Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jasmine In My Mind

Yamaha Screwed Up (I don't have a photo, so, enjoy the Potter kids)

The Yamaha guitar, which I traded the Johnson which Scott gave me (along with $20) for, turned out to be very screwed up. When I tested it at the store, I checked the intonation at a certain point. It was missing a stringat that time.
I later strung it with the Elixirs, confident that a Yamaha would meet certain standards of quality. It probably would have, if there wasn't a slight bend in the neck of it. This didn't become evident until I had all the strings on it and tried to tune it up.

I was pretty depressed, and went back to the sleeping spot, and layed down. I didn't bother trying to play the streets. I kept getting up and taking the guitar out and trying out different things on it. It sounded awful. I went to sleep and woke up depressed. I at least had a plan of action, though.

This morning, I took the Yamaha back to The Friendly Pawn Shop, and told Tom about the problem. I asked him if he had anything else in the same price range, or, if I could carry a balance on some more expensive instrument.

I Get A Jasmine By Takamine
Tom gave me a Jasmine guitar, which is made by Takamine. Takamine is an even better name than Yamaha. I wouldn't be able to afford one, but their subsidary brand, Jasmine, is more in my "range," yet still made well -just of cheaper materials. Jerry Garcia had a Takamine. Look, there he is with it! Hey, Jerry!

The thing played much better than the others.
I put on the Elixirs, even though it already had some pretty new strings.
I probably should have left those on, as they were new and ...

I realised that the Elixirs were part of the problem, having been taken off of one guitar and then strung on another, and then another yet. I guess they need to settle into a certain pitch, and don't transplant well.
It Still Needs Some Work
The tuning machines slip a bit on the Jasmine. This is probably why someone pawned it. It slips out of tune, especially on certain strings. I still have 4 tuning machines left from the set of six which I had to buy upon arriving in Mobile, whereupon one of mine broke.

My mission, now, is to go back to the pawn shop and borrow tools to put the 4 machines on the 4 worst strings. Hopefully a couple of them arent' slipping. I will know better after messing around with it some tonight.

I still need to see about replacing my glasses, that last thing keeping me from exploring New Orleans.

It has been a slow day. I have a slight cold. I still havent' eaten much in the past week. I had three banannas and a mango, along with a green vegetable drink today.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beer Fest

The Beer Fest

Upon leaving the library, and retrieving the guitar which Scott Haney, (who is probably the best firemedic in all of Mobile,) had given me, I walked towards town, noticing that there were huge amounts of people milling about and participating in the "Beerfest."

I thought about the fact that I had just about no money at all, and that there were more people on the street than I had ever seen, and they were almost all white and looked like they had jobs. I resolved to go to my acoustical spot and do whatever I could with the Johnson guitar, even though the strings were compromised.

I tuned the thing to an open "A," which is what I did to the Johnson which got stolen, whenever I had to string it similarly.

I sat and played, totally sober. I played the Mississippi Delta Blues, as they are the only thing that I know to play in the "open A" tuning.

I was able to coax a decent sound out of the guitar. Someone came by and threw me a dollar. I thought briefly that it was a beer, and then pushed the thought out of my mind.

One dollar turned into more, and, by 8 pm., I had composed a song about Karrie, which fit into the Mississippi Delta Blues that I was playing, pretty well, actually. I guess those old pioneers of The Blues had experiences with hard drinking women who left them, to draw upon when creating the style of music...

One couple came by, and talked to me and asked me about the song. I started to tell them about Karrie, and they interupted me and told me to sing it, instead of speaking it. I continued the story, putting it to the blues. They gave me 20 bucks, and then another 5, after a particularly expository line, which rhymed, and, while I was playing for them, other people threw a few more dollars in my case.

I played the whole Beerfest sober, while people who weren't used to drinking a beer at every one of 12 different stops, walked by, trying to "handle it." I kept thinking about how safe the roadways were going to be that night.

I never once played a familiar song (though I had a couple requests for things like Led Zepplin and Sublime; and I had to explain about the unorthodox tuning) and I was up to about 55 bucks when the thing ended. At one point a girl gave me a plastic cup of Chardonnay. It was the first drink that I had had in 3 days.

I took a break, and went off to drink a fine expensive beer, which I didn't like.

(left) Robert Johnson "King of the Mississippi Delta Blues"
The Beerfest was over, but the night wasn't. I went to play some more, conscious of the work ethic which demands more than 2 hours of work from an individual, in order for him to expect to survive. I ended up making 80 bucks, with a guitar which was mis-strung, and tuned to the Mississippi Delta Blues tuning.

By the end of the night, I had vastly improved my playing in that particular genre, also, and am ready to challenge Ben, the ambulance driver, for the title of "King of the Mississippi Delta Blues in Mobile."

I Perpetrate A Fraud

After I layed down that night, with my guitar strap wrapped around my backpack, which I use for a pillow, I hatched a scheme in my sleep, in order to get back at whoever stole my last guitar.

I showed up at The Coffee Club, and was asked the inevitable question: "You got your guitar back?"

This was what I was waiting for. I put my scheme into action.

I said: "Yeah, I got it back. The idiot who stole it just happened to sell it to one of my best friends, who was my cellmate for about 8 months. Yeah, I ran into him and he asked me what was up,and I told him that my guitar got stolen. He brought out my guitar and said 'Is this it?,
and I said , 'Yeah, that's it..."

"He told me that he was going to take care of the guy who stole it from me in his 'own way...'"

I am pretty sure that I know who stole my guitar, judging by the scared looks on a couple of faces. It was one of the few times that I've seen black guys turn white.

Free Coffee And Strings

Sunday, I woke up with about 64 bucks on me, and went towards town. I was hoping to be in time for the breakfast at 15 Place, though, I was debating upon wheather or not to eat. I still hadn't had much solid food since my guitar got stolen on Tuesday morning.

I arrived at 15 Place, and had enough sense to go around the side of a building before lighting a cigarette. I didn't feel like dealing with those "on the mooch," and didn't have any sarcastic replies which I wasn't tired of using already.

Once around the side of the building, I was talking to a lady about her multiple brain surgeries, when, her husband showed up, with a cup of coffee and told me where to go to get my own free cup of coffee. I had been considering spending 2 bucks at Serda's for one, but I was reluctant to. I still didn't feel rich enough, with my 64 bucks, to do that.

The Church On Sunday

I found the "free coffee spot" to be none other than a church, where a service of some sort was in progress.

I walked in and asked around for the coffee. Once I got my cup, I sat down and listened to someone preach upon Acts 15:11, which was about being saved.

