Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On The Rise

84 Cents
(38 hours without an alcoholic beverage)
I woke up this morning with 84 cents, and a sense of moral victory, of sorts.
Last night, after a day without beer, and hardly a cigarette, I sat down and played at my acoustically superior spot. I had walked by the Heroes pub, and there had been a group of people eating outside. There was no audible music. This seemed like an invitation to sit across the way and play, yet, I wanted to warm up and decide upon material first.
After I warmed up, and hadn't seen much foot traffic, and after a vehicle rode by and someone shouted "Guitar man, move up the street," probably an acquaintance, I moved up the street.
Heroes Cafe, or whatever it is called, is the place where the manager came out while myself and a young black man were standing on the sidewalk one night and watching the Celtics game on their large-screen TV. He pointed at us and said: "You need to take "this" either over there, or over there," indicating first across one street and then the adjacent one.
I sensed that the patrons present shared in his mindset, as I played "over there." At one point, I broke a string and heard a females voice say "What happened to the band?" as I had paused to replace it. "You mean the one guy with a guitar?' rejoined another.
It was a guy getting out of his truck who came across the street and put the 84 cents in my case. This was 3 cents short of a beer, which I thought fitting.
I don't think the good Lord wanted me to be tempted by having beer money, and I wasn't surprised after I had only made 84 cents.
To Lie Down With Bums
I went to sleep in Cooper's Park. I wanted to change up my spot, to stay ahead of those, who's business it is to watch everything and every one, and look for patterns. Too many consecutive nights spent in the same spot could draw their ilk to it. At best, they might wake you up to ask for a cigarette, once finding you.
There was a park full of sleepers, almost every bench occupied. I washed up with "the hose," and then slept by the waterfront, away from them all.
99% of the time, if they speak to you, it is because they want whatever they can get from you. This has proven to be a natural fact.
The reason they congregate together, is so that they can share whatever falls into the hands of any one of them. They all wake up sharing in the same predicament of indigence. Then they go out and do it all over again.
When they see me coming, they see a possible cigarette coming. I've accepted this. They are trained to notice a persons equipage, -whatever is written on a tee shirt, is common -and use it as a springboard to launch a conversation, which will eventually circle around to the person (we'll call him the "mark,") being asked for something. In my case, the device is usually my guitar. "Do you play that thing?" ;No, I just carry it around; and "What kind of stuff do you play?" are the two most common things that I hear. This is the inroad to an eventual request for a free cigarette, or spare change. They are careful to avoid "What kind of guitar do you have in there,' as that could be interpreted to be an attempt to assess the value of it, and could make me leery of their motives. The pros avoid this.
I arose around 4:30 am., still away from them, and feeling a few light drops of rain, and moved to my other spot. The Coffee Club was a short walk from there, after my alarm ran at 7:30.
Serda's Songwriter's Open Mic (S.S.O.M.)
I then went out to The Ant Spot and made 3 dollars (and was bitten thrice.) After buying a cigarette for a quarter, and another coffee at McDonalds, I now sit here with $2.59.
I am here to print out some songs, to play tonight at Serda's Songwriter's Open Mic. I am on a mission to redeem myself, next Monday at The Garage, by doing stellar versions of my new originals.
On my way here, I paused at the crossroads, which lead here one way, and to the beer store the other way. I talked myself out of the beer, went around the other corner, and met a young man, who offered me a sandwich, and a cigarette. It was an American Spirit cigarette -all natural tobacco and very expensive...
Now, to get my two songs printed out, and to go practice them. I might try to do that at a playing spot, where money might land in my case as I am honing my craft. Last Wednesday, Serda's took my last dollar in change for my coffee. Tonight, I would like to be able to pay full price for a cup, and show the world that I am indeed on the rise.
I'm trying to get ready, my song about bums.

Some of them, I swear to you, have got no brains at all; they'll
steal your underwear from you; (oh yeah,)...shit stains, and all...
from "The Bum Song," by Daniel McKenna

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Next Monday

Monday was a day that ended badly.
I flubbed up my original song, which I had written that same day, by forgetting the lyrics. I remember getting aplause, but I don't remember playing most of it. The rest kind of blacked out....
People were looking forward to hearing another original. This was my third week there. I will have to redeem myself next Monday.
I haven't had a drink since....

No More Debby Ryan

I have finally developed the film in my disposable camera, and on it are actual pictures of the reclusive and camera shy Karrie.
I had been using pictures of Debby Ryan (above,) of Radio Disney fame, as a surrogate, after browsing the results of a Google search for "Latina girl," and choosing the nearest match, in my opinion, to Karrie, which I could find in less than 30 minutes. Karrie commented upon seeing her photo "I used to look like that." So, kiss Debby Ryan goodbye, and meet my angel, Karrie!
Strange, the way the picture of Jesus reflected the light of the flashbulb, or is it being illuminated by some other-worldly glow, emanating off of Karrie's countenance? Is that why she doesn't allow pictures to be taken of her. I snuck this one, when she was laughing so hard that she closed her eyes. She was LOL, for sure!

Sleeping Karrie
This picture was taken behind the tattoo place in Mandarin, where Karrie and I would wash up sometimes. Their sink has hot water.
Karrie fell asleep that afternoon, her hair still wet, and in her heart, a new found respect for a new beverage, which was only $1.39 per 24oz. can, for, this was also the day that we tried that new beverage, which is called "Earthquake Lager."
Earthquake Lager boasts a 12% alcohol content.
The two dollars were left in Karrie's shoe, in case she desired an aftershock, upon waking. I left her there, so I could go off and play. I felt that she was safe, because one scream would bring men armed with tattoo guns to her immediate rescue.

This one was taken at the ramp, by the hospital, where, I played on one side, and Karrie "flew" her sign on the other. She looks like she is brimming with love, even though I think this was a day when she made only 2 dollars.

I had made about 40 that day, as I recall, and had probably just assured her that we would be alright, and that I still loved her, even though she made only 2 dollars...I actually miss the mutual struggle which we went through, with her rising up one day, and I on another, so that we complemented each other, unfailingly.

I cropped the picture, to cut out most of the scars on her arms and hands, from when she was almost burned alive, as an infant. Visible though, is the scar on her cheek, a result of a knife attack. This occurred during a scuffle which stemmed from something involving Karrie's man at the time.
I'd like to think that she would go to battle for me, also.

I think I was upset with Karrie (left) and this was probably the night of one of our arguments over one of us eating all of our food.

