Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Me And My Shadow

After I was back at the railroad track spot, was when I saw Alan, who had just gotten out of jail, and was laying "there."
We had a brief conversation that centered around the objects which have been stolen from us, and the likelihood that Thomas is the culprit, based upon evidence which I won't elaborate upon here.
Alan seemed to be broke and out of cigarettes and hungry. I shared some food.
This morning, he left at the same time as me and gave me every reason to think that he was going to follow me all day, and impose upon me to share everything that I have. He began shadowing me as soon as I left for town.
He gets his money in two days. He would probably pay me back for supporting him the next two days. He claims that he is going to rent a room, or at least get a motel for the New Year's weekend. I am close enough to trusting that his intentions are good, but I don't trust fate to keep him out of jail until Friday, when the money will arrive. Anything could and probably will happen to Alan between now and then, and I don't like to risk my money like that.
I couldn't think of a way to tell him that I couldn't take him everywhere I go and buy one of everything for myself, and then another of everything for him. Mostly this was because I would, frankly , find his company to become tedious as the day dragged on, if past experience counts for anything.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Extreme Christmas

Christmas was pretty hectic, with the strongman competion, and the trip to Norway to skyfly, and the trip to the ocean to dive, all competing for my timey.

I Went over to Jeff's mother's house and we had a lot of good food and built a fire in the fireplace and watched a couple of movies, which were suitable for the entertainment of the kids.
We were going 140 miles per hour!!
Then, It was into a shark cage, just to watch the fish for which the cage was named, swim around.

It was a very good Christmas, Jeff's brother was there, the one that he does landscaping work with; and there was a woman named Mrs. Roundtree, and with her a daughter, who sings opera.
And Jeff's brother's wife was there, too, and they had two children, to go along with Jarod, who is Jeff and Jennie's son.
We watched a movie called "Despicable Me," which was an "animated" movie, and had a pretty good story.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Total Eclipse Of The Moon On The Winter Solstice