A man asked to see me in a back room, and to bring my guitar with me. I followed him to a room, wondering if he was a cop about to arrest me for stealing my own guitar. He asked me to play. I did. He told me that I had the spirit of a musician, and that they (musicians) were not like other people and that he could tell when I walked in the place, that I was different (but still liked coffee).

He gave me a set of strings, after I made excuses before I played about the condition of my strings. And he gave me a peg winder, to wind strings quickly with.

I Trade Up

I'm sure that when Scott gave me the Johnson guitar, he was doing so, in order that I could make the best of whatever I could out of it.

This morning, I took it to the pawn shop and traded it, along with 20 dollars, for a Yamaha guitar, which is similar to the one which I got more than two years ago, when I became a street musician. The intonation problem with the Johnson was a mystery to me, and probably one which would require expensive adjustments by guitar technicians with their proprietary allen wrenches. The Yamaha had good intonation. After agreeing that I could take my Elixir strings (which the guy at the church had given me) off of the Johnson and put them on the Yamaha, I gave him the 20 bucks and left with a Yamaha, strung with Elixirs. I think it is probably the best setup which I have had yet.

That's about it for now. Today is Monday. Tonight is open mic at The Garage. I might go there and play, but, not before first trying out the Yamaha thoroughly.

I would like to thank all of those who came to my aid in my crisis of having my livelyhood stolen from me while I slept.

I think some other people had gotten guitars for me, and they may even give them to me yet. Someone mentioned cleaning out a storage unit at U-Haul, which might contain a guitar, which he will give to me, if it is there. If it is a 1949 Martin guitar, then I will donate the Yamaha to charity...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Spot Of Rain

Friday, It rained. Twice.

I got caught on Dauphin Street, after I left the library, and was on my way to pick an ashtray; I guess I got what I deserved. Things like that never seem to happen to non-smokers.

I waited under the overhang in front of the "Spot Of Tea" place. The "Spot Of Tea" manager once asked me to play my guitar on the balcony, which overlooks Cathedral Square. I thought about it, but then figured that I could do better on the street, as, there were not many people on the balcony overlooking Cathedral Square.

A Poor Man's Santa Claus

I was joined by the guy who carries a huge trash bag everywhere he goes. The bag contains all his stuff. He looks like a poor man's Santa Claus, to me. (His "sleigh" would be a shopping cart, pulled by 8 shiney rats.)

He claims that he carries all his belongings everywhere he goes, because he doesn't trust leaving anything hidden anywhere. When people tell him "Why don't you stash most of your stuff somewhere, and just carry what you use everyday," he becomes suspicious of them. I said that to him once, and he shunned me for a couple of days.

He soon got over it, though, and resumed talking to me, mostly about the constellations, which he watches nightly from Cathedral Square, and his observation that the stars are moving around, subtly enough to escape the notice of astronomers, but not so he, who has more time to devote to their study, as he sits there next to his huge plastic bag.

Orion's belt is tighter than it used to be; is he losing weight, or is something going on, that is being covered up by the government?

I Get A Guitar

Firemedic Rescues Me

I was caught in the rain a second time, and ducked into the fire station, to eat peanuts, and read Henry Fielding.

Scott, one of the firemedics was there, and I told him about the guitar being stolen. We talked for a while, and then he told me to return to the station in the evening.

I went back in the evening and he gave me a Johnson guitar, like the one which I had, only a different model. He said that it was just laying around his house and that he had no need for it. He cautioned me that I might need to put strings on it.

I walked to the church where I sleep, and messed around with it. It was raining lightly. A few minutes of playing it made it evident that it definitely needed new strings, at least. One of the strings had been replaced with one which didn't belong in that spot, and it was very much out of tune.

It being Friday night, and the rain having stopped, I thought about trying to make some money, but I hadn't solved the intonation problem, and I figured that one more day without any cash wasn't going to matter much.

I slept, with the guitar strap through the strap on my backpack, which I use for a pillow. I lay there, thinking about things and hatching a plot to punish whoever stole my guitar....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grape Juice In The Graveyard

The community of Mobile is quietly rallying around me.

I filed a police report on the stolen Johnson this morning.

Not much to do but drink some grape juice, and read in the graveyard.

It has been 3 days now.

Last night, there was a Revival, at the Convention Center. I was invited in, as I passed by.

I told the ladies who invited me that I was on my way to wash myself in the park, and then, if I felt 'revived" I would join in.

Someone in the park said that they were serving food at the Revival. It seems like they use food to lure people to church sometimes.

I went and drank juice at the sleeping spot, instead, and talked to the two guys.

I moved to the porch, because of a couple ants, and went to sleep there.

There was a violent thunderstorm in the early morning, and soon the two guys who sleep around the side had joined me on the porch, along with another mysterious figure, who showed up, as the rainfall began to intensify, and who stayed at the far end.

Whenever the lightning flashed, I caught a glimpse of him, and wondered if he is the one who had stolen my guitar. He looked rather old and frail.

I think it will become evident who stole the guitar, eventually.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rural Alabama

Songwriter's Open Mic Night
Wednesday (last) night, I walked, unburdened by a guitar, to Serda's, as their Songwriter's Open Mic Night, was beginning.

There were a lot of people there, several performers, many of which seemed to know each other.
I was greeted by one kid, who recognized me.
The crowd was young, seemed to be cut from the same fabric, and most had devices for recording music and video. They were using them to document their friend's performances and, as in the past, were ignoring the other artists, for the most part.
But, not to think this "sour grapes" from me, I welcome the challenge to entertain so well that they will want to turn their devices on and record the performance, then put it on U-Tube.
I haven't seen this come to fruition yet, but have had at least one offer to do so, a few weeks ago.

The MC asked me if I was going to play, and offered to let me use his guitar, after I had told him that mine was stolen, and he had said "That sucks."

The performers before me were bizzare and interesting, and seemed as if their music had been spawned way out in the country, where there were not many other influences to rub off upon it.
They were musically proficient, but, the one's who were more skilled on the instrument were generally less inspired lyrically; the one's with the better lyrics just strummed simple accompaniment, in general.
I had to keep telling myself: "Don't judge them, they probably think you're just as weird," as I watched and listened. One very short guy, actually introduced one of his songs, and then added "...and it's cute," before playing a number which left me at a loss to find any "cuteness" in. He asked the audience, a great portion of which were his friends, how his hair looked, before starting. He seemed half serious in his inquiry.
Performance Marred By Lack Of Warming Up
Having not played all day, and using a pretty unfamiliar guitar, I was not very comfortable; pretty rusty. I usually play for a couple hours on the street before doing the Serda's gig.

In the back of my mind was an awareness that I was playing for some strange people from the hills of rural Alabama, and had trouble deciding which songs might appeal to the 25 or so, of them, how to do them, and should I tell them that the songs were good, before launching into them.

