Saturday, July 31, 2010

Comparing Apples To Grapes

It is Saturday morning in Mobile; I slept in until about 8am., woke up with $23.46.

I left the library yesterday, and walked up to get some more apple juice.

Then, it was across the street to CVS, to buy some hair conditioner, (and enjoy their air conditioner.) I was looking forward to brushing my hair out and removing all of the snarls. I was still half craving a cigarette (I''m not really fasting, because apple juice is food,) so I walked towards the store. I felt bad about spending money and wished that I could just buy one or two.

An impulse overtook me as I passed the liquor store, and I went in and got a single shot of brandy, to chase down with the juice. I think I did it to suppress the guilt over buying cigarettes.
The Spring-Water-Only-Phase

It burned like hell, and tasted more of alcohol than of grapes. I thought that I should have been over the craving for a cigarette, but, I suppose that doesn't occur until the spring-water-only phase of the cleanse.

I Attract A Bum
I drank the brandy behind a nearby store. As soon as I went back there, one of the bums who hangs out across the street, began to skulk my way. I realised that his lot in life is to sit by the liquor store and wait for some other homeless guy to come out of the store to seek a covert place to drink, and descend upon him, begging "Let me get a pull off of that."

It was like a lesson in the connection between drinking liquor and the descending of bums upon one.

The brandy didn't do much except to give me the beginnings of a headache in the back of my head. The cigarettes were not very satisfying, and the combination made me feel slightly poisoned. I was determined to forge ahead with the cleanse and just consider that a mild setback; I would shake it off then probably sell off some of the cigarettes.

I got back to finishing my apple juice and went into town to wash up and then play somewhere.
Five Bucks, A Poem And Apple Juice

In town, I sat in Cathedral Park and was joined by Israel, a 20 year old who plays guitar, and frequents Serda's Coffee House. He is some kind of student, and plays on the street for extra money sometimes -the same 4 songs, which he wrote, over and over. He didn't have his guitar. We talked about fasting and cleansing and detoxifying, as he bummed cigarettes from me. Then, a Navy guy, who is visiting from San Diego joined us. He had his own cigarettes. Then a gay young guy joined us. He bummed cigarettes off of the Navy guy. Then, he started steering the conversation away from cleansing and detoxifying and towards "guys who are really girls," and we soon dispersed; Israel towards Serda's, with the Navy guy; and myself towards the big clock spot to play; and the gay guy, he went the other way, I suppose.

The clock spot produced 5 bucks, and a visit from a couple guys, one of whom was a poet. The one who was a poet spoke a poem about "Incredible people," which he wrote while attending a Mass, even though "I hardly ever go to Mass," he said.

They didn't have any cash, but offered to get me a drink from Serda's. I opted for an apple juice.

That was really about that happened yesterday, of note. Most of the interesting stuff resides in my head lately. There is a lot of serenity, but very little action.

Switching Juices

This morning, I walked up to the Save-A-Lot and got grape juice, instead of apple. Something told me to pay the extra dollar for it, maybe because it has vitamin C in it.

Then, I went across the street to the CVS, and bought a pair of socks for a dollar.
The juice was delicious and has improved my finger picking-style guitar playing already; and I am wearing the socks, and they are comfortable. I will take the socks off later and try playing the guitar, to see if it was them and not the grape juice...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Do I Really Want This?
It is Friday morning. I woke up with $19.58. I was on the marble "porch" of the Episcopal Church, which is Howard's spot. Howard has not been seen lately. I slept behind one of the huge (8 ft. diameter) columns, which look to be made out of some kind of stone, right on the marble. I've been too lazy to get any kind of padding. I don't think it has been bad for my back. I woke at 7:30, the starting time of The Coffee Club, without the aid of the alarm. I went and had a half cup of coffee. I sipped it slowly, asking myself "Do I really want this?" in between sips.
Yesterday, I had a whole cup, plus the gallon of apple juice; no energy drink.
Yesterday's 29 bucks went into action before noon, as I boarded the bus to the music store, only to find out there that the cheapest strings which they had were 6 bucks. I had my heart set upon getting some finer strings this time, and I did. I left the store in time for the buses return trip, so, at least I didn't waste time there. There was nothing to do there, no beer or cigarettes to buy, and no energy drink. The trip cost me about 13 bucks. That, along with 50 cents to print out some music at the library was all I spent for the day. (The apple juice goes on my food card.)
I put the strings on, during the bus ride back to town, losing a pick in the process. Whoever cleans the bus out will have a fine .75mm nylon pick; I hope he/she doesn't play death-metal with it. I got back with $15.95.
Sounding Good For All Four
After washing up at the park, I retrieved my backpack from the secret hiding spot, and then went to play at my favorite spot.
I started my case out with 4 bucks of my own, plus change. I got about $3.50 in about an hour, good, considering the amount of people who walked by. Almost all of them threw me a tip. In fact, I think only 4 people who weren't bums wanting a light, or one of my dollars, walked by in that hour, and all of them threw something.
If I were in say, New Orleans, and 10 times as many people walked by..., I thought to myself at one point.
One guy named Sam stopped and talked. He said that I sounded really good (brand new strings didn't hurt) and that he wished that he had some cash. He promised to come by tonight and give me something.
I can't wait to get the Yamaha guitar and sound even better.
I knocked off at 9pm. because it really does die down then on weekdays (until 2am., when a whole different crowd comes out,) except for bums wanting a light or a dollar; they pick up a little.
I am noticing that the chronic inflamation in my left knee, the one that I broke in a motorcycle accident in '86 is subsiding, along with the chronic soreness in the back of my neck, where the small vertibraes reside.
My thoughts are more focused, I am remembering the chords of songs without hesitation, and my typing is faster.
I still have some small anxieties, and so, I must continue with Dr. Christopher's 3 day fast and cleanse and mucous free diet. Most of them are over what to do with the money which I should accrue, do to not spending any.
Things To Do
I need to go and get the large backpack, if it is still there. Mine is starting to rip open. I already lost one AA battery, through one of the holes, and my nail clippers fell out, but I heard them hit the sidewalk and got them back. If I had been on a grassy area, it could have been disasterous.
They don't let me bring the smaller pack into the library, and I have to hide it in my secret hiding spot, and so, I might as well carry the larger one, especially as a trip to New Orleans is a possibility.
I need to get the 5 gallon bucket, which I found in the Church Street Graveyard, and bring it somewhere to use as a laundry bucket.
Karrie used to take care of that kind of stuff, but, she has disappeared off the face of the earth.
I guess I can do my own laundry.
Now, I am off to work on music, and possibly walk the 2 miles to get the big backpack, before a bum finds it. I may work on the music in my head, as I walk.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Token Of Led Zepplin's Appreciation