Depart from me, I never knew you!
-Just kidding, LOL!! 
Earthquakes, Moon Turning Color Of Blood?!? What's Happening?!?
Last night, it was cold when I left the library. I went to a spot where I had stashed a pint of Wild Irish Rose wine. It was nice and cold, and I drank it next to the dumpster, behind the Save-A-Lot. I call that dumpster the "Save-Even-More."
Putting on all the layers of clothing in my backpack, including the orange sweatshirt to the left, which it looks like I will die wearing, I made my way to the Shell, which used to be a BP, on broad street, for an Earthquake, because the Wild Irish Rose hadn't made me wild nor fragrant enough.
I sat on a trolley, underneath which I have slept before. I referred to that spot as "the trolley spot," but I could have just as appropriately called it the "wake up feeling like you have REALLY hit rock bottom spot."
Having increased the magnitude of my wildness, I walked into town, noticing as I did that there were few people out, and surmising that it was for the same reason that I was freezing my butt off ie. the temperature.
I love saying that, just to see
the looks on their faces!
Arriving at Cathedral Park, I espied no other personage than Gerald, the guy who carries everything he owns, slung over his back in a bag which Santa Clause even thinks is humongous.
Gerald was preparing to sit on one of the park benches which affords him a view of the large screen TV in Hero's Pub, in order to watch the football game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings. I told Gerald that the Bears were going to win 34 to 16, and after thus prophesying, I continued to the railroad track spot to retrieve my heavy jacket, which I had left there that morning when the weatherman on my cheap AM radio mentioned something about warmth and mildness.
Thomas is still walking around wearing the heavy jacket which I gave him last week on a cold night when he had on only a button-up shirt and a flimsy flannel thing. I want to swap out the heavy jacket that I am wearing now for that one, because I liked the locations of its pockets, and it is slightly heavier. I just saw him as I am writing this. He went to the second level of the library, probably to get on facebook and disseminate articles extolling the benefits of marijuana, like one that he posted last week about how it "expands the brain."
I will ambush him and switch jackets soon, now that I have him cornered, like a rat in a sewer.
Back to the story; At the railroad track spot, there lay Alan in his orange sleeping bag. The sun had just set
I grabbed the jacket and went back to town, after answering Alan's inquiry as to where I was going. I think that if I had said "the bar," he would have said "Wait a minute, let me put my sneakers on..."
Back on Dauphin Street, I sat and played for a brief time and I don't recall making a dime. I grabbed another Earthquake, in disgust, and then made another attempt at playing psychedelic Christmas music; for nobody.
Filling a cup with water, I returned to the railroad track spot, made some oatmeal, ate it, and then lay there listening to my cheap AM radio. I heard a report that there was to be a total eclipse of the moon.
I had trouble falling asleep. I was a wake through the entire eclipse, eventually deciding to meditate, after the alcohol was out of my system.
I was having strange celestial visions, seeing shadowy figures, and at one point, a vision of some guys dressed in robes and setting some kind of altar, upon which there was a bright blue gem. I then saw a huge throne of gold and silver and other red gemstones. From out of under one corner of the throne slithered a turquoise colored serpent.
To Hell With The Silly Eclipse; Check THAT Out!!
I was hearing "Spirit of the living God, I surrender to you," originally, like a "mantra" but was distracted by the knowledge that I had originally been given that by a Hindu. I eventually focused upon Jesus by name and saw more visions.
There seemed to be a door and I felt the words "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" present in the whole thing. I was trying not to rationalize, but couldn't help wonder if I should open the door, because He was knocking, or if I should say "come in." I had decided upon the latter because some words came to me about "inviting" the Lord (into your heart.) and "waiting upon" Him. 
At one point as I patiently waited, Alan got up and I began to hear his unsteady footfalls upon the granite rocks by the railroad tracks. I felt his presence as if he was standing there watching me. It was distracting, and the spirit seemed to tell me that I needed to love my brother (Alan) before the door would open. ...Can't I just stone him?..
I made an effort to forgive him for standing there, distracting me. ...should have stoned him this morning, and I wouldn't be having this problem....
Then, as I prayed on into the night, the freight trains started coming by with great frequency. It seemed that they were trying to move all the freight that they could before the holidays shut down their operation. They were a distraction, as was the occasion loud noise, such as when a car ran over a bottle or something, at about 2 am. There were also sounds coming from further down the tracks, made by a guy, who just started sleeping there.
He had been up all of his first night "with us," whoever he is; yelling something like "Adolf Hitler's personal assassin, locked up 25 years ago in a London prison; code name "freeze," f-r-e-e-z-e." That was his "mantra" for most of that night.
You've Got To Be Sh**ting Me!
Then Alan got up and took a crap far, but not far enough, from our spot, at a place where the wind direction was not working to our advantage. I had all I could handle in "staying my mind" upon Jehovah, as the crazy man wailed, the trains rumbled by and the stench of Alan's contribution to society rolled in like a dreadful fog.
This all being concurrent with the total eclipse of the moon on the winter solstice, when my prophesy came close to coming to pass as the Bears won 40 to 14.
The blue gem on the altar was a symbol for my heart "chakra,' (sp?) I believe.
Tonight is Tuesday, and they will "feed" at 15 Place. Should be a real "bumfest.'
I am considering going to Wal-Mart, because I heard that they carry guitar strings there. They might be even cheaper than the ones at the music store. Of course, I want to wash and condition my hair, and do my laundry.
Find out which one I do in tomorrow's post!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Have Yet To Snap Out Of It

