Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saturday Through Tuesday

It has been said, by someone, something like: "If you take the same actions, you will get the same results," or stated with a different slant: "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results."
Just to play the Devil's advocate, what if you draw a card from a deck and it is the 3 of hearts? If you take the same action, and draw again, I would hope that you would expect different results, or would have a bone to pick with whoever shuffled...
That being said, I pretty much had the same Saturday and Sunday, which I have been having lately, with the exception of a couple of anecdotes, which I will elucidate upon.
Friday night, I did pretty well, money-wise; enough to plan a trip to the music store on Saturday.
"God Hates You"
Friday night, there were a group of youths in bright green shirts, standing on the sidewalk, near where I play, who were telling every passerby "God hates you."
This stirred a lot of reactions from the people, many of whom were not un-hostile.
It eventually became apparent that the group were relying upon shock value in order to gain the attention of the multitudes, and as a vehicle to engage them in a religious discussion, which they would steer towards the necessity of relying upon Jesus, as a means of assuaging this hatred, which God has for all of us passersby.
I suppose that, if "in Adam," we were all born in sin, then their argument could have merit, yet, "it is also written" (to quote their Hero) that "God so loved the world etc," something which I wasted no time, after my fourth shot of brandy, in getting in their faces and apprising them of.
I Go Ballistic
I wound up getting pretty drunk, and escalated my verbal attacks upon them, trying to match them in shock value. I told them that "Yes, God hates me, because I'm a Satanist! I murder children and eat their livers!" and any other thing that myself and Paul Mason could think of to throw at them.
At one point, I literally threw an empty miniature bottle of Paul Mason Brandy at them, narrowly missing one girl's head. Pretty childish, and regrettable the next morning, but I was caught up in the religious fervor.
They were causing quite a commotion amongst the good citizens. When I was in the store getting more brandy, I heard one group of youngsters saying "Did you hear those 'God hates you' dudes, up the street? I couldn't believe it, they called me a whore monger and told my girlfriend to cover her breasts!"
Then, one of them, an older woman who wore a brown sun dress rather than a bright green tee shirt, drifted over towards me and told me to stop making "that horrible noise." I guess she referred to my music.
My mom used to use a certain expression when, as a youth I would complain frivolously. It went something like "Shut up, or I'll give you something to complain about!"
I then composed "God Hates You More, You Heretics," which drew smiles and a whole bunch of change from the good people, who, after walking past them and being accosted, saw me as a return to sanity, I guess. Imagine that.
The fifth or sixth shot of brandy (whichever one it was which, when empty, became a missile, launched during this Holy War) having been consumed, I approached them again at close range, for some more mouth-to-mouth combat. They were now showing signs of fear. I noticed then, that they were merely teenagers, and all members of a "Christian Church." The police had positioned an officer nearby, who seemed to be preserving the peace in that particular area. Admittedly, it had crossed my mind to lay one or two of them out, with a punch to the face.
I could feel a strong force moving within me, as I professed my faith. I told them that I could, with faith the size of a mustard seed, clap my hands and bring down lightning upon them. (I really believe this, but would not test it, unless in a more crucial situation.) Eventually, they scattered whenever I came near, and half-heartily murmured their "God hates you," out of half turned faces, as they fled from me.
I had visions of attacking them with a knife, even though I should have been in a good mood, with my case brimming with money. Something was "posessing" me.
A Tip Of A Knife
Saturday morning, I woke up in time for breakfast at 15 Place.
I carried my guitar, which felt inordinately heavy. I had placed the guitar on top of all my tip money and quickly zipped it closed, as I left my spot that morning. I didn't know what was in it.
There had been some potential muggers standing a few feet from me, by a lamp post with no apparent reason for being there. They had lingered until after the throngs of revelers thinned out, and the "God hates you" kids had done the same.
I profited then, from the adage of Kenny Rogers: "You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table," and so, by abruptly closing my case and taking off, I left them little time to formulate any strategies, to mug me.
So, after breakfast, which was just coffee,  I carried my case (which I have already stated, seemed a little heavy) to a spot away from prying, begging eyes, and opened it to count the money.
Underneath the layers of one dollar bills, embedded in the coins, was a knife; one which I hadn't seen put there, and one which may have already been there, at the time I was imagining stabbing the "church" group.
My Arms Supplier?
I recalled a young man saying "God bless you," as he bent down and placed what I thought was a large handful of change in my case. He may have been my weapons supplier, and would have come by right around the time of my reverie about going "Daniel The Ripper" on the "God hates you" youth group.
Sometimes life is interesting in that way; (although you readers who have already dozed off, or clicked to another page, might be proof against that statement.)
I have the knife now, in my back pocket. It is about a 14 dollar knife; 5 inch tungsten steel blade, and mercilessly deadly. I priced them at the Shell station in the ghetto.
I have already opened 2 cans of mackerel with it -sliced them open quite effortlessly. It is New Orleans-ready.
Jasmine Gets Clean Bill Of Health

The next morning, I lit out for The Guitar Center, to get some well-needed strings. I got the 8 dollar set, after my disappointment with the 16 dollar Elixir's, 4 of 6 of which had broken, and needed to be repaired on the spot, affecting the intonation of the instrument and leaving me wondering if it was the strings or the Jasmine, to which I owed the problem.