Last night, I left the library, and went to get more apple juice.

I drank in the Church Street Graveyard and then went into town. I wanted a cigarette.

I decided to sit at the big clock and play for a while. I made my first "totally sober" dollar, in about a year. And some change. This precluded coffee, even.

I moved up the street after the businesses closed and made another 6 bucks at the acoustically good spot.

I was about to go drink more apple juice, when I noticed a crowd in front of the Steangal Theatre (I may be spelling it wrong.)

It was a group of older, wealthy-looking people, waiting to see Robert Plant in concert. He was one of the founding members of Led Zepplin, a famous rock band.

Immediately sensing the opportunity to make money, I decided to fore go the Songwriter's Open Mic at Serda's Coffee, and find a spot from which to ambush the revelers, as they left the venue.

I still wanted money, even though I had not much desire to spend it, except, well, on apple juice.
The crowd huddled outside the entrance. They all had cigarettes, which they had all just lit, when the doors flew open. They all threw them down on the sidewalk, after taking only one puff. There were American Spirit, Camel, Marlboro and Winston.
All those who were milling about, just to be near Robert Plant, seemed to be too proud to snatch up the free tobacco, as if he might see them, and scoff. I recognized some of them from the street. They may have been fooling Robert Plant, but I knew better. I got about 20 cigarettes, which can be re-rolled, (a $5 value,) while those who were trying to look cool for Robert's sake, watched on, envious of my sense of autonomy, and my good fortune.
I listened to "Houses of the Holy," a thousand times when I was 11 years old. I deserve those cigarettes. Those were a token of Led Zepplin's appreciation for my support. I was ready to tell that to anyone who said "Hey, let me get one of those ducks!"

I sat and contemplated a spot to play at. The first one that I looked at, near the box office, had a pile of horse dung prominently sitting in front of where I usually sit. (They call out the horse cops for such magnanimous events, such as a Robert Plant concert.)
I decided that I wanted a well-lit, quiet place with good acoustics. I went to the bank on the corner, across the street from the beer store.
I started to play. It was hard to motivate myself. I had to focus upon playing the best that I could, and think about what a golden opportunity it was to have a crowd of rich people my age to play for. I felt a little bit rusty. Some of it may have been from not have eaten in two days.

People came by and were generous, especially after I was able to read them a bit and choose appropriate music. They were easy to read, because they were from my own, neurotic, post 60's generation.

I heard a woman mention The Beatles. I did "Nowhere Man," to the tune of about 10 bucks, and their delight, and then did "Norwegian Wood," for 10 more. One couple stopped and hung around and threw a few bucks in my case after each song that I played at their request. Their requests were general, like: "Do you know any Eagles?"

My strings were painfully dull. I was happy, though, to have made string money, when it was all said and done.

I packed up at about 11pm., and took the 30 bucks that I had, after having woken up with 8 cents that morning, and I walked. Past the beer store and up Dauphin Street, I walked. There were a group of people around the back of the theatre, waiting for Robert Plant to come out of the alley and board his bus. They were holding cameras and pieces of paper and pens. The sight of a long-haired guy carrying a guitar caused several necks to rotate in my direction.

"50 Dollars an autograph, and make it fast, the bus is leaving soon!," I thought about saying in my best British accent. "Over here, in the dark alley, and no flashbulbs please, they make me have 'flash'backs!"

Now, I still have the $29.29 on me, which I woke up with. I woke up without the aid of an alarm clock, and without a trace of a hangover. My juice bottle was empty, though.

I go now to board the bus to the music store. I may come back into town and play some more, to feature my new strings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'll Give Up Flying Dog When Pigs Fly!

The Royal Treatment
I went to get more apple juice, and then went to wash up at the park, even though one doesn't sweat as much when on a juice fast.
I played on the corner, crosswise from the Big Clock, and made not a cent.
I was playing music fueled by apple juice. (Nobody took a shine to it; it had no appeal, and as the eve went by, none were tempted. I think I offended them at some core level...)
It was a good time to have my first unproductive outing in Mobile, I suppose, since I already had my apple juice, and wanted nothing more.
The guy, who had come out of The Royal Cafe the previous evening and told me to "find another corner," came out again, at one point. He was standing next to another man, who was dressed in the same sky-blue button up shirt, with the same white apron, Royal Cafe emblem and all. They stood there, glaring across the street at me. One of them put his arms out with his palms skyward, as if to say "What are you doing?"
I was across the street, and not in front of the cafe at all, and probably not on their property.
I continued to play. There was hardly any foot traffic, and this was probably the true source of his crappy mood. This had happened in St. Augustine, when the businesses were going under, due to the economy. Some of the owners lashed out at the street performers, before ultimately folding their tents and leaving town. The cafe guy had no jurisdiction over the corner where I was sitting, unless he owned the whole block. I kept on playing music for people on apple juice. I would have played some Fiona Apple, if I knew any.
"I Tried" What Are You Doing?!?
I think he called the Panda Express, a block up from where I was because, shortly after he and his co-cafe guy went inside, from out of the Panda Express came an Asian guy, who stood glaring at me and clearing his throat and looking agitated. He was probably trying to communicate with body language, which is lost upon me, and has been, since my eyeglasses broke about 6 months ago. I don't really want to see much of what I am "missing," as a matter of fact. Frustrated thus, the Asian guy went back inside The Panda Express, and probably phoned over to The Royal Cafe to tell them "I tried."
Eventually, I left of my own accord, and went to Howard's sleeping spot, and got to sleep early.
The Many Blessings Of Dr. ChristopherI have no money, no appetite, and could care less about a cigarette or a drink of liquor. These are the immediate blessings of Dr. Christopher's 3 day fast and cleanse and mucous-free diet.
I will sit in the graveyard and maybe work on some songs. I might play at Serda's open mic night, tonight, though. I will be flying with no Flying Dog as a co-pilot.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

