and fearing losing them, etc.

"Do you consider it a serious relationship?" was thrown "out there," too.
They basically told me that Karrie had been there at their camp, looking for me when I wasn't around and that she seemed lost without me. That's why she tangles me up at night so that I can't leave without waking her, much like a cat will do, I thought.
This particular homeless gentleman then said: "I don't know if you noticed it, but Karrie has the mind of a 9 year old girl."
"13," I said. "She's already interested in boys."
I went back to camp, being "cooled down," and not feeling so posessive. I peeled the wax off her shoulder, so that she wouldn't wonder about it, although I knew that she couldn't have slept through a hot waxing without having been given something by the mysterious guy who gave her a leather jacket.

We slept.

In the morning, it was revealed that she indeed had a fifth of vodka, as she sat up in the tent and began, bright and early, to gulp it down and chase it with the ginger ale, which I bought, because I know that she likes ginger ale, maybe not hot wax, but ginger ale for sure.

Music At Its Best

Now, I go to meet Doug the Drummer at the spot at the parking garage.

Our tent is in tatters. My boots are coming apart at the seams. My glasses are broken and I am learning to correct my vision by causing my eyes to tear up, which forms a natural lens. My backpack is too small to think about travelling to spots around the country where they are not trying to run street musicians out ("Ashville, North Carolina; It's a hippie community and they love the street performers," according to Nick the Flute Player) But, on the positive side, I think my music is at its best right now....

As for Karrie, I don't know....machetes, hot wax...where will it end??

Monday, December 7, 2009

Now, rain is threatening to fall outside. Karrie is standing out in front of the library, holding her sign. In an effort to cater to the visually impaired, she has a two-sided sign. When people seem to be squinting to read her text, she flips it over to the "easy-eye" side, which is condensed and scribed in larger , thicker letters.
The situation is this:
Karrie has to go to court on her 11 charges on December 31st. ("They always give me courtdates on holidays, and then the courthouse isn't open and they let me go...")
I have expressed my opinion that, in their sweeping effort to clean up St. Augustine so that the tourists won't be panhandled, have to watch a man or woman consume a beer and/or urinate into a bush, wheather simultaneously or not, they have given her enough wiggling room to wiggle her way out of the city and not come back, ever.
The only logic that I can see in the judge's release of her is for this reason. The judge feels bad perhaps about the 'justice' which it will be incumbent upon her to mete out to Karrie when the courtdate comes. The judge might be showing mercy.
The fact remains that Karrie must either show up for court on the 31st, or flee the jurisdiction.
That gives her 4 weeks to be around here.
Myself, I will be in a similar boat soon. I am not prospering enough in this town, which is trying to run off street performers and street people in general and has relegated them to areas where only the savvy tourists can find them, to consider "paying my debt to society" in order to have the priveledge to continue living here.
Last night, I played and made 2 dollars. I got a late start, and then went to eat at the shelter, which took away time which might have been spent on the venture.
A lady at the market gave me 10 dollars, after asking if we had enough blankets. I woke up with $12.43, mostly because of her generosity. I knew enough to spend $3.17 on beer before returning to camp, to forego the enevitable, and since the 10 bucks was earmarked for the two of us, I suppose.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