I was glad that nobody who had been there in weeks past requested "Hubert's Trip," or "The Carcass song," and I was able to give them each a well needed rest.

I hadn't really worked on anything, not having an instrument, and wound up doing "My Favorite Horse," after telling the story about how it was composed for a guitar missing a string.
I then did "Crazy About A Crazy Girl," and was informed by the MC, after I finished it, that there were still several more performers on queve, and to do one more song, a good one.
I did "You Must Be Getting What You Want," the song about Karrie, and how she hasn't bothered to find these 12 weeks that I've been in Mobile.

I was a moderate success. I wasn't really in my element, wanting to keep it simple, for not being warmed up, but wanting to play something kind of fancy, in order to self-promote, because one never knows when opportunity will knock, and one might be invited to join a hillbilly band in rural Alabama.

After the event, I slept at the church spot, next to the two guys who are afraid of being attacked during the night.

This morning, I had just coffee and gave my food to one of the guys who is afraid of being attacked, and thus, continued my juice diet, which I began yesterday. I have only had a handful of peanuts, and three bananas, the past two days, but, a lot of grape juice. I feel great, and the stiffness in my joints has subsided.

Just A Backpack

I feel strange, walking around without a guitar on my back. Fewer people say hello to me, because now I represent a simple homeless man, and not a poor guy struggling to make a living playing music. There is a big difference to some, and I am looked at "askance" more often now, as I sport just a backpack.
I still walk with my head up (like my favorite horse) because I know I am still a musician.
Guitar Still Not Found
Support from several homeless
I have gotten a lot of support from other street people. Not all are spitefull nor glory in the misfortunes of others. There are some who certainly resented me being able to make money playing songs, as if it called attention to their lack of ability to so the same. These do not make up the majority, I am finding out, to my mild surprise. There are many who despise people who would steal from other homeless.
It occured to me that the eyes and ears of all the homeless might be a more effective dragnet than any that the Mobile Police might muster.
The guitar might still be found. It will probably be in the hands of someone who bought it from someone else, perhaps for "peanuts."
A Lead
Someone told me, over coffee this morning, that "a new guy" was seen playing a guitar in front of a certain "peanut" store, one who reportedly could hardly play, and was fussing with the strings.
This someone didn't get a detailed description of this supposed guitar which this supposed 'new" guy supposedly had, but, my guitar was stolen after I had tuned it to the unorthodox "open G" tuning, which I had been working on. This would explain a novice player's bewilderment over the relationships between the strings, and cause him to sit in front of a peanut store and fuss with them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Human Raccoons

Tuesday night, I felt like I had a lot of extra time on my hands to contemplate my next move. I had read a lot and drank juice all day.

I got a bag of peanuts and a morning energy drink from Save-A-Lot, then went to the spot around the side of the church, where the two guys have been sleeping, where the water spigot and the 5 gallon buckets (for laundry) are.
There is also a vent which blows hot air out of the church, which will dry your stuff overnight.

We ate peanuts and theorised about the couple, that probably stole my guitar.

I slept at their spot, my bag upon pine needles, which were softer than marble,though not as luxurious. Still, I had torturous dreams, one in which, a voice kept telling me to steal a guitar, myself.

I shouldn't drink energy drinks before bed. The two guys were happy to have company. They worry about being attacked during the night. They are up and out, early in the morning though, and can wake me up tomorrow, as I will try the Labor Finders place, trying to find labor.

FRIENDLY PAWN, 312 S. Broad St. Mobile, AL 36603

I went to FRIENDLY PAWN ("We Buy Scrap Gold",) this morning, after my morning energy drink, to inform him about the guitar. He asked me if the stickers were still on it, and if there were any other identifying features about it. He must have noticed the stickers when he saw me playing on the street. It would be his habit, to take notice of such things.

I told him about the pawnbroker in St. Augustine, who let me have the Johnson on credit, whom I payed back in installments, and said that he could call him for a "reference."

He said that if I could come up with half of the price of a guitar, then he would be willing to let me "walk out with it," and pay off the rest as I go.

I took his card, with the address on it.

If any of my facebook friends, or people at the open mic nights, want to give me any money towards it, they would only have to get a money order, and send it to the pawnshop in my name, and not have to pay Western Union. They could then hit me up for money and/or cigarettes when they see me on the street, in the future.
"Tom" told me to go to fill out a police report, and then the detective could go on his computer and see if the Johnson has been pawned. If I identify it well enough, I would get it back (after paying the 15 or 20 bucks that the human raccoons probably got for it.)

I will play at Serda's tonight and let "everybody" know about the heist. Maybe my "fan base" will help out.

I Can Play The Saw

I also am considering playing the saw on my spot. The pawnshop guy would let me borrow a saw. I would just need a bow to play it with. I think I could make money with the saw.

The One-Man-Band guy in St. Augustine, took breaks from the O.M.B. thing, and played the saw every once in a while. He didn't have the best of intonation, and it was hard to tell what song he was playing on the saw, but he still made pretty good tips.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guitar Stolen From By My Head

ID Card Was In The Case
I always suspected that there were people with nothing better to do than try to find out where a guitarist (or anyone with anything of value) sleeps and then plot to steal his guitar, or his thing of value, given the environment I am in.

My guitar was stolen from right by my head late last night, the same way the alarm clock had been, about a week ago. There are two other guys, who sleep around the side of the church, and who had a backpack stolen the same night my alarm clock was. We figured that the thieves had left town, as, few would be stupid enough to walk around sporting a stolen backpack. Maybe there are a fresh set of thieves.

The Guy And The Woman

I had lied down pretty early, and woke up around midnight, as a guy and a woman climbed up onto the porch, and were preparing to lay down in one of the other shadows. I was sure that I had seen them before. I didn't see them as a threat, but...

I was in and out of sleep, as evidenced by the gaps in the radio programs. I had my guitar right by my head, as noted in the head of this article.

Every time I woke up, I glanced over at the other homeless people, to see if they were still there. I was using them as an alarm clock, as I knew that they would most probably not miss the free breakfast. I don't know if the fact that one was a woman made them seem like less of a threat, but, I guess it shouldn't have.

Sometimes I observed them lying down, sometimes sitting up. They didn't have even a piece of cardboard to lay on. Both of these things should have been red flags, now that I think of it.

Their restlessness could have meant they were on crack; the lack of anything to lay on, could have meant that they weren't there to sleep, but on some other mission. Either way, I should have wrapped the strap of my guitar case around my arm, as I often do.

At one point, I was thirsty and had one of my energy drinks, even though they are not recommended for bedtime. This made my sleep even lighter.
I must have thought that I would wake up, should anyone come near.

In the early morning, I woke to see the two of them gone. I still had my guitar.
I rose one last time as dawn was breaking. They had returned, and were sitting up in their spot.
I noticed the guitar missing, and confronted them.