$2.79 A Gallon

I woke up around 5 am., and almost went to the labor pool. I went back to sleep, and woke again, in time for The Coffee Club. I only wanted coffee, because I had started Doctor Christopher's 3 day fast and cleanse and mucous-free diet, the night before (Mon.) with the purchase of some prunes and a half gallon of apple juice.

Fiona Apple (right?)

9 am. I could feel the lymph glands in various parts of my body tingling, as they took advantage of a reprieve from the morning eggs and grits and bread, which they had come to brace themselves for on a regular basis.

Doctor's Orders

10 am. I decide to get two energy drinks, though they are not technically part of the fast, in fact, Dr. Christopher (so listen well,) wrote words to the effect of "avoid stimulants" like coffee, while on the juice diet. I think his reasoning is that they will be an irritant.

10:30 I have hidden the apple juice in the graveyard. Also, I have written the previous sentence for the first time ever; since I began to write, at the age of six...I have hidden the apple juice in the graveyard... (what if I just stumbled on a code which will cause flags to pop up on FBI computers!)

Mass Appeal

There is a quart left. I will walk the quarter mile to the Save-A-Lot, and get another half gallon, with my food card. This is my plan. Why must life be so complicated?

Then, I will probably sit somewhere and mess around with the guitar. It will be music for those who only consume apple juice, and it might not have "mass appeal" (excuse pun)

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Dog To Prove It

I am on my fast and cleanse, now, having arrived at it by circumstance.
I just wasn't hungry this morning, and only took coffee at The Coffee Club.
The TemptationsThis should help me to overcome the temptations, as I contemplate going to New Orleans.
I soon will walk the two miles to the Winn Dixie, to buy prune juice (the official start of the procedure, according to Dr. Christopher,) and a gallon of apple juice. A gallon per day, it will be, for the next three days.
The past three days have been forgettable, and so, I have gone ahead and forgotten much of them.
I remember that, Friday night, I didn't play at all. I had walked around all day, and had little to drink, and I think that I was dehydrated. I lied down early, and was up several times throughout the night, to refill my water bottle and guzzle it down.
Saturday night, I played, and did relatively well -relative to Mobile- but, as the night wore on, and the partying got more frenzied, and the music poured out of the clubs, and I was on my third Earthquake Lager, I didn't feel like playing any more. There is something missing and/or wrong here, after midnight in Mobile. I can't quantify it, but I hate playing late, when only the young gangsters are milling about. It just isn't fun for me.
I felt that I would have had a hard time finding a spot where it would be quiet enough for me to be heard by anyone who wasn't squatting down in front of me, and I wasn't in the mood to seek tips visually, as in, people throwing me a couple bucks because they SEE me playing and appreciate the fact that I am doing something, or whatever is the logic exercised by people who throw tips, even though they can't hear you.
I guess I have been spoiled by playing in the coffee house, where there is a microphone, and people have their ears tuned to the lyrics and music.
I stood there, on Dauphin Street, looking at the long line of people who seemed willing to wait an hour to get into Club 5' 4." The music spilling out of the front door of the place sounded like the music spilling out of the windows of the cars riding by. I couldn't imagine wanting to "socialize," so badly, in the setting of Club 5' 4," as to be willing to wait in that line so long. I couldn't motivate myself to want to try to play for the people who would ultimately come spilling out of the place. I wasn't feeling it.
So, today; out of money; I embark upon Dr. Christopher"s fast and cleanse and mucous free diet.
A Girl Named Korrie
Last night, I was going into the Exxon, to get an Earthquake Lager, when, a girl approached me and told me that she had heard that I was very good on the guitar, and that she wanted to hear me play "when you feel like it." She was pretty. She seemed pretty drunk. She said that her name was Corey. I am not sure how she spells it, but, by the end of the night, after I had played for her and her friends, lured by Earthquake and cigarettes, I wouldn't have been surprised if she told me that she spelled it "Korrie," as, the similarities between her and a like-named girl became eerie, especially once the Earthquake began flowing, and uncanny, after more cans were consumed.
She invited me to camp with her and her friends, saying that they are like a family out there, and even have a dog to prove it. One of the guys is kind of like her boyfriend, I gathered. They said they have an extra tent set up which no one uses. I declined, and walked back to my spot.
I woke up pretty depressed, even though I had become a hero to Korrie and company, for playing certain songs, like "My Girl," by the Temptations, (or someone...)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Third 20 Dollar Tip In 52 Days!

Working Hard On Song About Bums
Wednesday began with The Coffee Club, as I was woken at 6am. by some kids bouncing a basketball in the church parking lot, and started my day then.
I had $6.01, as I recall.
The day was pretty much spent working on The "Bum" Suite.I took a break, and had a couple of Earthquake Lagers, at about 5pm.
I planned upon playing near Serda's from then, until such a time that I had the suite ready, or if not, 9:30pm.
I was thrown a 5 dollar tip, and a 20 dollar tip. The rest was change. I was on my third lager, and playing "Dear Prudence," the John Lennon song, as I recall, when Ben, the amulance driver with Bubba, the ambulance rider, stopped by, and played my guitar. He put it into a "dropped G" tuning, and played some interesting stuff, giving me lots of musical ideas.
Fortified by 27 bucks and change, and lots of ideas, I went to Serda's for the songwriter's open mic thing. I was tempted to keep the guitar in that tuning and just go in there and "wing it," flailing away on the strings and screaming at the top of my lungs. (I think the warning label on Earthquake Lager makes some mention of that.)