One More Before Lunch
I thought the above (right) one was sweet, though she may have been a little "tipsy" at the time of its taking.
It's raining cats and dogs on Mobile right now.
Suddenly, a plate of something with coleslaw, doesn't seem so important.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vacant Butterflies

Friday night, I was in town, trying to get a feel for where I should sit and play. I had the brand new strings on, and felt good.
There was a guy blowing a saxophone in the middle of things. The saxophone carries pretty far, and I didn't feel right sitting within 100 yards of him. I knew that people tip musicians just because they are making an effort. I walked around with my guitar on my back. I had several people tell me that I needed to take it off my back and try to make some money.
I just wasn't feeling it.
I did manage to make about 7 bucks.
This morning, I woke up with 7 bucks and change.
I guess I spent 15 bucks yesterday, and I can't remember on what, so, it was probably Steel Reserve 211 Malt Liquor, and a pack of smokes.
I slept late and, after my morning rituals, glanced at my clock to see that I had only 15 minutes to make it to my gig at the hotel pool.
I was kicking myself, because, all morning the soft-rock station was playing song after song that I have deemed suitable for my repetoire, but haven't learned. My idleness had lead to me scrambling through my brain for material. I had no idea what awaited me.
I got there right at 12pm. The manager told me to split my time between playing at the pool and in front of the lobby.
I went to the pool and unpacked my guitar near a shady spot. A girl asked me if I knew any Bob Dylan. I played "Like a Rolling Stone."
There were mostly mothers with their children there. They had no way of knowing that I was paid to play. When I sensed that they were leery of me, I had to explain 'Yeah, the manager is paying me to sit here and play for 2 hours."
They calmed down, and stopped whispering to their kids "Don't go near that man," I guess, based upon the fact that some of them came by to listen to me.
I made the 30 bucks; no recording contracts or gigs, or offers to join bands.
I fell asleep in the lobby while waiting for the manager to finish registering some guests, and had a dream about kissing Karrie. I woke up feeling very depressed. I felt it in my stomach, where the butterflies had recently vacated.
I had forgotten that, despite all of her faults, she was giving me love, which I totally underestimated the value of. Now, I am stuck inside of Mobile, with the Karrie Blues, again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thrilling Thursday

To Pritchard, And Back

Yes, waking up broke yesterday presented the challenge of going "cold turkey," as far as beer and cigarettes were concerned. I wasn't going to beg for them, that isn't in my "constitution."

I was walking towards McDonalds to beg for a one dollar cup of coffee, though, when up pulled a black man in a black Lexus at an intersection that I was about to cross. Actually he was kind of reddish-black, with cute little horns. He offered me a ride. After I moved his pitchfork off of the front seat and got in, I told him that I was going to McDonalds, to bum a cup of coffee.

"Really, do you want beer instead?," he asked. I felt the cross that I wear around my neck, burning into my skin. I figured that maybe I could pour some cold beer on it, to help the situation. Hot coffee would only make it worse.
We went to the store. He came out of the store with a 4 pack of Steel Reserve 211, his brand. He offered me cigarettes, as we sat and drank beer and talked. He said that he was working on his house in Pritchard, and might be able to employ me in "cleaning bricks," then took me there, to show me what was entailed in that project. We wound up drinking more beer and watching videos. He told me to pick one out. I grabbed one at random. It was a tape that had on it, first Richard Prior (Pritchard Rior?) and then, Michael Jackson's 30 year anniversary video. It so happens that we watched it a year to the day after his death.
By the time he brought me back from Pritchard, it was 10pm., and I had missed Ben, the ambulance driver, who had some new guitar strings to give me. Ben had driven around looking for me, while I was in the depths of Pritchard, a country town, outside of Mobile, Alabama.

No Free Lunch

I woke up with $15.00, this morning.

But, I am the butterfly; the flower is The Mobile Bay Adventure Inn, tomorrow...
It was 6:20am., so I went back to sleep, thinking that I would wake up in time for The Coffee Club, at the Presbyterian church. I woke up just in time to miss The Coffee Club at the Presbyterian church. The few homeless, who were straggling out, seemed more than amused to be able to tell me that "They closed, you too late!" (Ha ha, ha ha ha!) Why are they like that? Is it a side effect of the "crab" mentality?

I went to McDonald's and had just coffee. I didn't want to McSpend any more of my precious 15 dollars. Then, to the store, where I wasn't so miserly when it came to a pack of cigarettes. I put myself in the position where, if I couldn't meet up with Ben, the ambulance driver, who has some guitar strings to give me, I would have to burn all of my remaining money, in going across town, to get some. I would then have to jump out on the ramp there, and play for tips. This might not be a bad thing, as, I have heard it said that the panhandlers there, do very well. One of them just put a down payment on a condo on Dauphin Island, rumor has it...

Butterflies In My Stomach

Now, I'm at the library. I will miss the lunch at 15 Place, and blog in place of it. At least I won't have a totally empty stomach.

My mission is to learn a bunch of easy songs for my gig tomorrow, at the hotel. Hotel California just came to mind, though it isn't "easy." Maybe "Easy Livin'"...yeah, and "Living On A Prayer," that's it; and "Like a Prayer," and "Like a Virgin" and "Like a Rolling Stone!" and "Like a Hurricane I had better get busy, putting on my new strings, and brushing up on my material, so I will sound like a musician. I actually have butterflies in my stomach. (I ate some, off of a lavender bush)

Yes, Porsha and crew pulled into the library parking lot, in their ambulance (lights flashing, siren wailing); they scrambled out, and ran over to me with two sets of guitar strings on a stretcher. That's how it happened, except for everything except them giving me new strings...

I was in a state of emergengy over the dull strings on my Johnson guitar, with the gig looming tomorrow. Bad enough, playing a Johnson, without having to fight rusted strings on top of it.

I joked that, If I am ever struck by a car and someone calls for an ambulance, I will ask them to check to see if Bubba is on the crew; if so, I will tell them to cancel the call, and I'll take my chances with self-healing...
Coming Soon
Daniel to hop a freight train, to visit Karrie in Jacksonville?
A fisherman explains which train, which track, where and how to hop it etc. It stops in Jacksonville, he adds....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So Much For Seed Money