The man immediately got defensive and said something like: "If there's one thing that I'm not, that's a thief!"

I was thinking that it was exactly what a thief would say. In fact, the more vehemently they protest, the guiltier they sound.

Then he added, "Besides, what would I need a GUITAR for, anyways!?!" Perfect, just like the thief who stole a carton of Newports and defended herself with: "I don't even smoke menthols!," then went and sold them for 20 bucks to someone who did...

I sat there a while longer, considering waiting for them to leave, and then tailing them.

The guitar would have been stashed somewhere, to be sold later, or had already been sold during the night to a dope dealer, which would be consistent with them being up fidgeting most of the night, and then disappearing at 2 am, on some kind of "errand."

I told them that it wasn't likely that someone would come onto the porch with 3 people there, any one of which might be awake.
The woman answered "We left for a while," a little bit too quickly, I thought.

In hindsight, I should have acted as if nothing was wrong. (What did I expect them to say, anyways, when I confronted them?)

That would have cast a different light on people like the guy at The Coffee Club, who asked me where my guitar was, and when told that it was stolen, asked if I had any clues as to who took it.

He may have been trying to be helpful, but, he also reminded me of the arsonists who show at a fire, and ask if they have, "Any suspects?"

What To Do

There isn't much else to do about it, but inform the pawn shop owners, and I suppose, the police.

As far as what I will do myself, I'm posting this to let everyone (who reads this) know what happened, and I will sit and think, and drink grape juice for a day or so; and try to decide what to do next. I'm faced with the hassle of replacing another ID card, also.

This will also allow a couple of days for the chance that it might just "turn up" somewhere.

Nobody can reasonably expect to pawn it in this city, and it wouldn't be worth driving to another place for the 20 bucks, which is all they could get for it, as it has been banged around in the past year and a half.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Around Mobile For 84 Days

I've been here for 84 days now. I have not changed my rating of Mobile as C+.

One hardly ever notices an out of state plate on a car here. I think that is because nobody really has a reason to come here, unless it is to sleep in the same car and take advantage of all the "homeless friendly" services, of which everyone except myself (because I make money with my guitar) is welcome to.

Saturday, I slept from about midnight until about 4am. I went out on the street, not realising the time; then went back to sleep.

Sunday, I was at the store at noon, and drank two beers. I then fell asleep in a spot that I was hididng from the rain in. I woke up at 5pm.
A Day Of Juicing
I woke up with $6.21, this morning, and went to wash up at the park.

I had slept past The Coffee Club, but wasn't too hungry and had my own instant coffee.
I Become Prejudiced, And A Liar

A black man in the park asked me for a cigarette. I told him truthfully that I had only one.
He said "I think you're prejudiced."

I didn't really hear him, but could tell by the tone of his voice that he was upset because I wouldn't give him something for free.

I said "When is someone going to give ME something?"

He stepped closer and asked me to repeat what I said. I did.

Then, he told me that he was from Chicago and that he knew my type and that I was "probably raised that way," (to never give black people anything for free?)

I showed him my empty cigarette box.

He still didn't believe that I had only one cigarette. He must have thought that I carry a "dummy" box, which I use to fool black people. He called me a liar.
He is the same guy who hit the man outside The Coffee Club, over something.

Grape Juice
I may have only juice today, as a precursor to another fast, in which I will try to be more sucessful.
So much to work on, today. I am a busy homeless guy.
I am thinking of going to the Health place to see about replacing my glasses. I would like to have them before going to New Orleans, so I can spot danger at a greater distance.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No Crying Roast-Meat

Thursday night, I ran into Terry, an elderly black guy, who reaffirms my belief that the color of one's skin is of no import, pertainent to the nobility of one's character; him being a very cool black guy.

We sat and I drank my first Earthquake of the day, which whittled my cash down to $2.87.

We were joined by a guy who's name I forget, but whom I see a lot at the library, and I am actually a "friend" of his on Facebook. We smoked and drank.

Soon, it was time to go into town, as it was nearing the time of the Great Feeding at 15 Place. I wanted to play for about an hour, before partaking of that Grand Feast. I could remember the previous week, when I had only 32 cents, and ate at 15 Place, then went out and played.

I had my second beer, waiting for The Great Dining Hall to open. I had 3 helpings of shepherd's pie. It was just about perfect, a Miracle On Joachim Street.

A Lady Gives Me 25 Dollars

I sat on my spot, the acoustically superior one, and played. My new "g" string rang out, and a new low "e" string did the same.

I can't remember what music I was doing, but, a lady came by and asked me if I wanted a snack. She was holding a bag, which she deposited next to me. It contained a muffin, a rice treat kind of thing, and three apples. She dropped 20 dollars in my case, next to the 3 which were already in there.

"Thank, you! Do you need change?," I asked, offering her the 3 bucks.

She said that she didn't want any change, and that, in fact, she was going to give ME more change. She dropped 5 more bucks in. She said "I love music."

The apples made me wonder if she reads this blog...

I had 28 bucks, and should have been set up for a productive night, but, people came along and gave me beer and invited me to go eat.

Along came Terry, the cool older black guy (because of whom, I can't judge anybody by the color of their skin) and asked me for beer money. I gladly gave him 2 dollars, and he went to the beer store, and came back with change.

Then came the guy, who's name I forget, and sat down and listened for a while. He had worked that day, and had 100 dollars. He offered to get beer, and did so; producing a 6 pack of Budweiser. He wanted to get food, also, but I advised against the out of control spending which getting food on Dauphin Street would entail.

I played more, and got two 5's, and a few more ones -not bad for a spot with light traffic, but excellent acoustics. I was eventually feeling pretty drunk, and only vaguely remember the rest of the night, except the following.

I ran into Israel, who was bragging about the 8 dollars that he made at a busy (hectic) spot up the street. "That's a good spot," he said.

When asked how I had done, I didn't want to tell him that I had made about 37 dollars to his 8. I was thinking of something that I had read in Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding (which, by the way, is turning into one of the most excellent books which I have ever read) The quote has to do with not "foolishly bragging" about good fortune, when all it would do is "call forth partakers of what you intend to enjoy privately." He (Fielding) called it "Crying roast-meat." and I think it comes from olde English lore, (and the Lidgeleys may be able to verify this.)

I told Israel that I had done "alright, thanks to one generous lady." He probably thought that I was thrown 10 bucks. I don't think that he will try to play my spot, but, there is still a price to pay for bragging, and he might have spread the word, in the form of "I wish I made 37 bucks, like Daniel did," whereupon, I would be plagued by supplicants for money and cigarettes the whole night long.
Knowing that I had money, they would paint me as a greedy individual, were I to turn them away.