She's Losing It Up ThereUpon my arrival, the MC asked me if I would go up immediately and play. He said that whomever was currently on stage was "losing it," or words to that effect.
The MC let me play his guitar, as mine was in dropped G tuning, and I wasn't Ben, the ambulance driver.I was rushed onto the stage and greeted warmly by a group that collectively wanted to hear "Hubert's Trip," which I had done the previous week (for the first time in 20 years.)

I wasn't confident that The "Bum" Suite was ready, in fact, I was pretty sure that I was going to screw it up, unless a miraculous improvisation happened, as had on "Hubert's Trip" the week before. I decided to give the people what they wanted.
One Flew Over The Coffee HouseI guzzled a Flying Dog Amber Lager (it's the AMBER LAGER which is so delicious) and did a half-assed version of "Hubert's Trip."

Results vary when one improvises, plus, I probably didn't need the Flying Dog Amber Lager, though it was delicious again.

I was torn between trying to recreate the lyrics from the previous week, or to totally improvise, (which is basically how they got there) and hope for similar results. I wanted to repeat some of the lines which got "good laughs" from the people, but I wanted to make up others. A recipe for a half assed version! (I don't think I "lost it," though, thankfully.) Nobody told me that I needed a Geography lesson, either...

I got a good round of applause from the dozen or so there, but, some of them asked me what "happened" to certain verses from the previous week's rendition. I explained how I usually made up "Hubert's Trip" as I went along. I picture a map of the U.S., and try to give Hubert an interesting and funny adventure, and one that rhymes. The people left half satisfied. There is always next week, (unless I am in New Orleans.)

I wonder sometimes why I put so much "on my plate," and don't just sit down and write out all the verses that I can remember, instead of going "up there" hoping for a miracle...
One guy said that he and his friend had been waiting for a certain line about Las Vegas. It was about Hubert doubling his money. (he probably put a quarter in a slot and "doubled his money") The MC also said that I sang something about "Bach at the Moon," which sounds like something Hubert and I used to joke about; a heavy metal version of J.S. Bach called just that. (a play upon Ozzy Osboune's "Bark at the Moon," of course)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Bum Suite In Its Entirety

In time for, and in light of tonight's open mic night at Serda's Coffee House, I am frantically preparing "The Bum Suite. "
I woke up with $5.23, after playing at the "New York Hi Style" spot, for maybe a couple of hours, last evening. My expenditures for the entire day were for 2 Earthquake Lagers, and 1 Steel Reserve 211 Lager, and one Bud Ice. ($4.14)
I ate turkey hot dogs with pickles and an energy drink, for those keeping track.
I am procrastinating upon Dr. Christopher's 3 day fast and cleanse and mucous free diet.

The Bum Suite in G major
intro: G, B7, C, A7, D7
No, I aint got nothing for the bums
who sit in the park all day, on their thumbs
They've got life all planned out, they're just gonna stand out, with their hand out
Ain't it grand out the great outdoors

Hey guitar man...let me have a buck
It'll give you good karma.. It will bring you good luck.
It's gonna come right back to you, the Lord, He will provide
But this monkey on my back, you know; won't Be satisfied

So, Break bread, guitar man; break it 'till you're broke
You'll come to see that we ain't such bad folk
We're just pitifully poor, hungry, thirsty, half-naked
So give us a beer, don't make us have to take it

No, I ain't got nothin for the bums
that sit in the park all day, on their thumbs
They've got life all planned out, they're just gonna stand out with their hand out
and wait for a hand out, ain't it grand out, here in the Great Outdoors

I try to keep my distance, but I can hear them holler
Hey guitar man, come here, are you doing alright? That's good; let me get a dollar
Oh, I'm thinking of just avoiding the parks all together....(segue).......
Yeah, Im thinking of just avoiding the parks all together...(segue)....

((Sung to the tune of "Here Comes The Sun," by The Beatles)) Pretty bloody funny, Daniel

Bienville Park, yeah...It's been a long, hard working day...
Bienville Park yeah...I come here just to get away...but
Here come the bums, do n do do
Here come the bums, and I say "It's not alright.."
Spanish Park, yeah...They smile as I turn into their spaces
Spanish Park, yeah...They ask for beer, as I draw near
Here come the bums do n do do
Here come the bums, and I say "It's not alright..."
Bums, bums, bums, here they come
Bums, bums, bums, here they come (interlude)
Cathedral Park, yeah...I see their ice is slowly melting
Cathedral Park, yeah...It seems that soon, they'll have warm beer
Here come the bums, do n do do
Here come the bums (we need ice, man) It's not alright....
Bums, bums, they come .......(segue)......

Some of them, I swear to thee; have got no brains at all
They'll steal your underwear off a tree...crap stains and all
I'm getting so when I see them, I try to duck
before they ask me for my lighter, a cigarette, or a buck

I realise that you get your check on the first
I understand you're about to die of thirst
There's no doubt in my mind that you'll pay me back ten fold
I'm sorry to hear that your food stamps have already...been sold

So I ain't got nothin, I'm sorry...but wait...I've got an idea! Why don't you collect up aluminum and cash it in, down by the Exxon The Can Man....(segue)
(Sung to the tune of "The Candyman," by Sammy Davis Jr.))
Who can make some change flow...
To pay for his own beer...
He doesn't have a job, but then, he doesn't have a fear
He's the Can Man...Yeah, the Can Man can....
The Can Man can, 'cause he picks up shit with love and makes the world look good

The Can Man takes aluminum and makes
A trip upon his bi-cycle, oh
and brings them to be re-cycled
I think that his name is Michael

Who can take your drained ones...
-crush them on the ground....
put them in his bag 'til he's collected up a pound
The Can Man; yeah the Can Man can
The Can man can 'cause he picks up shit with love and makes the world look good

The Can man takes...empty cans and makes
a little bit of dough out of it
The environmentalists, they love it
Don't ever think that you're above it...

oh...He picks up aluminum....copper, tin and brass...
You could do the same if you would get up off your ass..
The Can Man....Yeah, the Can Man can...
The Can Man can 'cause he picks up shit with love and makes the world look good..