Thankfully, the technician put the Jasmine on his meters and found it to be an almost perfect instrument -probably the most important news of this whole post.

Sunday In The Park
Sunday morning, after 3 hours of sleep, at best, and after evacuating the church spot before the early worshipper's arrival, I moved to the gazebo in the park to "finish" sleeping.
There, I found none other than Thomas, reposed upon the same concrete, shielded from outside view by the octagonal walls of that structure.
The gazebo has it's gates locked on Sundays, but those gates can be hurdled by those with enough agility. This keeps most of the homeless from disturbing a sleeper, as, even if they could jump the gate to beg a cigarette or a dollar, they would not suffer to be seen doing so, out of fear that their case worker from the Social Security Administration, might view that particular feat of dexterity as grounds to dismiss their claims of physical disability, and cut off their checks, along with the accompanying pain-killing narcotics, upon which they depend for a good portion of their "income;" -more or less, depending upon the current street value of the drugs.
I slept, therefore, pretty peacefully, and woke in time to flip my cheap AM radio on and catch a broadcast of the game between The Colts, and The Texans. And that was how Sunday was mostly spent. I think I had three beers the whole day, and was asleep pretty early. I played for a short while, and came up some, enough to pay for the beer, at least.
I Wind Up In The Hospital
Monday, I played a little bit at the big clock spot, happy with the sound of the brand new strings on the Jasmine. I made enough money to "tread water," or simply put, "break even," which is acceptable for a Monday (even though I could be a lot more ambitious, I would rather diversify my investment of time, to include amongst other things, this blog)
Then, I retired to the Christ Church spot, to listen to Monday Night Football. There were no intruders asleep on the front porch, so I waived the ringing of the huge bell. The bell was made for them, and they were made for the bell. If I ring the huge bell and there is nobody on the porch to be startled by it, does it really make a sound??
At a point during the first half of the game, appeared the other guy who sleeps on the side of the church.
I Ran For Bran
We listened to the game and, at halftime, I decided to run up to the Save-A-Lot, to get, of all things, Raisin Bran. I was craving Raising Bran, the store was to close soon, and so I set out jogging.
I had left my bag and guitar under the guard of the-other-guy-who-sleeps-on-the-side-of-the-church, after arming him with my knife.
I set out to break the world's record for the one-mile-run-carrying-a-box-of-Raisin Bran.
I hadn't gotten 100 feet when my left knee; my "bad" knee, (the one that I broke in a motorcycle wreck when I was 24,) started to hurt increasingly with each stride. I soon had to stop running, because the pain was so intense, especially when my foot came down upon the concrete.
I continued, at a walk, to the Save-A-Lot. I was limping badly; still determined to get the Raisin Bran.
By the time I got back to the sleeping spot, I was "favoring" my left knee, and it was "killing me," in return for the favor.
I offered the "other guy" some of the Raisin Bran, who eagerly accepted, and began to greedily dig his hand into the box (why couldn't he have poured out handfuls, like I did, did he think I would let him have the rest of the box once he had "touched it?") and began to stuff his mouth ravenously.
As he did this, I related the details of my knee injury. I told him about all the pain I was in, and why I hadn't returned sooner. All he said was "Yeah." 
He crunched away at handful after handful, rejoining everything I said with "Yeah."
He ultimately provoked me to anger, after I had said; "That's the knee I had surgery on, when I was younger,' and was answered by yet another "Yeah," as if he could have had preknowledge of that fact. He thus made it apparent that he was not even listening to me, didn't care about anything except my Raisin Bran, or perhaps couldn't hear me over the crunching in his mouth.
After one final "Yeah," I lost my temper and snatched the box of Raisin Bran away and said "Anything I say, huh?"
I then retrieved my knife and went back to the game, and the throbbing pain in my knee, which I endured all night in solitude. I didn't want his hand in my cereal box, anyway.
15 Place No Help At All
In the morning, I could hardly walk. After trying 15 Place, and being told again that I didn't qualify to be homeless, I limped to the fire station, where Porsha was the attending medic, who called an ambulance; and I was taken to USA Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of South Alabama, and not the nation where we live.
I spent the whole day there, in the waiting room, reading Henry Fielding. I guess the idea is that if homeless people are going to fake maladies, in order to get free pain medicine, (not my case, but, how would they know?) they were going to have to suffer for it. After 14 hours of "waiting," I was given an anti-inflammatory shot, and told that my knee would get better on its own.
The only way I will ever go back to that emergency room, is if I am dead.
Doctor Sarah Gore was very nice; she laughed at my joke about her opening a practice with a Doctor Blood, (because of the cool shingle that they could hang.) She reminded me of a slightly younger Porsha.
She probably had little to do with my 14 hour wait, and the fact that I was released at 11pm., to limp through the worst ghetto in Mobile. I could tell by Dr. Gore's enthusiasm, that she hasn't been jaded yet by encountering bums day ini and out.
There was a certain other nurse who kept sighing and was very curt in her responses to the "patients." I could see in her eyes that she was "bummed out," (worse than being "burned out") and in need of a vacation.

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