Howard You Respond?
Last night, I sat down to play. My strings were dull.
Along came Howard, an elderly guy, who walks with a cane, mostly to and from, the beer store.
He saw that I was starting out with just change, and he offered to throw his 2 dollars into my case, to "seed" it, (which gives people the idea that the musician is accepting tips, and makes them thing that a couple people have already shown their approval.)
After I had fussed with tuning my strings for a half hour, during which only a hand full of people walked by, Howard suggested that "we" try a new spot.
I got the impression that he was planning upon sitting beside me for a while. This can be good or bad for the musician; usually bad.
Howard suggested also, that we use the two dollars to get a couple of beers, and THEN go to the new spot. We did. So much for "seed money."
The new spot had more foot traffic. I made a couple of bucks, but then realised that I owed them to Howard. He told me not to worry about paying him back, but rather, to worry about taking the present two bucks to get more beer.
Howard walks with difficulty, and so, it was decided that he would stay and guard the spot, while I ran to the beer store. It occurred to me, while I was doing so, that, had I declined his offer to start me off with 2 bucks, then I would have had a choice of how to spend the two which I made. I was wondering if I had been the victim of a clever hustle, by the elderly man, who walks with a cane. I was going to have two beers in me, yet, no money.
"There's Another Beer!"
I played longer, without success until a point when Howard began to beg from the people who walked by. As I played, and if they seemed to be ready to pass on by without tipping me, h would hit them with a "Say, could you help us out with some change." A few people did.
With every dollar that went into the case, Howard said "There's another beer."
After hearing a couple of such utterances, I broke the news to him that I wanted to keep some money to have when I woke up in the morning, and wasn't planning upon spending it all on beer. Howard wanted his 'half,' at this point, feeling that he had helped me acquire it.
I decided to call it quits then; to cut my loss and go to Serda's Coffee, for their Open Songwriter's Night.
Howard decided to spend his "half" on beer at another establishment, then meet me at Serda's. His plan was to show me his sleeping spot. He guaranteed that I would love it. Safe, private and quiet it purportedly was, though we had to be "up and out by 5:30am."
"I don't care how safe and private and quiet it is; I'm not getting up at 5:30am, It's already midnight" I told him. I had just finished playing at the Songwriter's Open Mic Night. He told me that we could actually sleep in longer than that. My curiosity was peaked enough to walk with him to his spot.
Open mic night had gone well, though not as well as the previous week. It may have had something to do with my dull strings, and the fact that we arrived there so late, that the people were pretty much open-miced out by then. I had spent the last of my money on coffee and was "totally" broke, as I walked with Howard to his spot. I realised that "we" hadn't had a very great night at all, 'cept for the 5 beers each, which came our way.
Howard's Spot
It was pretty much as he had promised, and on church property. Howard, however, babbled drunkenly into the morning (kind of like someone else I know,) keeping me awake and preventing me from listening to my radio. He also thrashed around, when he did sleep (kind of like someone else I know,) forcing me off of the sheet, to where I felt safe from being woken up by him kicking, or otherwise coming into contact with me. He reminded me of a male version of that certain character, whom I believe is in St. Augustine, and who still has a claim upon my heart.
When 5:30 am. came around, and Howard insisted that we leave, (because mothers were liable to bring their children for daycare that early,) I felt like I had been deceived, and that I also had spent my last night sleeping at Howard's spot.
I woke up with $0.00.
I jumped on the Water Street ramp and made 2 bucks, before breakfast at the Presbyterian.
Tonight, I must shoo him away from my playing spot, as well -nothing personal, I like the guy- I just don't like people begging while I accompany them musically, I've learned.
"There's 7 More Beers!"
I need string money. My gig is in two days. I may try to call Ben, the ambulance driver to see if he could lend me some strings, that I could use tonight, Friday, and at the gig Saturday. The gig pays 30 bucks, plus tips. Strings are only 7 bucks.
"There's 7 more beers!," right Howard?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Country Roads

This morning, I was up, and had 32 cents on me, and no cigarettes. I am feeling the pinch of having spent so much on my ID. The thing had better pay for itself, is all I can say.

Coffee and breakfast at the Presbyterian, then, to Catholic (something) to try to get some socks. Mine don't seem to dry overnight in this humidity, and damp socks are worse than no socks.

I am working on my set list for playing at the Mobile Bay Adventure Inn (no photo available.) I went to visit it last night, and assured the manager that I hadn't forgotten about it.

I will add about 12 loud songs. I am going through a huge index of songs, reminding myself of one's which I have played before and forgotten that I knew, like Country Roads, by John Denver.
Now, I am off to eat lunch, at Wings Of Life (repairing damaged lives) place.
I have three days to come up with some new strings, or have my gig be a farce.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Three Chance Meetings

Monday Night At The Garage
Went pretty well. I did another original set, with a lot of improvising. A guy told me that I should put one of my songs on U-tube. They bought me a couple of beers. They asked me up to play a second time. I started out in my gray shirt, then changed to the fushia colored one, for the second time up. I got the idea of changing the shirt from Madonna, who changes for every three songs.
The Park Where We Sit A Lot>>

Porsha, another ambulance driver, along with Bubba and Ben, had suggested that a black shirt is good for performing, but mine is stashed far away.

I now know three ambulance drivers, and they are all really cool. They stop sometimes and talk to me at my playing spots. This puts them in the area where someone is most likely to need an ambulance, also.

Bubba and Porsha came by where I was playing on Saturday and gave me a bag of clothes that had been outgrown by Porshas younger brother or someone. There were a bunch of shirts and shorts, and she assured me that they were all "trendy."

I would have to say that Bubba is the coolest ambulance driver, followed by Porsha, and then Ben; in that order; and Bubba didn't ask me to write that.
I went to sleep at the Presbyterian. I woke up and had coffee and breakfast.
Then I mailed the letter to Karrie. I will find out through Doug, the drummer, how she is behaving there, in St. Augustine.
I decided to try a new ramp, in a different part of town. There wasn't much traffic, and I made a buck. I started to head towards the labor pool, where I can now apply, since I have ID.

A Professor Talks To MeI was walking back and a black guy, who is a professor at South Alabama University, talked to me for a while. He asked me about my situation, and wound up concluding that I should go with him to Atmore, Alabama. There is a casino there, and a shelter which is run by people he knows. He said that people like myself needed to "turn things around" when they are ready to. I told him that I would think about it. He gave me a dollar. His name was Paul.

A Black Lady Asks Me OutI took a circuitous route to the library, passing the Save A Lot, where a black lady pulled up in a vehicle and talked to me. She introduced herself as Alice, and asked me the frequently asked "How long have you been playing" question. She said that she played the keyboard. She was heavyset and probably in her 40's. Her vehicle was an older one. She offered to buy me lunch, saying that she has seen me around town. She said she would meet me here at 2pm.
I Get A Gig At A Hotel PoolI was on my way to 15 Place, and a man pulled up in a van, and handed me his card and asked me how much money I would want to play for 2 hours at the pool in his hotel. I said that I was lucky to make 10 bucks an hour on the street here. He offered me 30. That will be Saturday at noon. I must come up with new strings by then. Mine are a week old.
I was here before 2pm., but missed Alice, the black lady; maybe because I was on the second floor, and she didn't see me. Pity. She was going to bring cigarettes, too.
Wednesday (tomorrow) night is the songwriter's open mic night at Serda's Coffee. I have work to do on some material. I can also reuse it at the hotel pool gig.