Here is a picture of me when I was perhaps 2 years old, courtesy of my cousin Laura in Massachusetts, who has found me on facebook and sent it.
Yesterday, I wound up calling Jeff The Potter. I used a payphone which was broken. I could hear him, but he couldn't hear me. We communicated by my pressing the keys, one for "yes," two times for "no." It was decided that he would pick me up at the BP and we would go to his church.
The only drawback was that I would miss the Patriots game on my cheap AM radio.
We had a good time, and I was dropped back off at the railroad track spot, where I discovered that Thomas was not there, but had left his blankets.
Alan, the guy from London, by way of Las Vegas, was there, in his orange sleeping bag, and sound asleep.
I Almost Stone Alan
I slept until about 10 am, got up and drank a blue Mountain Dew, and then read some from my bible.
I read Deuteronomy and they talked about stoning disobedient children. I looked at all the fist-sized rocks around the railroad tracks, and then over at Alan, laying there in his sin and iniquity. Luckily for him, I saw a passage about "Let he who is without sin be the first to cast a stone," before I took the law into my own hands.
I wish Alan didn't have such a bright orange sleeping bag as, no attention to the sleeping spot is good attention. Also, Thomas' blanket was hung in the holly bush like a big white flag which seemed to say "We surrender our possessions." to whomever might see it.
Whiskey Help
There were a few people out on Dauphin Street as I made my way here to the library. I hope to make at least a little bit of money, because I have that feeling of atrophy, which I get when not putting in enough time playing music. I could use some new strings, but I can also use the ones that I have a little longer.
It being Monday, The Garage will have its open mic night tonight. I might go there just to see if the stage will be hogged for the third consecutive week by musicians who have pretty much mastered the three chords of the Blues, and should think about moving on; musically.
Alan is out somewhere, holding a sign which reads: "Homeless Vet, Need help; God Bless, Thank You" I never said that he was creative or original. He is trying to get "whiskey" kind of  help, thank you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It is Thursday, and warm outside, and I must get out and play.
But, a quick thanks to Mom, who is sending a gift for Christmas.
To the Lidgleys, who have sent one.
To my longtime friend Ted, in Boston, who wants to put minutes on my phone.
To Jeff The Potter, and Jenny, for letting me receive the girts at their house,
and to Dennis, who e-mailed me pictures of myself when 20 people said that they would, but didn't.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Weather

Weather Determined To Steal Headlines
The weather seems to be about the biggest story here, in Mobile.
There are two kinds of people when the temperature goes below freezing; those who are out in it, and those who are inside. Thus, humanity is divided at the point that water freezes at.
It was kind of nice to see the streets virtually free of beggars last night, as I walked down Dauphin Street and noticed that it was about 30 degrees, according to the Regions Bank display.
It is only supposed to drop to the "high 20's" tonight. I may be able to play a bit for people who haven't been begged that evening; could prove interesting. I want to learn at least one Christmas Carol, to go with The Grinch Song.
I have trouble playing the guitar in temperatures under about 42 degrees; that seems to be my cut-off point.
My Soul
My soul is in the news again, as I am trying to step up my efforts at getting it into heaven. That's pretty much a full time job. I only take breaks in the evenings, to have a few drinks, and then it is right back to work.

I may have some new pictures of myself to post here soon. So many people have promised to e-mail me the ones that they take of me on the street, though, less than one percent of them ever have. But, one of the guys who works at Save-A-Lot has a camera phone and I am going to try to corner him and get him to take some and mail them to me. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Shelter