The mentality which produces notions like: One should take whatever he has and "share" it with everyone, because we are "all in this together,' and are all "out here, struggling," and we "all need to look out for one another, is prevalent amongst them, and well documented in this blog.

I don't subscribe to it, because I produce income. I believe that those fellows who trumpet the above philosophical point of view, if audited, would be found to have their balance sheets skewed drastically, in the direction of "money bummed," completely overshadowing "money given to others."

At one point, I took a break and walked with the guy who's name I forget, up to the store. I got an energy drink for the (this) morning.

Violence Breaks Out Over 10 Bucks

The guy who's name I forget was in a dispute with a young black kid, over 10 dollars, and at one point, got hold of the young black kids cellphone, as a securty against the 10 dollars. I was entrusted to hold the phone, being kind of a referee of sorts.

The young black kid was unable to produce the 10 dollars, and still wanted his phone back. Being fair and impartial, I told him that the phone was being held until the guy who's name I forget, got his 10 bucks. The young black kid wanted the phone back first, claiming that the 10 bucks would then be turned over. I told him that it would not work that way, as, the phone had little value to us, and more to him etc.

He swung his fist, hitting me somewhere in the cheek, I think. I felt hardly anything. I stood there, looking at him. The kid actually went and got a cop, of sorts (a Community watchdog type of guy who walks around in a yellow shirt and gives people directions and watches out for crime, or something) who told us to just give the kid the phone back, and swallow the 10 bucks and consider it a lesson learned (not to ever trust him again.) He went on to say that sometimes these young black kids will shoot people over 10 dollar cell phones.

Somehow, I woke up with about 24 bucks and the energy drink.

I remember going to the Exxon, very late, and spending about 5 bucks on cigarettes and one last Steel Reserve, and getting back to town, to find it pretty deserted. I remember trying to fool myself into thinking that I wasn't going to the Exxon, mainly hoping to run into Corrie.

This morning, I bought nail clippers, and hair conditioner. The lady at CVS gave me some elastics for my pony tail, as the "professional" ones only came in 12 packs, at $3.99 per pack...

Tonight being Saturday night, and the thunderstorm having already passed through, it might be a pretty good night. I will go to New Orleans, if I have more than 20 bucks by Monday, what the heck....

Now, I ponder getting a cell phone of my own, so that I will have a phone, an alarm clock, and a stopwatch all in one....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Fall From Grace

Leaving the library, and going to get my guitar and my backpack, it occured to me that I had better go to the music store and replace the string which broke on Friday.

This involved a bus ride out to "West Mobile."

I got an Earthquake at the store, drank it while listening to the radio, and then went to the bus stop, where I drank a Steel Reserve. One needs to build up his courage to go to the music store.

The bus came by, and I got on, and it soon became apparent that I was going to have to use a restroom.

I was uncomfortable enough when the bus made its interim stop at a mall, to get off at the mall, and use the "restroom" behind a bush. I knew that I would have to reboard a bus to continue to the music store, and it would cost me another $1.25. That is what I get for drinking an Earthquake and a Steel Reserve, I thought. Just to keep this all about money, as it has been lately, I had $10.43 on me.
I started to think about just how far the music store was from that mall, where most of the buses seem to stop, and "connect" to each other.
A Mall Security Guy Steers Me Wrong
I asked one of the security guys, who was driving around with the flashing yellow light on his SUV, if he knew where The Festival Center was, and if so, how far away was it.

He told me that I just needed to walk down the road to the left, cross a bridge, and I would be "right there;" -less than a mile, was what he thought.
I went to the road and took a left and started walking. I did go over a bridge, but didn't encounter it untill I had already walked more than a mile.
I walked another mile, before deciding to stop and ask someone where The Festival Center was.

I was told by a lady that it was "way back that way," as she pointed in the direction from which I had come.

Now, I was racing against the clock, as, the last bus from the music store, back to Mobile, was at 6:20 pm.

I walked back in the direction from which I had come. I stopped and asked directions again, at a little store. The lady in the store told me that I had walked around in a big circle, after I told her where I had walked.

"I think the guy might have purposely given me wrong directions, out of meannes," I said.

"Some people will do that," said another customer. Especially if they are black, and you are white, I didn't add....

The store lady pointed me in a direction and told me that I would come out right at the music store, "in about a mile." I started walking in that direction.

After about a mile, I asked for directions from a man at a garage of some kind. He told me that I was headed in the right direction, and would be there "in about a mile."

I got to the store in time for the last bus, but not in time to buy a string AND get the last bus.

decided to get the string, and take my chances with getting back to town. I figured that SOMEONE would help a fellow musican with a ride back to town.

Serda's open mic was to start at 9 pm.

By 9 pm, I was holding my thumb out on the side of the road and watching car after car pass by. Nobody stopped, or even slowed down. Nobody at the music store was heading towards town, or they didn't have room in their cars, due to music equipment. I stood there for about an hour.

I decided that I hated every man woman and child in Mobile, Alabama. I wished them all agonizing deaths. It is hard to believe that not ONE person like myself drove by, who would have offered a ride to someone with a guitar on his back...

I decided to just spend the night out there in West Mobile.
I found a restaurant, which had an enclosed area behind it, with running water (hot and cold) and a couch. I washed my clothes, changed, and then lied down on the couch, and listened to my cheap AM radio, and was soon fast asleep.

I woke up around 9 am,. according to the sun, which I am becoming adept at reading, went to get a Mountain Dew, and then to the bus stop. (I almost got a Steel Reserve.)

I got back to town, with a new string, and $3.62.

The whole fiasco had cost me about 7 bucks, and about 7 miles of walking.

And that's the way it is, August 19th, 2010.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things Turn Around

Tuesday, after leaving The Waterfront Rescue Mission, I walked through a light rain, to the store, and bought an energy drink on my food card, above the warnings of the lady behind the glass that it would make my heart explode.

A Man Gives Me A Dollar

I was headed towards the library, with the energy drink and the $1.06, which had been spared from being spent on a Steel Reserve, in favor of said energy drink.

I heard a voice cry out, from across the grassy field, and saw two figures sitting behind the dumpster, on the other side of it.

I diddn't recognize them, due to the absence of my glasses from my face, and was almost ready to continue on, sure that they were going to have me walk all the way over there so they could try to bum a cigarette. I had no cigarettes; just an energy drink and $1.06.

It turned out to be a guy whom I had met before and who had turned out to be a decent guy. He was with a decent looking (in a homeless way) lady.

I had played guitar for him at our first meeting. He introduced me to the lady, gave me a few cigarettes and a dollar, and then they went off to some appointment.

More Good Fortune

I left the library, after the last post, and took my $2.06 to the store and got two cans of 211, and drank them, while listening to AM talk radio.