I'm broke again and in not much of a mood to play tonight. I should get to sleep early, and just listen to the radio and drink spring water, while I fall there.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Hate It But I Always Do It

50 Bucks

Saturday night, I started playing early and racked up around 50 bucks. I had a 20 dollar bill and a 5 dollar bill in my case. Apart from these two, it would have been a typical, low paying, Mobile Saturday and I would have made less than 30 bucks. This boon gave me enough to plan upon going for my ID the following Monday. I would just have to survive Sunday without spending too much, or getting begged or robbed too much.

We Don't Carry Cash

There was a bum, well known to me, standing nearby at one point when I was playing, and a group of Christians came by and asked me to play "Amazing Grace."

I sounded out Amazing Grace to mine and their satisfaction, and they then prayed over me. One of them, I think, is the one who dropped the 20 dollars in my case.

I had been telling them about how I had had enough money for my ID, exactly, the previous day, but, getting the ID would have meant not spending a cent on anything else, and I had failed to do that.

They gave me a sermon about how God had given me just what I needed, but the devil had triumphed over me when I bought a pack of smokes and a couple beers. I was just being honest with them and answering their questions.

They prayed that I would make the 23 bucks that night and get my ID and get a job and do God's will. (God didn't intend for His children to be on the street playing guitar) All this happened while the bum stood 5 feet away, listening and watching as more than one of them threw money in my case, and someone gave me some pizza. As the group were leaving, the bum said something to them. I couldn't hear what it was that he said, but I heard one of the Christians say. "We don't carry cash with us" to him.

A Breakfast Fit For Nero

The next morning, the bum was at breakfast at 15 Place. He was telling everyone who cared to listen about how much money "Guitar Man" had made the previous night. "Yeah, he was raking it in...he must have made at least 50 bucks; AT LEAST!"

I can't imagine what service he thought he was doing me; did he think every bum was going to be proud of me, and respect me?

Then, the bums of 15 Place, taking the cue, started The Barrage. "Hey, Guitar Man, let me get a smoke..." "Yeah, Guitar Man; break bread!" They can sound so biblical sometimes. Jesus would give us a cigarette...

I didn't give them anything. I told the loudmouth bum that, what I made was none of his business; though, it is everyone who walks by me and stares into my tip jar's "business," and that's a part of my business which I can't avoid. He accused me of "hustling" Christians, saying that I had manipulated them, and mentioned needing 23 dollars as a manner of begging. He asked me how I felt in my heart to have hustled Christians. Then, the knowledgeable historian referred to me as "Nero."

Up with the sun this morning. I still had some Vault energy drink in my bottle, despite having drank most of it in the middle of the night. This lead to a bizarre dream, in which my guitar strings were tuned WAY too high, causing the neck to bend. I retuned them in my dream, and then, I was suddenly making out with Anna Kournikova. Dreams don't always make sense; even though this one did perfectly (she tunes her racket.)

I walked to the main bus station and got on the right bus to go out to the Division of Licenses.

Upon getting there, I was told that, in addition to my birth certificate and my Social Security card, I needed a "third" form of something. I handed the official my expired ID. She told me that it had expired too long ago. She gave me a list of other acceptable documents. I told her that I had none of them. She told me that I couldn't get ID. I then said: "So, I can''t work?"

"No," she said.

I was ready to go off and make a huge scene. I was going to drop every expletive that I could think of, accuse them of trying to keep the homeless down, so that they (them) could divide the "pie" amongst themselves. I was going to call the President a piece of s*** and ask her how she would feel to have HER right to the "pursuit of happiness" sidetracked by a pencil pushing bureaucrat, who acts complacent and uncaring, to make matters worse.

I was pissed.

Then, I remembered the Record of Adoption paper, which my mom had mailed me. It was being used as a bookmark in a book that I am reading about Joseph Smith (the founder of the Mormon religion.)

I Adopt A New Strategy

I gave it to the official, who had just barely escaped being cussed out, and she was mesmerised by the gold seal upon it. She let me through. I pity all the guys who will never again hold a job because they don't have the right documents and have no way of obtaining the right documents, without the right documents. They will panhandle and pick ashtrays all of their days, or become outlaws, and I have a new found sympathy for them, (except for the one's who aren't trying.)

When the official had told me that, "no," I can't work, she said it with no emotion at all. People walk into places like that with automatic weapons and it's becoming less and less"shocking" and closer to being understandable. They are telling able bodied men that they can't go out and make a living for themselves by the sweat of their brows, because their ID expired more than 90 days ago...pathetic...

I Got The Thing

I paid the $23.50, out of the money which I made on Saturday night, this leaving me $4.75, an amount that I am getting used to being down to, and had my picture taken.

It was hard to smile for the photo, as I had originally planned upon doing, after what I had gone through. I had wanted to outdo Karrie with my photo. Karrie sports a big smile on her ID because, as she put it "I was happy to get my ID." Liquor stores occasionally card her, you see.

The ID will be mailed to 15 Place within 30 days. This is another layer of insulation for them against someone using a non existent address, or one where they don't actually live. Now, I must hope that 15 place extends my temporary membership until such a time that the thing arrives there.

The Garage

Tonight is open mic night at The Garage. I have not done my homework. I procrastinated upon learning the new material which I wanted to introduce tonight. I still have a couple hours, and seem to enjoy putting myself under the pressure of going on stage not sure of myself. I hate it, but I always do it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Man Versus Nature

What A Wonderful World

Friday (last) night, I left the library, and spent myself down to $1.47, after a purchase of beer and cigarettes. Not lost upon me is the fact that beer and cigarettes are consuming most of what is being consumed. I am afraid that I will have to go through a period of "cold turkey," if I am ever going to "get ahead," here in Mobile. If I continue to "tread water" and fail to put aside some money, then I will be like an oil rig, just waiting to explode. I will be a broken string away from disaster. This makes me uneasy.

The Soul Kitchen

I went to the spot with the good acoustics. I was playing and had made a couple bucks when Ben the ambulance driver and his partner came by and suggested that I move further up Dauphin Street, because of the increased foot traffic there. I realized that, if nobody heard the great acoustics, then I would be the only one to benefit from them. I was hoping that Emily might find me there and want to play. I said that I had played once up that way, and done alright. They suggested that I sit in front of The Soul Kitchen, it being closed for the night...

I played there for a while and, in between beers, made about 17 bucks; par for the course, it seems.

A Cornucopia Of Plenty

Today has been a cornucopia of plenty. (Wasn't she a tennis player??) I slept in until 8:10am. I woke up with $15.53. I went to Subway, to check the coffee prices. A large cup was $1.75.

"I just wanted to see what the price was, because I have been walking all the way to McDonald's when I want coffee. I'm debating between coffee and beer at this point."