The Can man takes every cent he makes,
and satisfies all his wishes
oh, you talk him down, all childish and vicious
I think that he's ambitious

Well, Who can make some change flow,
To pay for his own beer
Doesn't have a job, but then, he doesn't have a fear
The Can Man, yeah the Can Man can
The Can Man can 'cause he pick up shit with love and makes the world look good
The Can Man can 'cause he picks up shit with love and makes the world look good....(jam) might want to consider it....Because....

'Cause, I aint got nothing for you bums
who sit in the park all day, on your thumbs
If I had any less, I would be penny less,
If I give you any more, I won't have anymore

(improv, fade, end)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Broken Sidewalks

I thought about Karrie this morning, when I was in the "eggs and cheese" section of Save-a-Lot. She loves eggs and cheese. I still find myself planning meals that she would like, even though I would never eat them myself.

I want to get some fish and try to smoke it on one of the grills at The Mobile Bay Adventure Inn. I can gather some oak wood from the woods somewhere, or snap it off of a tree along the sidewalk on Government St.

They seem to be protecting the trees here, in Mobile, but not the sidewalks. Most of them are destroyed by the roots of huge oak trees, and in pieces. Some parking lots have spaces where no cars can be parked, because of the encroachment of tree roots. I would hate to be riding my Peugeot English Racer at 25mph down the sidewalk above, and not be paying attention...

Last Link To Karrie Trashed
Last week, I walked to the place where I had hidden my large backpack, and the tent; miles out of town, near the Greyhound station. I wanted to see if they were still there. They were, but the backpack had been penetrated by water. I spent a few minutes gingerly pulling from it, wet shirts, a towel and a blanket. All were moldy, and so I threw them away, and left the pack where it would air out, or be stolen.

The blanket was just about the last physical link that I had to Karrie. After I threw it on a trash pile, I looked at it, and remembered how she and I wrapped up in it on cold nights, and how happy she was when it was clean and "April" fresh, and how she would shake it out in the mornings and hang it up, so that it too would air out, and how she would steal it from me like a thief, in the middle of the night...
A lump formed in my throat as I walked away from the wet, moldy thing, which once was important to us.

It lay there in a heap, like Karrie, after she has had too much to drink.

I decided then, that she is probably convinced that I don't want her.

40 Hours Between Tremors

Another 40 hour period of abstinence from Earthquake Lager ended yesterday afternoon, when I consumed three of them.

I had washed my clothes in the park, discovering as I did that my green pants, (which have lots of pockets,) had been stolen off of the bush where I had hung them to dry. I had tried to match a bush to the color of the pants, but my camo job didn't work. Now there will be someone my size walking around in my pants, and I will have to fight him. (Note to self: Buy a cheap knife at the Shell station...)

After washing my clothes, I chose to walk a mile to a spot near the "abandoned factory" sleeping spot, and hang them there to dry. I haven't had anything stolen from there, yet.

This put me within range of the magnetic force-field of the Earthquake Lager at the Exxon, which was nearby in such close proximity that I was unable to fight against it. I spiralled into the store, flailing my arms and kicking at the air, as if being carried by an unseen riptide; three times, it happened.

I then went to my playing spot and made back one (1) of the dollars that I had spent.

I got to the "abandoned convent" spot early, where I found my friend, Harold, already asleep, and without cigarettes. Harold very rarely asks for anything. He is The Antibum.

I offered him a cigarette when he stirred, set the alarm for The Coffee Club, and went to sleep.
I woke up at 6am., an hour and a half before The Coffee Club commences. Harold was already gone. I had $1.25.

Morning Songs
After breakfast, I went to look for a spot to play "morning" songs. These are songs which, according to Chris, the recorder player in St. Augustine (click on label below for more on him,) must contain major 7th chords. They cannot contain blues chords, because, according to that sage they "frighten people in the morning." Chris plays Christmas songs year-round on his recorder. (Some Christmas songs have major 7th chords, and those are the ones which he plays in the morning.)

Fueled Only By Coffee

I chose the "big clock" spot, right by Serda's Coffee, and there I sat, fueled only by coffee, and telling myself that I was playing for more coffee. At first, nothing happened, and then $4.75 found its way into my case, as I surrendered to the sweat which was coating my body, and ripped into "Eyes of the World," by the Grateful Dead; a morning song because of the line: "Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world..." and because of it's E major 7th chord.

I decided to walk the mile to the Shell and use my food card for an energy drink, rather than pay the $1.66 at Serda's for coffee. Tomorrow night is their songwriter's open mic, and I will want to have money to buy a coffee. That guy is supposedly going to record me and stream me up onto Utube, where it could become a "cult classic." Now, I need to practice up on it.

New Orleans Update

Now, Ben, the ambulance driver has weighed in on the debate over the wisdom of my going to New Orleans on the back of a grain car, with a hobo. Ben's comment (which can be seen by clicking on the "comment" section of yesterday's post) was that there is some kind of licence required to play on the street, and it is hard to obtain. The hobo corroborated the part about the licence, but he said that the cops only enforce the ordinance "in season," by which he meant after October. By then, maybe I can be a "resident," by switching my ID over, or something...

So, I guess there is nothing there to be afraid of, whatsoever...