Karrie Letter Sent
I went to the post office and sent a letter to someone in Dalton, Georgia, who I believe might be a relative of Karrie's. I found the name in the Dalton phone book, and Marilyn spells her name just like Karrie's middle name of Joshulyn.
I explained who I was and asked her to send any information that she may have as to the whereabouts and the fortunes of Karrie. I felt really bad about leaving Karrie in Jacksonville because she drank all of her bus ticket money. I realise that she was powerless to do otherwise, and I heard that she sat at the bus stop and cried for hours after I left.
This morning, I found a broken piece of silver jewelery on the sidewalk. It was very similar to the one that Karrie tied onto the zipper of my guitar case, when we were together. That one fell off and became lost, right about the time that I had forsaken any hope of ever seeing her again.
The one that I found on the sidewalk is a sign that the letter to Karrie has arrived and been read by someone. I don't know how to interpret the fact that the piece of jewelery that I found was broken, though.
Friday night, I made a bit of money, despite the low temperatures, and the fact that Terry showed up and hung out at my spot, even though I have told him that my business of playing music is hurt by someone hanging out.
People think all kinds of thoughts, few of them conducive to my prosperity. They might think that the person is waiting for them to pull out their wallet, in order to throw me a couple dollars, so that they can snatch the whole thing and run off with it; whereupon I (who is in cahoots) would say "I've never seen him before..." That is just one of the things that people might think when someone is hanging around a street musician. We are supposed to work alone and live alone with our musings. Otherwise, we would be in a band.
Saturday ended with me being too drunk to play past 1 am. I had made some money, but I don't remember where, or what songs I played.
I think that was the night Thomas came by with some "legal pot," which is some kind of incense that they sell, which comes with a warning label stating something like: "Don't smoke it, just burn it like incense, because if you smoke it you will get high as if it were marijuana, and that is not the intended usage of this product, so remember, don't smoke it, just use it like incense, even though, to be honest with you, it doesn't really smell that good when used as such...." -thank you, the people at White Widow Incense Company.
I remember going to the railroad track spot and grabbing my cup, my oatmeal, honey, cinnamon and raisins, and then walking to the church spot with all of it, along with my sleeping bag. I made oatmeal and chowed down, and then went to sleep. I love cold oatmeal with raisins and honey and cinnamon. Sometimes I think that it is me and cold oatmeal with raisins and honey and cinnamon, against the world. It sure feels that way often.
I was up Sunday at 7:30 or so, and walked into town.
I decided to call Jeff to see about going to church with him and his family.
He came by and got me, and I spent a day close to church related activities, and away from liquor and cigarettes and loose women. By the time he dropped me off, near the railroad track spot, it was pretty late and the temperatures were probably around freezing.
I thought that it was about time I had the chance to put my full rig to the test. I had on double thermal underwear, 5 layers of sweatshirts under my heavy jacket, and was prepared to put on another pair of jeans, if it became necessary. It didn't, as the temperature only got down to a lame 24 degrees. I wound up stripping down to my underwear and laying on top of the sleeping bag, fanning myself with a newspaper until I drifted off to sleep.
20 Degrees Tonight
Tonight, it is supposed to get down to the above temperature. People are telling me that I had better check in to one of the shelters for the homeless.
I Decide Not To Check Into A Shelter
I ate dinner at one of the shelters for the homeless. I arrived there just as another fellow was arriving. I walked through the front door and then paused to hold it open for him. He came through the door, and then cut in front of me to get to the check-in point for free food. "Go ahead, you were here first," I said to he, who did not seem to catch the sarcasm.
I find that on especially cold nights like tonight, there is a feeling in the shelters that the denizens are trapped there; like they have no choice but to be there, or to perish in the frozen outdoors. It is then that the malicious spirits invade and do everything they can to torture their captives. You are "stuck" with them, just as if you were in prison, and had no recourse and no choice of who you were going to be sleeping next to.
Those who can overcome the weather, having made provision for themselves, and who aren't at the mercy of the shelters, have at least the blessing of not being subject to that negativity.
Eating dinner at the shelter helped to drive that point home to me. There were two guys behind me who, before the church service, talked about the checks that they were to receive from the government (I suppose that they are disabled, in some way.)
Then, one of them tried to see if the other knew a certain person, by detailing everything that he knew about the person; where he stayed, where he used to stay, where he hung out, who he used to hang out with, what he wears, what kind of car he used to drive, etc..until, after 20 minutes, a light bulb came on above the second person and he realised that he did indeed know the person which the first person was referring to. By that time, the first person had forgotten his point in asking the second if he knew so-and-so.
I envisioned a night spent, trying to sleep through such distractions. "Hey, do you know "spider?" He used to stay off Spring Hill, used to pick up cans all the time in a shopping cart. He stayed with Rowanda -big Rowanda that used to work at Famly Dollar, she got like dreadlocks; she the one that got fired 'cause she was smokin' rock in the bathroom and lockin' the doors and not lettin' people in- he got a like little mustache and a scar on his chin; always wears like a Cincinnati Reds hat....you know who I'm talkin' about....Spider!!"
Second guy: "Yeah, I know who you're talkin' about, he used to hang out at Cooper's Park, right? He fish a lot, always got a pint of vodka" etc. etc. etc.
So, I guess I've decided to go it on my own and not to check in to a shelter.
The evil spirits lie in wait for the weather to drive fresh new souls to them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mr. Jackson, I Presume

Dear Jeff The Potter


Yesterday (Wed) began at about 1 pm.! I hadn't warmed up enough in my bag to get a deep sleep until the sun light hit me, and I slept more relaxingly from that instant until the ungodly time above.