I had no sooner uttered this, when a man, who had been standing behind me, spoke up and said "I'll buy you a cup." He bought me a cup of coffee and I started my day with that, instead of beer; and I didn't even have to flip a coin.

I went to 15 place and they ran out of eggs and sandwiches on the person ahead of me in line. I had an extra large plate of grits, with salt and pepper. A man gave me half of his ham and cheese sandwich.

I then went to Dauphin Street, where they were having a big produce market type thing in the park. There was a bluegrass band playing, dashing any hopes of my music bearing any fruit. I went to the other park, to sleep some more.

I was woken by a black man, who told me that "They are lining up to eat." I saw that some group were handing out Styrofoam containers of food. I got in line. They ran out of Styrofoam containers on the guy in front of me in line, once I got there.

I went and sat on a wall, adjacent to the beer store. I was looking at the beer store, thinking that 12:45pm. was late enough for a "first beer of the day," also reminding myself of the conclusion that I had drawn, given the correlation between expenditures on beer, and being perpetually broke and unable to climb out of the crab trap. I decided that I would just get a Mountain Dew and then come to the library.

No One To Twist In The Opposite Direction

No sooner had I made that resolve, than a couple of young ladies walked over to me, carrying a Wendy's bag, and offered me a cheeseburger. I ate it, then went and got a Mountain Dew, and here I am at the library, ostensibly to write that letter to Karrie, which I have put off one more day...On the way here, some group was handing out Styrofoam containers of food. It looked like turkey or ham with two slices of bread, a pickle and a bag of chips, when I took a glance. They gave me two (2) of them. I was full with the cheeseburger at the time and I almost refused them. "Take them!," they said. I am now glad that I did. I will sit somewhere and compose the letter to Karrie. She is all that; and a bag of chips... I will include a printout of this, to save writting; and probably have the first beer of the day. That will make me hungry. Thinking of Karrie makes me hungry; and thirsty for beer. I still miss her, especially when I am wringing out my pants after scrubbing them on the concrete in the park; with nobody to grab the other end and twist in the opposite direction...

And now, I hope to come up some, this being Saturday. If I can't come up with enough for an ID, so that I can apply for the oil cleanup job, then, my rig will have sunk for the time being...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Letter Carrier To Carry Letter To Karrie, To Karrie

I am here to write a letter to Karrie and print it out, and then go find an envelope. I bought a stamp yesterday, when I had $4.50. The stamp took up 10% of my worth, and I considered it like a tithe, of sorts.
I heard from Doug the Drummer, that Karrie is in St. Augustine. Doug met her as she was on her way to get;
Let me make a quiz of this

  • A: A bag of Potatoes

  • B: The Latest Dean Koontz novel

  • C: Sunscreen

  • D: A 4-pack of Steel Reserve High Gravity Lager from Old Towne Liquors on San Marco Boulevard.

I will give the correct answer next week, so stay "tuned."

This morning, I woke up with $1.95, and no cigarettes. I figured this was the beginning of the time when, I would stop smoking and drinking. I felt pretty good, having not drank much the previous day. I realised that if I didn't crave a cigarette, nor a beer, then I would have a pretty stress-free go of it. Afterall, they were serving breakfast at the Presbyterian Church at 7:30, and I had set my alarm for 7:10, so as to be out of the stairwell of the building behind the Presbyterian Church.

I started to walk towards the church, then, decided to look for half-smoked cigarette butts in the parking lot. I had heard voices coming from the lot all the way up until 3 am. They were probably revelers and Lakers fans, celebrating the way the Lakers smoked the Celtics. I figured that they might have littered the parking lot with butts, which could be broken open and re-rolled, so as to sideskirt putting one's lips on the same filter as one of the hepetitis C carriers of Mobile. I didn't find any at all. I crossed the street and proceeded down the sidewalk in the direction of the Presbyterian church. They serve coffee.

There, under a bush, was a cigarette box. I decided to check it, though I don't normally do so, in case there was a cigarette left in it. It was full, except for one. I think it might have been from someone who had quit smoking, but then had bought a pack in a moment of weakness. After smoking one, that person just threw the rest into the bushes; probably so his wife wouldn't see them and say "That didn't last long!" about his attempt to quit. That's what I thought. Now I had $1.95 and a full pack of cigarettes, minus one.

I went to the Presbyterian. The first guy I saw asked me for a cigarette. I gave him one, acquiescing to the philosophy that if one is "blessed" with good luck, one might spread the "love."

Then, I sat on the steps to wait the next 10 minutes before the place opened. Another black lady asked me for a rolling paper. I had only one, so I told her that I had none. If I had told her I had one, then she might have hounded me for it. Instead, she asked me for a cigarette. They can see the outline of a box of cigarettes in your pocket, don't kid yourself.

Breakfast was good. Then I went to play at my spot, which I had dubbed the "ant" spot. There have been no ants lately. I think they sprayed.

It being a Friday, people were more generous and I made 11 bucks, before a cop came and asked me to give him my signs. I lost "Street Musician Stimulus Package" and "He who doesn't strum, doesn't eat" to him. He said something about "begging," I wasn't really paying attention.

I walked up Royal Street. There was a store with sundries out front, at discount prices. One basket had majic markers for a dollar. I almost bought one. Making a new sign would probably pay for the marker, in time. Their razors were expensive. I left.

What a thrilling, exciting day, so far.

I ate at 15 Place, where I also sold two cigarettes for a dollar.

On my way here, the library (to write Karrie a letter and print it out, which I haven't even gotten to yet.) a guy gave me a beer to play him something from The Doors.

Now, I am going to try to get the rest of the 23 bucks for my ID. It is Friday night, and, if I can't get it tonight, I need to seriously think about hitch-hiking out of here to a place where people appreciate music AND realise that the person playing it gets charged for things when he goes to a store, just like them...

Now, to the Karrie Letter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Couple Of Cops And A Cup Of Coffee

50 Visitors
I am starting to think that someone is watching me. I still haven't gotten a comment from Karrie, or anyone. I know that Blogger has a "next blog" button, whereby clicking upon it will give you a random blog, as a way of touring random blogs. With the billion users, it is conceivable that 50 people came to my blog....
Emily Missing In Action
I didn't feel like playing much yesterday. I would have been without Emily, at that point and would make 1/20th the amount of money that I would have, having a 16 year old girl on violin. I was spoiled by our one episode of playing together. I wasn't in the mood for the reality of it. I walked to the store and got beer and drank it in the 95 degree humidity. I ate at the Salvation Army at 4pm. This is a recipe for falling asleep somewhere, which I did.