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Am Welcome To Ride

Dry, Rainy Sunday
Monday morning it is. I woke up with $4.30.

I slept fitfully last night, having only drank one Earthquake Lager the whole day, and having drank 3 energy drinks.

It rained all day, and I didn't play a lick. I probably would have played in the rain if I had had more Earthquake Lager.

I am losing interest in drinking alcohol lately, and transitioning to energy drink consumption. I think that I am mentally preparing for Dr. Christopher's 3 day fast and cleanse and mucous free diet. I have several people praying for me in my attempt to elimate cigarettes and beer from my life. I lost my lighter, at one point yesterday. It just disappeared.

Corn Tortillas With Salsa

I ate corn tortillas with salsa last night, off of my food card.

The vegetarian meal decreased the urge to smoke cigarettes.
Howard's SpotI sat and read and drank the energy drink until the available light waned. Then, I slept in Howard's spot. Howard hasn't been seen lately, so I wasn't worried about being begged for the $4.30 and the 5 cigarettes, which I had on me.

He was right about his spot being secluded. No cars rode by, and no foot traffic that I saw. I dreamed about everything from having my guitar stolen, to being able to run extremely fast and long jump over just about anything.

I woke up with the same $4.30 which I had carried around all day, after buying the one beer.
New Orleans Update

On my way here, to the library, I ran into another hobo. He had just come from New Orleans. He said that he grew up there, and that he knew all of the street musicians. He painted a glowing description of it as being "an awsome city."

He told me that the street musicians would look out for me, and that he had never heard of any of them having had their instruments stolen.

He wants to jump the train back there in a few days. I am welcome to ride with him.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Strings

I woke up with about $7.50
It is Saturday.
Last night, I managed to make a little money playing the guitar with the wrong string in the wrong spot. I learned which songs sounded best on it, and stuck to them...
Then, I ran into Ben, the ambulance driver, who gave me a new set of strings!
This morning, I treated Don to a Coffee at Serda's.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Octave Lower

Friday afternoon, it is.
Yesterday, I took the bus, at great expense to me, all the way to the music store. I needed a "g" string for my guitar. The previous night, I had broken mine and replaced it with a thicker string, tuned down an octave. This made for some interesting sounds, but, eventually I tired of it.
They gave me the wrong string at the store. I didn't notice it until I got back into town.
By then, my jaw was swelling up from where I had bitten into something which lodged itself in between a tooth and my gum, causing an abcess of some kind.
This pain, along with the inconvenience of having the wrong string, made me decide to cancel playing.
I went to a spot in Cooper's Park, and slept atop a tower type thing, which is there.
I woke up with $4.32.
I am trying to get in touch with Ben, the ambulance driver, to see if I can borrow a string.
Friday nights can be good. I can play with the guitar the way it is, but, it is a lot of work to rearrange songs to accomodate the weird tuning, of having a g string tuned an octave lower.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's Shaking In Mobile

Earthquake Lager
The drink which is cheap and even stronger than Steel Reserve, is now on sale here in Mobile. Note to Karrie: Mobile has something to offer.
First 20 Dollar Tip
I woke up with $4.20. I spent money on an Earthquake, and then went to the library.
Leaving the library when the clock on the computer read 3:38pm, I walked briskly to The Salvation Army, only to discover that the clock on the computer had been slow, and I had missed the meal. I consoled myself with another Earthquake High Gravity Lager.
I then went into town to play music. There were not too many people milling about, and, out of frustration over this realization, I went right out on the median of Water Street to play the off ramp.
I played the ramp for a little while, motivated by disgust over the lack of foot traffic in the downtown area. It was good for about 5 bucks, and, more importantly, reaffirmed my belief that I can always get a few bucks, if necessary, by going out on the ramp. I had lost my sign, which read "Thanks 4 Stimulating the Economy," and noticed that someone had stolen my markers, out of the side pockets of my backpack.
It is important not to leave anything visible to people of a certain mindset. If they see something, then they are at a loss to control their impulses to steal it. Out of sight, out of mind, applies here. Sign "fliers" have a need for markers and the one's that I've met won't take even one beer's worth of their money out to buy one.
I took my 5 bucks and then went to the corner, right next to Serda's Coffee, where the big clock is. I was playing and watching the big clock for the right time to go into Serda's and play the open mic night.
I worked on my latest song "You Must Be Getting What You Want," which is about Karrie and involves the fact that she hasn't contacted me at all in 5 weeks. She must have found a way to live comfortably drunk and cuddle up with someone nightly.
A few people threw me dollars. The spot is in between the swankest hotels, and amongst some of the finer eateries in town, and Serda's Coffee, too, of course. A man threw 20 bucks on top of the 5 one's, while I was focusing upon the song and trying to create lyrics. Maybe he knows someone like Karrie.
This was the second 20 dollar tip that I have gotten in Mobile. I have gotten one 10.
Songwriter's Open Mic Night, Whooo!
I was happy to go into Serda's with enough money that I didn't have to ask them for a free coffee for the third consecutive week. Wednesdays turn out that way...
I splurged on one of their cheapest expensive beers, which was $2.50. Take note, Dave Veautour. It was called "Flying Dog," and was extremely delicious, compared to Earthquake High Gravity Lager.
It also made me (note the distorted thinking of the alcoholic) it made me play fantastically. Though, I forgot a percentage of the lyrics, I flew (like a dog) through, "You Must Be Getting What You Want," "The Bum Suite," then improvised a little blues, then did an extended version of "Hubert's Trip," which I had written in 1989, and hadn't played more than 4 times since then. I remembered half of the original lyrics, and added some on the fly(ing Dog), especially one about how Hubert "goes to Mobile," and sees a guy in a coffee shop; singing about the trip he is on'
It got nice applause, and even some people going "Whooo!"
U-Tube For Me, Too
I was pretty pleased, myself and will have to write down the newly crafted lyrics, before I forget them and have to go up there butt naked again and improvise.
One guy said that he was going to bring some device next week (I think it was a "G3," or something) and somehow put me on U-Tube, singing "Hubert's Trip."
New Orleans Dreaming
I woke up with about $16, cigarettes and one last beer before bed having ruined me, once again. I can't wait to start my fast and cleanse tomorrow. I am reading about New Orleans and dreaming about it, too. I hope that there really are human statues there.
Asian Human Statues...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Big Clock