The new spot (let's call it "the railroad track spot") is chillier than the church spot, which has recently been encroached upon by the guys that wear yellow shirts and drive purple trucks, and is hence, temporarily to be avoided. The straw, the heating unit and the fact that the church seemed to block the wind, make for about and 8 degree difference, in my estimation.

But, at 4:30 or so, maybe sooner, I tried to call you on a guy's cell phone, and got a message that you were not a valid number, or something like that. I went to a payphone and got what sounded like a black man, who told that "aint no Jeff here." I redialed, in case I had mis-dialed, and got what sounded like the answering machine of a black man, which was playing what sounded like a guy rapping "Aint no Jeff here, Yo....aint no Jeff here," through the payphones antiquated receiver.

It could be that the phone companies only go through certain networks, or that the owners of the phone boothes are phone companies that are engaged in hostile, cut-throat business wars with each other and trying to monopolize phone service, so that soon you will only be able to call your friends if you buy certain phones. I don't know.

I was up for going to the church service, and could even have paid for my own meal.

The previous (Tuesday) night I was blessed with 40 dollars from a young couple who walked up in the middle of "I Lost My Sparrow," which I quickly began to edit in my head and restrict to PG13. I felt like that was the way to go.

I then profusely made excuses for the brevity of the song, by telling them that, since there were hardly any people out, I was working on new material and that that particular song is in its infancy.

They asked me if I was homeless. I told them my opinion that Mobile was one big house, just with no roof over it, and McDonalds is the bathroom, the library is the study; and the pantry being the Shell station, also, of course, the several bars, all of which are located in wooded areas and behind buildings, out of the sight of the general public.

Well, the female of the two walked over and handed me 40 dollars, and suggested that I get a room, on that night when the temperature would drop to 27 degrees, cold enough to turn a man into a Popsicle...

Sorry, If I'm making this so long, I'm thinking of pasting it into the blog, and practicing the adage about 2 birds and 1 stone, so that I can get out and play.

I played at Serda's Open Mic, since I had the luxury of about 36 bucks, and could afford to take time off from the street, and at the same time, promote my music amongst young people who have digital devices that can capture it and promote it on the grand scale of the Internet, so that soon every man, woman and child will be listening to it on their own digital devices.

I played two songs and got some very good crowd response, it was one of the rare times that people cheered the introduction to one of my songs, once recognizing the tune...It was The Carcass Song, by the way.

I think I improvised some clever things, I can hardly remember them, so much was I in my "zone." I think I might have "musical autism" to a slight degree, in that regard. I think I focus on the music at times and try to just be conversational in the lyrics. And I don't remember everything I said, the next day, just like I don't remember everything that I have said to every one today.

But, I remember the laughter of the people and knew that whatever I had unconsciously done, was entertaining to them.

I then went and slept until almost noon this morning. I went and did all of my laundry, and I used Dawn Dish washing Liquid on it, and everything came out smelling fresh, and squeaky clean.

Now, I get set to play some tonight. First I will read one more interview of a songwriter, out of the Songwriters On Songwriting, book, compiled by some guy named Zollo.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Zero Dollars