My First Confrontation With The Law

I was woken by a female cop, who was a jerk. She told me that the owner of the business nearby where I was leaning on my backpack and sleeping, had called. She said the "owner" claimed that I was asked to leave and had refused. I said that I was never asked to leave and had only dozed off less than 20 minutes prior. I told her that I was waiting for 6 'o clock, so that I could play music in front of a business down the street.
I added that the "caller" was probably one of the street people who resent me because I don't "share" all my money with them, who called and fabricated the part about the "owner" of the business calling. I was directly in front of a closed business, by the way. Another cop came and they ran my ID. They said that I had warrants in Florida, but they were "do not extridite." I left Gatorland, just in time; wisely, for a change.
Emily never showed up.
I Am Targeted By A N'er Do Well

I went to Cooper Riverside Park and washed up. There was a black guy reclined upon a bench. He had walked by Emily and I the previous evening, and made some exclaimation about the amount of money that we had accumulated. Of course, he had wanted a dollar of it.

"What did you do with all that money you made," he asked. What kind of question is that and why is it any of his business.
"I stashed it somewhere; I'm not going to carry it around here," I answered, already knowing where the conversation was headed. (It's right here in my pocket, do you want it?)

"Where that girl at?" was his follow up.

"She's supposed to meet me tonight." (Oh, so they be mo' money comin")

"Where you met her?" and "Are you going to play tonight?" Were the last two questions from the guy is probably planning upon trying to rob me, and doing a crappy job of disguising it...

I went and played by myself for a while and made a buck. I was playing well, but this was not a factor, not having a 16 year old girl playing violin next to me.

Songwriter's Open Mic At Serda's Coffee
Two guys came by and reminded me of the open mic night at Serda's Coffee, a place down the street.
I went and played my two originals and recieved critical praise, and a free coffee.

I went and listened to my radio at my sleeping spot. I had brand new batteries, thanks to the "Emily money." My sleeping spot was a tossing and turning spot until after 2am., when I drifted off.

I woke up with $6.37.

Now, it is time to go to eat at 15 Place. Then, I might try the Starbucks Hustle, which I haven't tried yet.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

25 Visitors
I have been telling people about this blog, but never expected to have 25 visitors in one day, but, according to my trusty "hit counter," by golly, I am slowly catching up to The New York Times in readership! I wish people would leave comments, though; if only so I will know who you are. Karrie, where are you?
63 Cents

Yesterday, I woke up with 4 dollars. It was the remainder of the 5 bucks that I got at The Garage, minus one beer before bedtime. I went to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes, which left me 13 cents. I traded five cigarettes for a beer, and then sold one cigarette for 50 cents.

Starting my case out with the 63 cents, plus two laundry tokens, which I had bought with a cigarette on another occasion, I set up on the opposite side of the median, like a fisherman trying a different cove. The bait was the same, though: Bob Dylan.
Emily, The Violinist

I had a bit of luck and was up to about 5 bucks and change when, up walked a young girl. She was wearing turquoise shorts and a white blouse. She said "Go for it!" and sat down to listen to a version of "Me And My Uncle," the Grateful Dead song.

I couldn't read her reaction as I played, partly because I was keeping one eye upon the traffic, watching for an outstretched hand holding money. Two people stopped and threw 2 bucks each. A vehicle stopped on the opposite side of the median, and a young guy ran over and handed the girl a few bills. She dropped it in my case.

I finished the song and said "That was a cowboy song." I don't know if you like cowboy songs...

She said that she had liked it.

She told me that she played the violin (with a symphony) and asked me if she could run and get hers from her car.

Of course, she could. ..are you kidding me?

She returned with said instrument and we proceeded to jam away on a few songs. We struggled a bit with tuning together, the first song was shaky, the second, better. I started to wonder which symphony, and was I going to have to eventually tell her that it wasn't "working out."
Windows began rolling down and money flying out of vehicles and into the case. Another vehicle stopped on the opposite side, and sat with its hazard lights flashing as a young guy ran over and handed the girl 4 bucks. She threw it in my case. She told me that she was going to try to make as much money "for you" as she could.

I had gone from 63 cents to almost 20 bucks, by the time I suggested we go to the better acoustics of my spot on Dauphin Street. "Let's do it!!" she said. We rode in her car and parked across the street from my spot.
The Finest Violinist In All Of Europe

There, people came from "out of the woodwork" to throw money at us. By then, the lack of traffic noise and the acoustics of the glassed in cavity behind us made it easier for us to sound better. Her intonation got better with each song, and I began to believe that she actually played with a symphony. She is 16 years old, and named Emily.

Her violin was missing the "g" string, which could have been a factor, but she played around that.

Soon, we were both playing around a missing "g" string, as mine broke.

We did some interesting music, based loosely around stuff I had written on occasions when my "g" string had broken in St Augustine.

The guitar case was half full of singles, when we knocked off, because she had to go to see her father about something.

She said that she would be back later, and that she wanted to play "all day tomorrow" together.

She didn't come back later, but I think this is typical of a capricious 16 year old. She will have to find me today. Like an idiot, I didn't get her phone number.

An ambulance driver named Ben, who is a musician, stopped by with his partner in time to catch the last of Emily and I's set of music. We were singing about "It's a bad day to be a sea turtle" and improvising Music for Violin and Guitar Sans G Strings, by that time. And Emily was in her "zone" and sounding like the finest violinist in all of Europe, to quote Mozart.

Ben said he would go and get me a g string.

Emily went off to see her father.

Ben came back with a whole set of strings, which I strung up, then let him play. He is a good guitarist, and has purportedly played with Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr., I think it was...

I knocked off in time to catch the last quarter of the Celtics Massacre. I had close to 30 bucks. Emily had said that she didn't want any of the money, even though she had just quit her job.

Just A Flight Of Fancy?
I'm hoping that her desire to play all day today wasn't just a flight of fancy, or a caprice, if you will.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

YES, The Garage

The Garage

I was walking up the street the other day, towards the Salvation Army. I was going there to ask them for assistance in renewing my ID. There I was basically told that I had all the ingredients, minus the $23, which the state of Alabama would want.

As I passed a hefty black man, who was mowing a lawn, he turned the mower off and asked me "Can you play that thing?"

I told him that sometimes I think I can play that thing, but other times, like after hearing a jazz guitarist, I wonder.

He told me that I ought to go to The Garage, on Washington street, and, if there were certain vehicles in front, that would mean that the owners were there. He said that if I spoke to them, they might let me play in the club. He added that they had their own sound system to plug into.

Last night, they had open mic night and I went in at about 9:30pm. They were just getting started. I was greeted by a man whom I recognized from the street. He was another who had asked me if I could play the thing. He was the MC of the event, and the "headlining" act, along with a female, who played the mandolin. He told me that I could go on "second set."

