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 ...um...oh, 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.

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