Last night, after seeing the same old lack of traffic at the spot where I like to play, I decided to go and play a new spot.
I had seen a photo of downtown Mobile on Photobucket, which was taken on Royal Street, by the big clock. I chose to sit by the big clock to play.
I needed a light, after my lighter had broken that morning, because someone was praying for me in my effort to quit smoking.
I went over in front of Serda's Coffee, where a group of teenagers were milling about, on their bluetooths and blackberries, tweeting and twitting away. I asked for a light,and one girl, who was hideously tattooed snapped, "No!"
I was turning to ask someone else, and noticed that none of them were giving any indication of wanting to give me a light. They were all smoking.
Finally, the hideously tattooed girl passed me her lighter. It was one of the small Bics. I told her that, for a little bit more money, she could have gotten the big Bic, which is more than twice the lighter of the small one. She ignored me.
I went back to my spot by the big clock, and started to play. I was fuming over the punks and almost started to compose a song about them, ripping them in every way that I could think of.
My cigarette went out. This is very rare, cigarettes usually burn down to nothing, especially when you become busy with something and leave them unattended for what seems like a short time.
I got a light from a passerby and explained that I thought that the hideously tattooed girl was a witch, who was making my cigarettes go out.
I eventually calmed down, after a group of black girls came by and took turns posing next to me for pictures, and then left me 5 bucks. Another guy threw a dollar. I had enough to show up at the labor pool and at least be able to buy a soda. I went to sleep.
Tonight is the Songwriter's Open Mic at Serda's. I will probably attend,and try to do The Bum Suite.
I need to go practice up. In fact, I need to spend a lot more time honing my craft, and less time facebooking and blogging...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Everything Is Moving, But Much Too Slowly

The Labor Pool
(Not Far from The Coffee Club [left])
I decided, as 9pm. came around last night, and I had hardly made diddly squat, to forego playing at the open mic night at The Garage, so I could set my alarm for 4:30am., in order to go to the Labor Pool.

After a fitful night of sleep, I answered the beeping of my cheap alarm clock, got up, and walked over to the place.

I was the 4th person to sign in on the sign-in sheet. I sat and read a book, and waited to see if I could have the priviledge of toiling in the hot sun for 7 dollars per hour. Soon, my friend, Don, who plays guitar, showed up. He had told me that he was getting 2 or 3 jobs per week out of the place. Then, I slept for 2 hours, with my head against the wall. I woke up just in time for The Coffee Club. I had waited two and a half hours, and so had Don. Neither one of us were on our way to toil in the sun for 7 dollars per hour. I left, to go have breakfast.

Returning to the labor pool, I continued to read. Don and I waited until lunchtime at 15 Place, when we gave up on waiting for jobs, and went to eat.

I am out of money, and out of cigarettes. I am trying to quit smoking, and wonder what I need money for, anyways.

My food card arrived at 15 Place. They will send the pin number tomorrow or the next day, so as to separate it from the card, in case it were to have fallen into the wrong hands. A lot of the hands that I see on people at 15 Place have something "wrong" looking about them.

Dr. Christopher's 3 Day Fast And Cleanse (and mucous free diet.)

Once I get my card and pin, I have decided to embark upon a fast (and cleanse,) which will last up to 15 days; probably more like 10, or until the desire to smoke and drink, or eat mucous forming foods, receeds. I did my first 3 day fast, back in 1989, guided by Dr. Christopher's book.
I plan upon sitting in the graveyard a lot. I will have 3 gallons of apple juice per day, for the first 3 days. Then, just spring water for the next (9?) or so, supplemented by "natural" vitamins, in the form of honey and applecider vinegar, wheat germ oil, molasses, and cayenne pepper.
I have never felt better in my life than the times when I reached the 5th day or so, and had not a care in the world, not even for food.

The library said that they will issue me a card, even though my "residence" is a day center. This will help me to obtain materials to read and study. I plan upon meditating, and doing crossword puzzles, writing songs, learning new ones, and anything else which a clear mind is conducive to.

New Orleans

I am doing this fast for a few reasons. One of which is to help me contemplate my trip to New Orleans upon a freight train.
I have met a hobo, who is a veteran of that particular trip. He wants to go back there, but doesn't like to ride alone. He has assured me that I will fall in love with the French Quarter, and The Moonwalk, and will make triple the money playing music than I am here. It only takes 5 hours on the train, and, coming back to Mobile could be done on a whim, if I should ever choose to do so.