28 Degrees
...and the winds came howling from the north, bringing coldness to all and causing the flags of the Government Center to stand horizontally and ripple and flutter with the sound of a thousand clipper ships, as I made my way to the Presbyterian church for my egg.
The clock inside the Government Center read 7:25, informing me that I would be right on time for my rendezvous with an egg-white and two cups of coffee.
I was greeted warmly by the church's volunteer egg givers, who hadn't seen me in days, and who expressed relief and comfort at receiving this proof that I was still alive. I told them that I had moved my sleeping spot, for a while, to where I could sleep later in the mornings (and had been doing so).
Afterwards, I came here, to the library, where I continued my reading of the book "Songwriters On Songwriting."  I perused the interviews of Carol King and Frank Zappa. Frank's was a little bit depressing and the first one which DIScouraged, rather than ENcouraged me to persue songwriting. The poor guy; he came across as being bitter over the fact that not enough people appreciate, or more to his point BUY his music. His advice to aspiring songwriters was to "get a Real Estate licence."
An Evening Of Dissipation
Then, I went to the Shell for an Earthquake High Gravity Lager. As I got to the fringe of the parking lot, I noticed a figure behind the store, cloaked in shadows, who was whistling and motioning me to join him. It turned out to be none other than Thomas. He asked me if I was enroute to get an Earthquake High Gravity Lager. I told "Yes, I am enroute to get an Earthquake High Gravity Lager." He then produced an open can of that very same product out of his jacket pocket and handed it to me. It was his second one. We shared the remains of that can of semi-vile liquid, went in "halves" on a four pack more of semi-vile liquid, then went into town.
The temperature was dropping. I didn't know how long I would be able to play for tips, before it became too cold to do so, and thus was in a hurry to start the venture. The thermometer on the bank read 45 degrees.
We got to the acoustically superior spot where I like to play. I had 3 bucks in my case for "seed" money. I didn't make any more.
The air was growing progressively colder. There were few people out. Out of the few people were two young women, who sat down beside Thomas and I.
Both of the girls seemed to be in their early twenties, both were "a little chunky" in build; one was white, one black.
The white one requested a Pink Floyd song. I played it to her satisfaction, wherupon she renumerated me not with cash, but by passing me a bottle of vodka, out of which I took a gulp.
Earthquake High Gravity Lager seemed suddenly less vile by comparison to the vodka, which the young lady confirmed to be "Aristocrat" brand, one of the vilest. I think the Grinch drank it.
It's funny how the more grandiose the name of a vodka, the more disgusting it is. I am very leary of any vodka which has the word "quality" printed on the label. There's a reason the makers feel it necessary to inform you, in bold print on the front of the bottle, that their cheap vodka is good. It is usually because they are some lying Russians, them.
The bottle then went to Thomas, who critiqued Aristocrat vodka by turning his head and vomiting onto the marble walk behind us. It would be "too much information" to describe the puddle of it as being tomato soup colored, so I won't include that detail. Please scratch it from your memory.
The four of us sat there a while longer.
The black girl attempted to play my guitar. Only a handful of people passed the four of us and our puddle of vomit in the next hour, so it was decided that I would take my three dollars and seek shelter from the now 41 degree air at The Garage, which was having their open mic night. Also motivating me was the fact that the Patriots game was to be on their TV.

Thomas and I bid our adieaus to the young ladies, then went to The Garage, where we stayed warm; I saw the Patriots defeat the Jets soundly, and I never got to play a note, as was the case the previous time I was there, when the stage was "hogged" in similar manner.
This morning I woke up at around 7:10, ate my egg-white, and now am at the library, where I have read an interview of P.F. Sloan, which was fascinating enough to make me want to google him and learn more about him. He did write "Eve Of Destruction," and "Secret Agent Man," afterall.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And so it came to pass that the temperature dropped below 30 degrees last night. I woke up a few times, but mostly because of strange dreams, like one of being in an earthquake.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Snake Could Have Been Me

I Interpret The Snake Dream
I came up with somewhat of an interpretation of the dream that I had the previous night.
I was sitting in the Church Street Graveyard, meditating and clearing my mind the way Carlos Santana said that he does, in the songwriter's on Songwriting book, which I am in the middle of reading, when, along came Thomas.
This was cool, because he had already asked me for a cigarette, and hence knew that I had none. He still chose to be a true friend and sit with me for a while.
During our conversation, in which he divulged information about a certain lynching which occurred in Mobile in the early eighties, which I will not go into, I happened to mention that I had moved my sleeping spot to the back of the U-Haul van. Thomas told me that I was right next to a neighborhood where crack is sold, and that all "they" would have to do is see me emerge from my spot in the light of day, and they would come in the dark of night and, as Thomas put it; "They'll kill you, I'm serious."
I then interpreted the dream as such: The snake that got killed in my sleeping bag is me, in my sleeping bag, if I continue to use that spot. It works for me.
Now that I am reading the book "Songwriters on Songwriting," I am learning to tap into my subconscious, and to be more in tune with things, in general, like Bob Dylan, who can see yellow railroads.
I made up my mind to move from that spot, and I did so, by going up there later that evening and grabbing my sleeping bag and tying it to my other bag and getting the hell out of there. It was spooky just going there with Thomas's words still echoing in my head. I put credence into what he say's because his family has been in Mobile for generations, and has seen their share of murders in the backs of U-Haul vans, I would think.
Terry slept there, but Terry is black and doesn't really have anything like a gutar to entice thieves, if they were to have no scruples against stealing from their own race.