They Let Her Go

"They Let Me Go"
After checking the jail website and seeing Karrie listed as "released," I left the library and started heading back, through the rain, to the campsite.
Not a half mile up the road there was a figure trundling along the sidewalk towards the path leading to the camp. A ghostlike apparition in black, it turned out to be none other than Karrie. "They let me go," she said of her 11 charges. They were apparently "so minor" that they gave her a courtdate and told her to appear on her 11 charges of "failure to appear."
I did 75 days on my 3 charges.
I think there are things unknown to me about Karrie. Perhaps she is running from an abusive situation in Georgia and is under the umbrella of police protection here. Perhaps the same female judge who gave me 75 days is a champion of females...who knows?
She had been out of jail for about an hour. She had a liter of rum. She had panhandled 8 bucks at the CVS, using the rainstorm as an ally.
The rain let up long enough for a fire to be built and food to be heated up. Burritos were made and eaten. Then, into the tent, where Karrie was as "clingy" as ever. She must have been happy to be out of jail after her 4 hour ordeal. She grabbed my arms and positioned them just so, one under her neck; one over her waist and then bent my legs to conform to her chosen sleeping position- nothing less than Barbie would do for Ken, I suppose. At one point in the night, there was a mosquito buzzing around my ear and I was pinned down and had to extricate myself from her in order to slap it.
Then yesterday, it rained. It REALLY rained. It was raining when I left the library and I gave up on the idea of playing my spot. Back at camp, we built a fire under the tarp and sat by it, drying out. Karrie got sleepy and went into the tent. She gave me her last $1.70 and told me to come back with a 4 pack of beer. I went to the market and was offering to sell some of my cigarettes to people before one guy, who had turned down the offer because he didn't smoke, gave me 5 bucks a few minutes later. I bought the 4 pack and returned to find Karrie asleep and not wanting a beer. The rain continued all night. At one point, the water had pooled into one of the tarps which sags, causing the strings to break and it came crashing down. A cold bath missed us by a few feet.
We Meet Leo
At daybreak, Karrie was up and drinking the 4 pack. Thus inspired, she left to go get (panhandle) a fire log. The rain was just stopping. While she was gone, a new guy in the area named Leo showed up and asked me for a light. He had a whole pack of cigarettes but no lighter. He was carrying a gallon jug of rum, of which three quarters had been removed. He said that he had been drinking all night. He recognized me as "guitar man," and went on profusely about how his house was right next door to the guys from Lynyrd Skynyrd, (below)
After talking for a while, he said that if we went to the store, he would buy us a fire log, as well as an 18 pack of beer, and we would still have the rest of the rum.
I hoped it wasn't presumptuous of me telling him that Karrie wouldn't mind his company.
We built a fire using plastic, which I only use in emergencies. The flames consumed the plastic crates and the clothes and bedding's began to dry out. Karrie consumed a lot of the rum and dried out in only one sense of the word. Leo's company didn't seem to be an imposition upon the dear girl, at least.
Soon Leo fell down. It was good in a way that he fell down because, in his attempts to remain upright he had knocked several other things down, like the spice rack. We helped him up so that he could fall down on a different spot, where we left him. Karrie eventually went into the tent and wrapped up in one of the recently dried sleeping bags. That was how I left them when I came here to the library.
Karrie Attacked By Machete Wielding Madman
Karrie was just here moments ago, riding a bike, which she claimed was abandoned and given to her. She said that Leo had woken up and attacked her with a machete, after claiming that she had stolen his wallet. He slashed the tent a little bit, according to her, but, she ran into the trees and escaped him. "His cigarettes are still there," she said. I guess in his blood lust he forgot his smokes.
Karrie goes through life one attack after the next, it seems.
She said that she called the police and was subsequently "banned" from the campsite, for her own protection, perhaps.
I don't know whether or not to believe her about the machete, the bike, the police, or a lot of things...
It could be that she woke up alone and, since she hates that, concocted the whole story. She had her backpack stuffed with a blanket and an extra jacket, which lent credence to the story, though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Karrie Listed As "Released" By Sheriff's Website

A visit to the Sheriff's Office website has listed her as arrested this afternoon at 3:48 p.m. and also lists her as being released on 12/02/09 (today.)

Has she talked her way out of 10 charges?
Meanwhile, there is rain on the way. We are in the gray area now, but it doesn't look like for very long.

Life Without Karrie

The Pork Loin Eaten By Karrie!
Yesterday, I played upon my spot at the Visitor's Center, and didn't make anything.
I went back to camp as the sun was setting, after stopping at the market for some side-dishes which go well with pork loin.
Reaching the camp, I found it empty of Karrie and found the wrappings from the pork loin discarded into the trash. The pork loin was gone!
I did my best to prepare a meal of spaghetti with blackeye peas, chili beans and collard greens.
Larry and Jim showed up for a visit and were still visiting when Karrie appeared and answered an inquiry about the fate of the pork loin with "I ate it."
Karrie Arrested and Jailed
Late this morning, as Karrie and I were napping in the tent after a breakfast of more spagghetti with tomato and green chilis, two officers showed up and arrested Karrie on 10 outstanding warrants for failuure to appear on open container charges. They said that she was at the top of their list, kind of like St. John's County's Most Wanted Drinker.She could be in jail for a long time, but, "It depends upon the judge," is all anyone can ever tell you on subjects like that.
Life Without Karrie
So now, I ponder life without Karrie around.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pork Loins tonight, that's all I can say.!


Happy Thanksgiving(s) Day
Having arrived back in St. Augustine and reclaimed our campsite (by sacking the roving band of homeless, whom had moved in, in a savage orange-fight)
Karrie has turned into quite the little home(less)maker...
She gets up as soon as there is enough ambient light in the morning to see and gathers wood "early enough so that nobody sees me." Then, the fetching of a pail of bath water from behind the Chinese place, where they have hot, mind you.
She will then and there, at the water-fetching spot, do the dishes and handle any minor laundry issues, like "rinsing stuff out." Then, upon returning to camp, pushing a cart full of wood, she starts a fire and heats the bath water and puts coffee on. Then she picks up all the cigarette butts and other trash and bags it up.
I guess I'm thankful for that.