I listened to their performance, which was pretty polished, though not exactly to my musical tastes. I guess mandolin flavored music is an acquired taste. Then another couple went up and played. What I noticed most was that their guitars were expensive and sounded great. I began to adjust my strategy to factor in the fact that my 90 dollar Johnson guitar was going to produce a drop off in overall sound quality when I started to play. I decided to go the comedy route and play my funny originals. I thought that I needed a bridge for "The Carcass Song," which I wrote back in 1996, when I lived in Middleburg, Florida. The song is about a time when the dogs came into the house smelling of a carcass. I went outside in the relative quiet and added a bridge about a daughter's disappearance, which shifted the song from a wacky farce about the dogs getting into a carcass, into the macabre .

The bartender, who looked like Miley Cyrus, gave me a free beer, as I waited to go on. I think that the guy who greeted me had broken the ice a bit by telling those whom it might concern that I was a street musician, and probably penniless. He might have told the bartender that I was a good musician; the beer may have been a good faith offering.

I got up and played. I did "I'm In Love With A Skinny Girl From St. Augustine," which received applause. I then did "The Carcass Song," with the new bridge added. The place fell silent when the verse "The detectives said that with each passing day, the odds of finding the girl alive diminish,' came around, putting the song into a new perspective. Then, one last chorus of "I hate it when the dogs get into a carcass," sealed the deal and put me on the map as a new musician in town. I think I had every one's attention - a tribute to the fine sound engineering by the guy who greeted me (he had worked in a studio and mixed the vocals intelligibly.)

Then, I figured it was time for some "favorites." I did a couple of verses of "Chinacat Sunflower," by the Grateful Dead, but quickly shifted to "Like a Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan. Then "Mrs. Robinson," by Simon and Garfunkle, then "Norwegian Wood," by The Beatles. I think that was it. I'm not drinking like I used to with Karrie, but, playing music makes me shut off my memory..probably so mistakes won't pause me.

After I finished, the guy who had greeted me came over and told me it was "great," and that I sounded good and paced the songs well. He said he was "cracking up" over The Carcass Song, and that he really appreciated the morbid part "I don't know if everyone did, but don't sweat it," he added. He then gave me 5 dollars, saying that he knew that it was rough "out there."

I took my 5 dollars to the bar and told the bartender who looked like Miley Cyrus that I could "stand" another beer. She gave me one and then refused to take my money. It was a good outing and I was glad that I had played The Garage. I may have only made the 5 bucks on the street, or even less, the way things are "out there." Now I have inspiration and have already begun composing stuff for next week, based upon what worked best. On the way out, I put the dollar which I walked in with into the jukebox and played a song by Yes, called "Saving My Heart," from one of their obscure albums.

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Anthill Battle

Where There Aint Ants
Sunday, the day the library is closed, began with me waking up at a new sleeping place, which is in the staircase of one of the Presbyterian Church buildings. I had decided to eschew my former spot, which I will heretofore think of as the "ant" spot. I had 5 dollars, exactly, in my pocket.
The Presbyterians, though I am not familiar with their tenets nor their creeds, seem to posses a tolerance for their grounds being used by sleeping individuals. It was that way in St. Augustine, and I can see a trend there. One of the people there woke me up by knocking on the window above me just in time for me to make the breakfast at 15 Place, upon the suggestion of the guy sweeping the parking lot, that I do so. It was Sunday, and I'm sure that they had church activities planned and would want their staircase to be unobstructed.
After a breakfast, which extended to "seconds," I walked to the store, to learn that beer is not sold on Sundays until 12pm, even if I had wanted it. I had been debating upon an energy drink. It being 11am., I bought one and then went to play at my spot in the median on Water Street.
I was "flying" a new sign which read: "He who doesn't strum, doesn't eat." A guy threw me 2 bucks right away, which was promising. An hour later, I began to think that it was the sign's fault that I still had only made 2 bucks. I also began to think of my playing spot as the "ant" playing spot. I had to knock several of the buggers off of my guitar case before shouldering it, and walking to the store for what would be 2 beers and a pack of cigarettes. I hit the ant playing spot again, careful to move a little bit onto the concrete, where the ants weren't as bad. After another 1 dollar, it was time for the Celtics game to begin.
I sat on the sidewalk, outside a bar and watched the game through the window, along with a black guy, who had also watched the last game there with me. He bummed about 1 cigarette per quarter. I had to hold my broken glasses in front of my face and adjust them to get a clear picture.
A couple came out near the end of the game and told me that I must be a dedicated fan, to sit and watch the game from the sidewalk. They gave me most of a pizza, which had tomatoes and garlic and was pretty delicious. I then went and slept behind the church. I was thirsty.
A search of the grounds led to the discovery of two water spigots, along a brick wall behind a dumpster. Karrie would have been in her element and washed her feet immediately. I let the water run until it was cold and drank heartily. I repeated the procedure at 3am., after I woke up still thirsty. I guess the 95 degree day, along with the two beers had had an effect upon me.
This morning, I woke up with $1.95 on me. It was an hour before the Presbyterian breakfast, which is called "The Coffee Club," was to take place. I went down to the ant playing spot and made 6 bucks in 40 minutes, and then returned to join The Coffee Club in a hard boiled egg, grits, toast and, yeah; coffee.
Will Ol' McDonald Have A Cow??
Then, it was off to 15 Place, to see if Mr. (Michael) McDonald would replace my temporary membership card, so that I could retrieve mail, which is on the way, most notably a card from Karrie, stating that she misses me, according to the advanced intelligence about it, which I got from my mom via e-mail. I also will probably need to use the thing at the DMV in order to get my ID renewed, should I ever come up with the 23 bucks required to do so. Mr. McDonald was not there to make me sweat and think about the pickle which my irresponsibility in losing my card has put me in. That certainly wasn't going to show him that I am serious about getting off the street, and I was prepared for his snide comments. One of the nice workers from the bag-storage department, however, walked me into Mr. McDonald's office and wrote me up a replacement and I signed it and was out of there within 3 minutes. He didn't say anything like "You sure are a piece of work; when are you going to get your act together," or anything like that.
The "Starbucks" Hustle
I was inspired by a revelation which came to me when I was thinking about ways to increase my income. I was thinking that I need to find a richer area than the downtown one. Then, it came to me that, if I take my Starbucks gift card, which the Lidgleys sent me, up to Starbucks and offer to buy people their coffee and put it on my card in exchange for cash of a lesser value, most of those rich, Lexus-driving coffee drinkers would probably just hand me money and say something like "Here, save your card for a rainy day," or something similar.
I feel very strongly about this because I have had experiences in the past where a simple yet intelligent conversation with someone at Starbucks has led to them paying for my coffee. I don't know what the correlation is between coffee and generosity, but, maybe I can get a government grant to study it. I am going to test my theory, after I leave the library here. It will involve a 2 mile walk to Starbucks, but may prove to be worth the effort.
Every once in a while, I might have to accept a hit against the balance on my card in exchange for cash, but, eventually I will learn how to read people and be able to separate the wheat from the chafe. Then, I might re-invest into Starbucks gift cards and go all around the country, making a career of it, along with music.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hot Dogs and Hot Rods

Yesterday, I ate a hot dog, and then went to the Hot Rod exhibit downtown. There was a band playing in the park, so I couldn't use my spot. I went to a different one and made about 6 bucks. It's good to know that I can make 6 bucks whenever I need to. It's bad to know that I can only make 6 bucks if I need to make 7 bucks. Off to eat at the mission....
The Garage
A guy told me that I should speak to the owner of the club called The Garage about playing guitar in there. I also just met a musician who knows a lot of the club owners here. He gave me his phone number.