I then went to the median, and played for a while, starting off with 32 cents; the change from the beer purchase.

A guy gave me 5 bucks after rolling his window down and recognizing the music of Jim Croce.

Night was falling, as I walked to the Exxon, after dropping some heavier things at the railroad spot.

A Man Buys Me A Sub

I went into the Exxon and got a 211, and drank it behind the store. I was returning for one more, when a man, who was entering, held the door for me and asked me if I was "alright," and then, if I wanted a sub from Subway. He bought me "anything you want," which was a vegetable sub with all the hot stuff on it.

Corrie, And Her Cream Filled Doughnut

Emerging from the store, with sub in hand, I ran into the guy who had been with Corrie, the time when I met her, and she said that she had heard that I was very good on the guitar, and had begged me to play for her.

We exchanged pleasantries, and then he said "Here comes your buddy," or words to that effect. I looked to see none other than Corrie, riding up on her bike. She looked to be her same animated self. She was wearing a tank top and looked pretty. (simulation->)

I found out from her that she was there hoping for a rendezvous with the man who delivers the doughnuts to the Exxon. He apparently knows her (them) and gives away the doughnuts which are to be thrown away otherwise. Corrie was hoping to eat a cream filled one, and, according to her, there hadn't been any for a couple of nights. "Cream filled must sell out fast," I said.

She told me that, yes, they do.

I could see in her expression, both hope of getting a cream filled doughnut, and a willing acceptance of the fact that they are often sold out. There was a cautious optimism in her blue eyes.

Her eyes are a very bright blue, and one of them drifts slightly, giving her a dazzled expression, which is in keeping with a girl whose biggest concern might be to make it to the Exxon in time for the arrival of the doughnut man.

The man arrived, and parked his Krispy Kreme truck, by the gas pumps. Corrie and company descended upon it. The man stepped out and greeted them with a smile, walked to the back of the truck, opened the door, and sent them on their way, cradling boxes of doughnuts.

The goods were checked, and a creme filled doughnut was indeed discovered in one box by "Will," who handed it to Corrie, who bit into it then said: "That's what I'm talking about!"

I saw the doughnut man, watching all this from inside the store, where he was loading the case with "fresh ones." He kept glancing at Corrie, as she devoured the creme filled doughnut, with an amused smile on his face.

I would hazard a guess that this is his favorite part of the job of Krispy Kreme deliveryman.

"He's really nice; he knows us," said Corrie, licking the last of the cream off her tanned fingers.

I'm sure you saw to it that he did, I was thinking, but didn't say it.

A Kid Gives Me 3 Bucks
I left, after declining an invitation from Corrie to hang out with them. I don't need to become any more attracted to her. The similarities between her and another person who has occupied a lot of space in this journal in the past, is almost eerie. A creme filled doughnut, though, is cheaper than a fifth of liquor, and probably makes a girl sweeter to kiss...

I walked to Serda's, after reclaiming the heavier stuff from the railroad spot.

I had $3.36 left, and half a vegetable sub.
There was a group of young people at the tables in front of the place.

A youth, who I didn't quite recognize, came over and handed me 3 bucks.
Maybe he is one of the followers of my blog, who read about me waking up with 6 cents. Maybe he is one of the listeners at the Songwriter's Open Mic, I don't know.
Now, I had $6.36. Enough for HOW MANY cream filled doughnuts?....hmmm....

5 Bucks And Change

Leaving Serda's, I was in the mood to try to play my modified guitar. I had been struck with an inspiration.

At the acoustically superior spot, I re tuned it to an "open A" tuning. This stretched the strings which were in the wrong spots, bringing them closer to the pitches that they would be in, if they were in the right spots.

It sounded great, and, even though I planned to just amuse myself, as it was getting pretty late, a guy came from out of nowhere and threw 5 bucks in my case.

Another threw some change. I love the open A tuning. I sounded like Chet Atkins on steroids.
I lied down on the sleeping bag on the marble with $11.61, after having woken up that morning with 6 cents and a mis-strung guitar.
I decided to stop hating everybody and everything for a little while, just as an experiment.
A Guy Gives Me 2 Bucks

I woke up just as the sun was rising. I knew that it was about 6:45, as I pay attention to the sun, now that my alarm clock has been stolen from right by my head.

I headed for The Coffee Club.
In front of one of the hotels, a well dressed black man struck up a conversation with me, after seeing me pick up a butt from the sidewalk.

He wound up giving me 2 bucks and a cigarette, and telling me that I should go speak to a lady at the Seaman's Lounge, about playing guitar in there for money. He said that she was "looking for someone," until she gets a band "in there."
He added that Jesus loves me, and that "Everything I've told you is good."

Coffee Club, Rainbow Kids, New Orleans Update

I Ate at the Coffee Club, then played their piano a bit. A lady came over and asked me what I was playing. I told her that I was "making it up," as I was. She said that it was beautiful. I said that I was going to call it "Corrie."

I spent $2.19 on cigarettes (special deal) and came here to the library, where I met some Rainbow Kids. We talked for a while about cosmic things, and then they mentioned that they were fresh from New Orleans.

One of them said that it was crazily dangerous there, and people would jump you and beat you and rob you just because you are white. There is a lot of "white hating," there, he summed it up. "They will come to the spot where you sleep and beat you and rob you, just because they have nothing better to do.

Another one said that I would be alright if I got in with other musicians and I was careful. He said that one needs to go around in a group, not alone, in New Orleans.

Another 2 Dollars

While sitting there, talking to the Rainbow kids, a guy with a shaven head came and sat on the bench next to us. He was probably overhearing our conversation. At one point, he handed us 8 dollars, and said that The Lord spoke to him and told him to give us each 2 dollars. This gave me $13.42, and a full pack of cigarettes. I would mess it up by the end of the day, as one can read in tommorow's post (I'm adding this "tommorow")

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Sixth Sense

Tuesday, this morning, I woke up with 6 cents.

Monday morning, I had about 40 cents (a recurring amount) and went out on the median to play for about 45 minutes during the morning rush hour, and after finding out that The Coffee Club was not to convene, due to some complication, possibly an egg and/or grit shortage.

I had broken a string Friday night, but still made about 20 bucks, switching to My Favorite Horse, the song composed for guitar minus "G" string, for the last half hour or so.

Saturday night, I just couldn't bring myself to play for the masses with a messed up guitar; I found no joy at the thought of it. There is only so much to sing about one's favorite horse.

I fell asleep in the church courtyard, instead, knowing full well that I was going to wake up with $3.40, Sunday morning, which I did. I spent a lot of time reading Sunday.