I then walked down Dauphin Street.
I sat down with all of 22 cents in my case and began to work on my latest project: "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch."
While working on it, a man came and threw a quarter in my case. I persisted, even though most of the pedestrians were homeless people, whiling away the time until 15 Place was to serve their Thursday night (extravaganza of a) meal.
A guy, who's name I forget but whom I've met before, came along and threw me 2 bucks. I memorized the first two verses of the Grinch song, and then took a break, to partake of the extravaganza, myself.
Gerald, with his bag, during lean times
(it's usually as big as Santa's bag, prompting
me to nickname him "the poor man's Santa Claus")
Spaghetti With A Lot Of Spicy Meat In It
The meal consisted of spaghetti, with a lot of spicy meat in it. I saw pieces of red pepper and onions in it. There were a lot of familiar faces there, Terry, the 54 year-old black guy, Thomas, who usually prefers that I remove his name from my blog posts, usually because there is something scandalous written, was also there. And Gerald was there, with his huge bag, containing everything he owns (except the clothing on his back and whatever might be in the pockets thereof.)
They had plenty of food. I had "seconds." Some people had "thirds," and beyond. Everyone left stuffed, and only one guy was made to leave for "sitting there, cussing." He was alowed to stuff his uneaten food portions into his pockets, after wrapping it in some manner suitable for spaghetti with a lot of meat in it, before exiting, though.
I went out and made a few more dollars off of the Grinch song, drank two Earthquake High Gravity Lagers while doing so, then ran into a guy who knew me from The Garage's open mic night, who invited me into a bar for a beer, then settled for giving me 5 bucks, after I was refused admission because I have only my "jail" ID.
I walked to the Dauphin Store, arriving there just as they snapped the "open" light off. I made my way to the Shell, and arrived there, just as they snapped their lights off. I then walked the mile from there to the Exxon, which is open all night, and got my third and final beer of the night, drank it, went back to Dauphin Street, getting to my spot at 2:10 am, played for about 15 minutes, until realizing that there were hardly any people and so, went to the church spot and slept pretty well. I thought Thomas might be there, and I was going to give him a couple of cigarettes, but he was absent from the spot. I hope HE wasn't killed; that would be too ironic...
I had no dreams of breaking strings or of snakes nor homosexuals, that I can recall. And that was Thursday...
It is now Friday, and I feel like I am running behind schedule already.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Best Way To Write A Blog, Bob