Friday, June 11, 2010

We're All In This Together

I hope Karrie hasn't gotten herself "throwed" in jail.

Bumville, Alabama

I woke up with $16.42 this morning. Last night I played at the spot and did fairly well. I was accosted by no less than a dozen street people seeking a cigarette or a dollar. They don't seem to be able to stand the blatant display of opulence which is my guitar case with more than five single bills in it. It is obnocuous and an affront to them. I need to work on getting a sleeping spot WAY out of downtown. A bike will be required but, first things first...

Street Lady Plays My Guitar, Then Becomes Belligerent

One lady, whom I let play my guitar and then refused to give a cigarette or a dollar to, became angry and verbally abusive. She gave me the line which is becoming all too familiar to me:

"We're all in this together (we homeless.) We need to look out for each other
and help each other out!"

She went off in a huff, wishing me facetiously a "good life." This is a veiled threat and implies that, without her looking out for me and helping me in turn; bad things might befall me; terrible things.

The "Crab" Mentality, A Review

Let us review "The Crab Mentality:"

When crabs are in a trap, and one of them begins to make progress in climbing up, out of the basket, the other crabs will latch on to it, attempting to use it as a handle to pull themselves up also. All of the crabs then come crashing down into the bottom of the basket, as the first crab is unable to proceed nor even maintain his status, due to the weight of his fellow crabs.

They are all in it (the basket) together!

The crabs are the street people. The basket is downtown Mobile, Alabama. I am the first crab, in the eyes of the street people, when I am playing well and making good tips.

The Lady who had played my guitar and then become belligerent, then told me that she was getting a check for 500 dollars "tomorrow." I decided to call her bluff, and, catching up to her after I knocked off, I gave her a dollar.

"Promise me you'll pay me back when you get your check?"

"Yeah, I get 200 dollars on the 10th of every month..." I thought it was 500; oh, well... I may have bought her off for less than the price of mosquito repellent.

A String Breaks

The reason I had knocked off is because one of my strings broke. This is the second time that a string has broken after I had allowed another street person to play my guitar. The lady possessed pedestrian skills at best, and her approach to music involved a frenzied flailing away at the strings producing a sloppy barrage of notes and punishing the strings at the same time. She did an interesting version of "Dust In The Wind," in this style.

The first time I let a Mobile street person play my guitar, it was some guy who strummed like a drunken madman (I'm not calling him a drunken madman, just talking music here...) Within a half hour of his handing me back my guitar, a string broke.

They Wonder

They wonder why I am so "anal" about letting them "hold" my guitar. They wonder why I am so "greedy" with my money. Well, strings cost money, and, if it was so important to them to play a guitar, they would own one themselves.

Status Of The ID

I talked to the guy at the Salvation Army who said that I should have enough information, even with only a "temporary membership" to the Social Club/Think-Tank which is 15 Place. He told me that they were out of funds, and that I would have to supply the 23 bucks myself. I left there and started heading here. I was asked for two dollars by one guy, who said that he didn't have any money for "lunch" (the "Wings of Life" mission which feeds free lunch every day right behind him in the near distance as he said this.)

Then a guy whom I had spoken to before in the park asked for a cigarette. I held my pack out, so that I wouldn't have to touch the filter of the one that I was offering. He took 2 (two) cigarettes. I slipped on that one...will I ever learn?

Now, I am at the library. I must play tonight because it is Friday. I hope to be ready on Monday to seek ID.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


You Deserve No Break Today
It is Thursday. The Celtics play tonight. I am planning upon going to the Salvation Army to eat at 4pm. and to complain to them about the treatment which I received at 15 Place, which is now my address. I am a temporary "member" there, too.
I am still struggling to get my ID renewed. I met with a Mr. McDonald, at 15 Place and he would only issue me a temporary two week "membership" card.

He asked me why I was there, and how long I have been homeless. When I told him that I originally became homeless by choice so I could put as much money as possible into the stock market, back in '98, he took it the wrong way and said "We don't want people who choose to be homeless, we want people who want to get off the street." "If you're smart enough to beat(?) the stock market, then you can figure out things for don't want to pay rent so you will have more money to invest; you're trying to beat the system!"
(note: outside the place there were "members" talking about how much they sold their food stamps for -one lady got 75 cents on the dollar, wow! - and about how the purple lorecets sold for more on the street than the red ones...and I"M trying to beat the system, yeah)
I told him that all that was gone, along with my car and my job and that II was tired of it, because now it is no longer by choice, and that if I had my ID from them, I could at least hope for a job.

Mr. McDonald Kicks Me To The Curb And Dashes My Hopes Of Ever Becoming A Productive Member Of Society, Reaffirming My Belief That I Had Been Marginalized By Society, Due To My Status, And Am Unwanted By Same Society; Beliefs That Had Caused Me To Basically Give Up In The Past Before Seeing A Glimmer Of Hope And Thinking That A Place Like 15 Place Might Be Able To Help Me
He basically told me that he was through talking, and told me to enjoy my "roadtrip." "If you want to live on the street and play your guitar and try to convince yourself that you're having a good time, then I don't want you on my team."

So, basically, everything I told him was wrong. I want my ID so I can apply for the oil-cleanup job. They are taking applications and guys are already going out, 20 at a time, and making $25/hour at it (after a short training class.) They are being put up in motels and are coming back here with $1,200 in their pockets per week.
I guess Mr. McDonald would want my money to go into the pockets of a landlord, instead of into investing in a better future for myself, and not the landlord. I don't know if I am reading him right, if that's the "system" that I am trying to "beat."

He told me to come back in two weeks and convince him that I am making some progress in getting off the street. I don't know what that would be, washing my clothes, eating free meals, trying to mug someone?

There is the Salvation Army, I will talk to them, and there is the Waterfront Mission, and I will talk to them. Maybe I can get ID without McDonald's help

So that is the way it is here. I made about another 17 bucks yesterday. The ID is 23 bucks.