I was happy to go without breakfast, Monday morning, just to see the other bums wailing and gnashing their teeth. I'm sure their stomachs were growling; I couldn't help smile to myself, as I watched them slowly skulk away, and dissipate into the city, to waste away until 11:30, when the next meal was to come. My attitude has come to that, here in Mobile.

I made 4 bucks on the median, and then left before the police drove by, content with the knowledge that I could buy a few beers, if I wanted to, and mix them with V8, as a substitution for breakfast, should I wish.

I wound up getting some V8 and mixing beer with it, and had drank the 4 bucks down to 6 cents, by the time evening arrived, and my spot became available.

There was no money to be made, on that Monday night. About a dozen people walked by my spot, but they probably smelled V8 on me, and didn't want to support my habit by tipping me.

I was playing with a modified guitar, since I had broken the string Friday night.

(I moved the "B" string to the "G" position, and then moved the "E" string to the vacated "B" position, and then attached a new "E" string, which I had in my case, in the correct spot for it.)
Neil To Appear

The result was a twangy sounding guitar, which lent itself to some interesting music, but made most "familiar" music sound out of tune, as, few recording artists string their guitars like I had mine -maybe that is Neil Young's excuse for his intonation, though.
Neil Young is coming to the theatre downtown on September 26th.

I had a good night when Robert Plant came and played there a few weeks ago.

Neil should draw a similar crowd of well dressed former hippies, who have chickened out and run towards the security of college degrees and jobs with titles, when they could have chosen a life with more meaning; and had the chance to take amusement in bums being denied free breakfast.

This morning, I went straight for the water fountain and mixed up some instant coffee, as, word had it that The Coffee Club would be on hiatus this day, also.

I played at the big clock spot and got one dollar. I was playing pretty well, considering the arrangement of my strings.

I ate at the Waterfront Rescue Mission.

There was first, a short prayer service.

The meal was pasta and garlic bread, salad and cake.

The Real Danger

There was a thing of Parmesan cheese on one of the tables. It was passed to the black guy who was with a white lady, across from me. They sprinkled it in their pasta. While they were doing this, a younger black guy held out his hand for it. I held mine out also, and hadn't time to say "Let me get some of that," before it was handed to the other black guy.

"Thanks," I said sarcastically.

The black guy mumbled something.

I will never give him a cigarette or a dollar as long as he lives, neither the white lady. I tried to memorized their faces. I am being just as petty as them, I know...

This is probably the real danger of falling into abject poverty -becoming as petty as those who are in the situation for their pettiness, to begin with....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nothing Happened Today

I am really tired of this life in Mobile, sorry, but there is no adventure to relate, no witticism, no keen observation. I am boring myself half to death about now....

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Saturday morning, I woke up with $18.72.

Things To Do

  1. Go to the library and delete all of the racially insensitive, inflammatory and possibly illegal remarks made on yesterday's post.

Friday night, the night of the Art Walk, I was told by a cop that I needed a performer's license in order to play. He told me this at a time when it was too late to go and get one.
They are free.

I told him that I would go to a spot on private property, where I had never been complained against. I did.

He showed up there, shortly thereafter, and told me that I perhaps hadn't understood him the first time. He went on to say that I couldn't play anywhere downtown, until obtaining a license.

It was Friday night, and the potential to make 50 bucks was there. He threatened me with jail if I persisted.

I wondered if this had anything to do with my singing about the people of Alabama, the night before, portraying them in a not so flattering light.

I milled about, thinking.

I went and got a piece of cardboard and wrote: "Police Won't Let Me Play," upon it, and sat right by the pizza place with my guitar propped beside me and the sign slid between the strings.

I got some sympathy and a few tips.

Then, a lieutenant came up to me and asked me how things were going.

I thought initially that he was going to harass me about sitting there with a sign, sitting there with an instrument (though not touching it) or harass me in general.

To my surprise and joy, he was very apologetic, and explained that the first officer was a rookie and was assigned to walk around and discourage panhandlers.

He added that he had seen me playing before and that the law, as he saw it, did not condemn the playing of music. He added again that he had seen me before and had no problem with me.

There was a guy with him, in plain clothes, who threw a buck in my case.

I went to a good spot, energized by having the Law on my side, and proceeded to have a decent night. I drank some, and still woke up with the 19 bucks, or so. Big deal, eh?

Alarm Clock Stolen From Next To My HeadThere were 3 other homeless sleeping on the same marble stoop at the church, when I arrived at about 4 in the morning.

They hardly stirred when I lied down.
In the morning,
I woke up with the sun already pretty high in the sky. I wondered why my alarm hadn't gone off. My alarm clock was gone.

One of the homeless guys had stolen it, I am pretty sure. He may have been thinking that he needed it in order to go to work early at the labor pool. He may even be intending to pay me back by returning it, after he makes his 50 bucks at the labor pool. All I know is that, after having my mood elevated by a decent night, salvaged after all hope was lost, I was once again pretty angry.

I can't help thinking that if they try to sleep there again, I will knock them unconscious, and then search them for my alarm clock. Whoever has it will be set on fire, and raised on a flagpole, as a warning to the other homeless not to steal from me. The police won't care; they hate homeless people.

The one's who didn't steal my alarm clock will get an apology for being knocked unconscious. I'll give them each a cigarette, too, what the heck...
That clock cost me $4.97 plus tax at Wal-Mart.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Don't Say Anything At All...

Learning To Hate

I have reached a nadir in my Mobile experience.

Yesterday, leaving the library with only the 41 cents in my pocket, I walked through the 96 degree heat to get an energy drink off of my food card. I drank it, and then thought that I might augment the 41 cents by playing at my spot.

Getting there in the early evening, I sat and tried to play anything. I wasn't feeling resourcefull, and could only come up with music about how Mobile is God-forsaken and I'm not makin' any bacon....

There was hardly any foot traffic.

I left and walked further up Dauphin Street, and sat in a park, feeling disgusted and depressed.

The Petty World

Along came two black guys who were apparently drunk, and wanted me to play a song for them. I told them that I had just put on new strings and was still adjusting them. They were persistent. I finally played a few songs, and then they told me that they were on their way to get a 6 pack of beer, and offered me one of the six. At about this time, we were noticing that it was almost time for the Thursday night meal at 15 Place. We decided to hurry to the beer store and then, to eat.

They weren't prepared for the higher prices at The Dauphin Store. They were short of a 6 pack, and so, got a 4 pack.

As we left the store, one of them argued that I shouldn't get my promised beer, since they only came up with 4 of them. The other one, the leader, overruled him, though it seemed like it was an act of self discipline and sacrifice.

I got my beer and proceeded around the back of a building in the direction of 15 Place. The first one followed along with me. As soon as we were out of sight of the leader, and I had opened my beer and taken a long drink off of it, he wanted a sip, before opening his own. A class act.