I have been advised against going there by Porsha, but it seems that the stars are aligning for a trip there. Porsha called it "sin city."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eventless SundayIt's Monday, and I woke up pretty broke. The hotel gig never materialised. Their parking lot was almost empty; and I had a feeling that I wouldn't be playing there, even before I inquired about it.
I am thinking of boiling my posts down more, to include less of the mundane stuff, and focus upon the things that matter most.
Last night, there was an African-American family, fishing off the riverwalk in Cooper's Park. They asked me to play a song. I played a couple. The father gave me a beer. Then I went to sleep. I had my alarm set for 4:30am. I was going to go to the labor pool, but slept longer, because I hadn't layed down until pretty late the previous night.
It will be set the same for tomorrow.
I now go to Starbucks, perhaps to try the "hustle."Tonight, there is the open mic night at The Garage.I am pretty broke, and don't want to go in there without money for the 4th consequetive week. Mondays just seem to turn out that way. I need to work on my "Bum Suite," also. It will be a three song medley.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Starbucks Hustle
I walked up to Starbucks and arrived just as a group of young men were getting out of their vehicles and walking towards the entrance. They looked like they were "cool."
They agreed to let me put their stuff on my giftcard in exchange for "cash of a lesser value."
I sat and drank my coffee and read a newspaper, as the skies opened up and it rained for about 45 minutes. I had 7 bucks in my pocket.
The Mercury Dime Is Still Unsold
I then walked the additional mile towards where I had seen a coin dealer. I was within a block of the place, when a man on a bike called to me, then approached.
Emily's Dad
He said that he had seen my picture on his daughter's Facebook page. I figured that he must have referred to Emily, the violinist who I jammed with one day, and then never saw again. She did "friend" me on Facebook, though.
"I'm Emily Pierce's dad," he said. Then he asked me how I knew Emily.
I told him the story of how Emily and I met. I added that the reason that she disappeared, I thought, was that, since she is only 17, her dad probably forbade her to play music downtown, especially at night, and especially with a guitar player 30 years her senior.
He confirmed my suspicion to the letter.
We had a friendly chat, over lunch, which he bought me at Popeye's Chicken.
He said that he would consider letting Emily play with me, if he would be sitting nearby, keeping an eye on things.
The Artwalk
I made it back to town in time to see people roaming about, taking in the artwalk.
I quickly found a spot and started playing and made a few bucks.
Along came a woman with a camera and took a few pictures of me. Her name is Kim, and she said that she would send me the pictures through e-mail. She sat next to me for a while and invited me to come along with her and her friends along the artwalk. I declined, stating that I needed to go wash up, because I had sweat profusely during my 5 miles of walking, almost to the coin dealer's and back. I was surprised that she sat so close to me. She seemed to be pretty "lit up." I think she was flirting. She looked like a wealthy lady; perfect teeth and skin, with an even tan, all the way to her sandaled toes. I hope she sends the pictures.
The artwalk died down, and by 10pm., I was spending some of it's proceeds on a pack of smokes and the last couple beers of the day. Then I went to the abandoned convent spot, washed up and layed down.
The Hotel Gig
Now, I will walk down to the Mobile Bay Adventure Inn, to see if the manager wants me to play, either this evening or tomorrow. The oil cleanup people have not contacted me, which isn't surprising, because I have no phone. I might try the labor pool on Monday, to see if I can work for money to go with the hotel gig money, to buy a phone, and possibly some steel-toed boots, though, I would rather buy an i-pod, so I can learn a bunch of songs more easily.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Going Backwards

I am at the library. Before that, I went to hide my pack and my guitar in my secret spot. The library has banned guitar cases now, as they could be used to smuggle in arms.

Before that, I had eaten at The Coffee Club, after sleeping only 3 hours.

Last night, some cops pulled over a car and ordered it to stop right on the other side of the elevator shaft, which I use for subterfuge. I had trouble falling asleep with the pulsing blue light, like from some disco in hell, and the sporadic belches from their radio. I worried that they might do a homeless guy sweep of the premises while they were there. They, of course had to sit and talk cop-talk for almost another hour, after releasing the poor slob with his citation in hand. I had my ears pealed, for anything that sounded like "What do you think of ol' guitar-boy with the long hair, ready to shake him down, or should we wait for him to step out of line?" It was hard to sleep with one ear open.

Before that, I had played on the street, having moderate sucess, but not being able to earn money faster than I smoked and drank it; typical of Mobile, where I think I came for a self-imposed rehab.

The manager of the Mobile Bay Adventure Inn came by in his van, pulled over and thanked me for playing by the pool last Sunday. "Those Scottish guys were characters, weren't they?' He mentioned playing again this weekend.

I am seriously thinking about getting some kind of cell phone, before the proceeds therof evaporate. I just want one with mobile blogging capabilities and possibly a camera, so I can blog mobily around Mobile.

Those are about all of the highlights from last night.
Into The Future

Now, I leave here and walk to the Starbucks to ask people if I can pay for their coffee on my gift card, in exchange for 'cash of a lesser value." My hope is that they will give me money and tell me to save my card for a rainy day, but, will be happy with cash of a lesser value, should I have to burn some off of my card.

Then, I may go to the coin shop to shop my Mercury dime for whatever I can get for it, since I will be in the neighborhood. (It's in about the condition shown above, 1942-P) I'm going to play hardball and ask $2.50 for it.
Then, it should be almost time for the meal at the Salvation Army, after which I will grab my pack and guitar from the secret place, and go into town. There will be an "artwalk" tonight, where people will be walking by me with art on their minds, and free samples of wine in their stomachs. I remember making 55 bucks at an artwalk in St. Augustine.

Spiritually, I didn't do my meditation in the graveyard this morning, and will have to try to squeeze it in somewhere.

Physically, I had an aching left knee last night and this morning, probably from grinding the ligament against the hardness of the ex-convent spot, over by the Presbyterian Church, where I slept Thursday night.

I purposely spent the rest of my money on a costly energy drink this morning, so I wouldn't be tempted to drink 3 beers before the artwalk. I have been foraying into playing the first set of songs totally sober, lately. It just takes more focus to get things going, but the added acuity makes for some more "cerebral" music.

Is Oil Job Slipping Away?

The oil cleanup people have not managed to get through to me. They are hard to get in touch with. I hope the job hasn't slipped away. -More reason for getting a cell phone.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ready To Give It My All

As of yet, there has been no message from the people who interviewed me about the oil spill cleanup job.
Last night, at Serda's Coffee, a guy told me not to go on the job because there were carcinogens and poison vapors, and it is not worth 11 bucks per hour, acording to him.
Now, I go to the coin shop, which is a 3 mile walk, to trade in my 1944 Mercury Dime, in extra fine condition. Sombody threw it in my case, probably thinking that it was a foreign coin, and worthless. They may have thought that they were mocking me in that way. I am expecting to get $2.50 for the dime.

I want to go to Starbucks, which is also up that way...