The leader came around the corner holding a 5 dollar bill, which he had found on the ground, telling us that we both had walked right past it.

I probably would have seen it if not being hounded by the second black man. The second black man probably would have seen it if not busy hounding me for beer which was given to me, in exchange for playing music.

This is the petty world which I find myself thrown into. I actually felt bad about missing the 5 bucks on the ground, having only 41 cents, and all.

Why don't I sell my soul to the Devil?, so sick I am of this poverty and pettiness.

The Girl Who Thinks She Is Black

At 15 Place, the only empty chair was at a table with a large, dumpy looking white girl, who pays no attention to white men, is always seen with black men, has a black boyfriend, and tries to talk like a black girl; cutting the ends off of every word, so that "door" becomes "dough" and "floor" becomes "flow." Also, "There's some salt over there" becomes "It's some salt ova they."

It took all I had, not to just look at her in disgust and ask "What is your problem, anyways?"

The meal was chicken, which had people acting like sharks with blood in the water.

All I thought about was how I could have been out trying to make money, instead of wasting an hour on a meal which I didn't enjoy, with company that I enjoyed even less.

Then, back at my spot, the traffic was almost non existant. I became more annoyed. The serenity prayer wasn't working.

I made not a dime there.

A black guy came along and wanted 28 of my 41 cents, because he was that much short of a pack of cigarettes. You got 41, all I need is 28, why are you trippin'?

Mobile On 41 Cents A Day

I took a break and went to the store. On the way back, a man in the park gave me two Steel Reserves, which had been given to him, though, he didn't want them. I drank them quickly, and then moved to a spot near the clubs.

By then, I was so irritated (even after being blessed with 211) that I was singing about how ugly Alabama girls are *, and backwards and ignorant. The only person who heard me, though, was the guy with the hot dog cart nearby.

One (white) girl gave me a dollar.

(*does not include Porsha, and a certain bartender at Veets)

After a while, I couldn't take it anymore. I was so pissed off at everyone, that I knew I was going to go off and offend someone. I took a break and walked the mile to the Exxon to spend 87 cents of the only dollar I had on an Earthquake Lager.

It's No More Earthquake; They Out

Getting to the store, I found that they had no Earthquake Lager. I grabbed a Steel Reserve and brought it to the large black girl, at the counter.

"Did you guys stop carrying Earthquake?" -A blank stare, as if I wasn't speaking the native tongue.

"They might have discontinued it, because it's so strong. People who drink it like regular beer, not realising that it is 12% alcohol, could wind up wreaking their cars, or something..." -Another dumb look, and then she hit the buttons on the register, and said "87 cents."

I said "Do you think they'll get some more Earthquake in?"

She handed me my change and said "Thank you," nothing more from her.

Do you understand English? This is what is called 'making light conversation.' People do this in order to be pleasant towards each other in a civilized society. What you just did was rude; can you say "rude...?' Try not to cut off the 'd,' there, you go...

I drank down the 211 behind a bush, and then emerged, stewing and fomenting, and cussing; hating "every damned one of 'them'..."

Back in town, things were still "hopping." It was 2:30 am.

While just walking towards the spot near the hot dog cart, carrying the bucket that I sit on, a young white guy handed me 5 bucks. He said "I play guitar, too." That made it possible for me to wake up with $5.41 this morning.

I played by the "colored" clubs for another hour after that and wasn't thrown anything like a tip.

I sat and watched young black guys, come out of the clubs and shamelessly approach the white girls, holding their genitals, and trying to win the girl's hearts, using descriptions of their automobiles, and talk of their educational plans, as pertaining to the acquisition of material wealth.

One conversation between two young black ladies, seemed to center around the fact that a man was trying to woo one of them, but the fact that she saw his car and "it was some Chrysler," made it too hard for Cupid's arrow to penetrate.

Meanwhile, I sat and was ignored, except for some "tough guy" looks from the crotch holders with their boxer shorts half exposed, and a few sarcastic comments. Of course it bothers a street musician to be ignored, and we are supposed to accept it as part of the territory. It was just a little overwhelming, along with everything else, plus the 211.

I am becoming a racist very fast.

[Google: Homemade Backpack Bombs... LOL!]

I planned upon playing at the offramp this morning; something that I do out of desperation, when I really want some money.

After washing up in the park, I emerged to see a cop sitting directly across the street from where I play, as if he read my mind.

I wanted to play then, because the forecast is for rain the next two days. It was drizzling lightly already.

The Trolley Driver From Hell Again

I went across the street to catch the free trolley to the library. It came by and went past me, but had to stop at the corner. I walked up to it and the door opened and it was the same black lady from a previous post, and she said "I thought I told you you can't get on with that guitar!" She wasn't cutting the ends off her words, because I am white, and to suit their purposes, a lot of them can use complete words; especially when trying to get jobs -easy jobs like driving the free trolley...

"I was hoping for a different driver," I said, before she slammed the door and drove off.

I was overcome with anger and I gave her the finger as she drove off. Then, I held my hands together, like an imaginary gun and fired several shots at her. I imagine that she won't let me ride the free shuttle now, even if I don't have my guitar.

I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't call a black cop friend and tell him that I threatened her. The cop would love to be a Black Superman, I'm sure. A lot of them are like that. Obama is like that, I think. He wants to be a big hero to dark skins everywhere, even if (or especially if) it abolishes the America that our forefaters fought for...

When It Rains....

I started walking towards the library, carrying my pack and guitar, and trying to decide what I am going to call the black trolley driver, if she tells me that I can't get on the free trolley, because I gave her the finger. I guess I didn't "fast and cleanse" long enough for the Holy Spirit to inhabit my mind and soul for very long...obviously...

I'm thinking of embarking on another one, before New Orleans...

As I walked, the wind picked up and the rain intensified. The trolley had been almost empty, with plenty of room for a guitar. Someone told me that this particular driver has been seen to park the bus and "just sit there" while on the clock; and that she was heard complaining about how all she does is cart around the homeless, (as if they are harder to drive around than people with dwellings.)

I am trying to think if anything else went wrong in the past day; I may have missed something.

(Short) Positive Note

On a positive note: I found my copy of Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. It was at the abandoned convent spot, on top of an air conditioning housing thing. I almost remember putting it there.

The Artwalk, Definitely, This Time

Tonight is The Art walk.

It wasn't last week, as I previously thought. It's tonight.

The forecast is for rain, though, and that could ruin it for me. I like the art walk, because the majority of walkers are intelligent afficionados of the arts.

The few blacks that walk are the kind that act like intelligent afficionados of the arts. They are only a few centuries removed from grass huts, spears, drums and holding their genitals while talking to the opposite sex, though...