A Great Sense Of Loss
I dreamed that a pet king snake, which I had, back in 1996, was fatally injured (cut off at the tail) by two homeless guys that lied down upon my sleeping bag, unaware that Tara (the snake's name) was inside the bag, tied into a sock.
One of the homeless guys in the dream was an actual guy, of about 20 years old and sporting a Mohawk hairdo, who approached me a couple of weeks ago, offered to buy me beer, but then reneged when we were in the store and after it had been rung up.
I accompanied him to a spot, nonetheless, where we drank the beer which we each had bought for ourselves, and he began to say very weird things, and at one point dared me to stare into his eyes for more than 5 seconds, claiming that nobody could do it.
He showed up at my playing spot later that day, threw a dollar in my case, and then sat next to me ripping up an empty match book, and piling the pieces, as if ritualistically, in front of my case. He eventually withdrew his dollar back out of my case and left. I guess I wasn't paying him enough attention. I really didn't want him hanging around for more than 5 seconds.
He left his bandanna next to me when he went, as if implying that I was responsible for it, and would be thus tied to the spot (like a bandanna) until his returning. I left the spot (and the bandanna) soon thereafter, and passed him on the sidewalk. He criticized me for not being nice to him, and acting like I didn't want to be around him.
John The Preacher and I were on Government Street a couple days after, when the same guy showed up wearing a hospital bracelet and bandages on various parts of him. He lifted his shirt to reveal a long scar on his stomach which had been stapled shut, and then another one on the back of his neck. "Someone tried to kill me," he said.
His story about the incident was sketchy and contained about as many holes as his body. From what John and I could read between the lines, he had gotten drunk with a young man (a law student, according to Mohawk man) and had probably made a homosexual overture towards the equally drunk man, perhaps daring him to stare into his eyes, and provoked the attack. One clue in support of that conclusion was Mohawk guy's stating "I was so drunk, I might have been hugging him and he was stabbing me but I couldn't feel it."
John tried to "witness" to the man, and got no further than telling him that he was a street preacher, to which the bandaged man replied "So am I," and left in a hurry. We both agreed that the man was acting funny, though not funny enough to have us in stitches...
Mohawk man was one of the guys in the dream, the other, I recognized only vaguely and I suspect it might have been the same guy, at the time of my second encounter with him, before he was attacked.
Tara the snake was severed at the tail and bleeding in the dream. I hoped that she could survive, and maybe grow a new tail, as some lizards have been known to do. At one point, I yelled to the two guys, who had taken it upon themselves to lay on my bag, that it was their fault that my pet snake was injured, and I began to punch one of them repeatedly in the head, before pausing to ask myself what it was that I was trying to accomplish.
I held Tara and petted her on the head, which had morphed into more of a dog's head, and tried to pinch her severed tail shut, to stem the flow of blood, but it became futile, as I noticed that her spine and some entrails were exposed. I laid her on the grass, and told her that the pain would soon be over, and wondered if that was any consolation at all to something that is about to die.
I named the original Tara after an exotic dancer in Jacksonville, and after noticing that the name spelled "a rat," backwards, which seemed apt because Tara (the snake) removed a lot of rats from the planet, before she died (maybe the dancer did, too).
I blame myself for her death, which was probably due to heat exhaustion and lack of water.
I was in the process of moving out of an air conditioned trailer, and had her tied into a laundry bag. She spent several hours in a hot car, and I was too ignorant of a snake's requirements for water, viewing her as more like a cactus than an animal.
I found her dead in the laundry bag, on the bed of a little girl that I used to babysit, in the trailer where she lived with her parents, which wasn't air conditioned. The girl was away visiting relatives, and I had been sleeping in her bed, along with Tara in the bag beside me. When Jennifer (as that was the little girl's name) came back from her stay and asked me where Tara was, I had to tell her "Tara died," and choked on the words. I was ashamed to tell her that something in my care had come to that end. After all, the girl had been entrusted to me throughout the couple of years that I roomed with her family. She was 11 at that time, and probably saw the parallel, at some level.
That was one of the most terrible feelings that I've ever had, and it is the feeling that I woke up with this morning. The dream had been as vivid as the one of breaking a string.
How Clearer Could I Be?
The meaning of it is complex, but one of Bob Dylan's comments in the songwriter's book comes to mind. He said that the evolution of a song is like a snake with its tail in its mouth. (I guess he means that the ideas are good, then turn to crap, and you have to re-do them. On second thought; who knows what he means)
This makes two vivid dreams in successive nights passed in the back of the U-Haul van. Maybe the shape of the thing is causing my brain waves to resonate and become amplified.
Bob also said that one must be able to remove himself from the turmoil of a situation, and be able to write about it from a different perspective, where the "feelings" can't get to you. And he said the best way to write a song is "Talking to someone that aint there." No, that's the best way to write a blog, Bob. BAHAHAA!
Do I really want to take advice from a guy who writes stuff like "I stand here looking at your yellow railroad/in the ruins of your balcony," though?
I wonder if he can sit in a club and hear a song of his choice in his head instead of what the band is playing, completely blocking it out, like I can...that's MY yellow railroad.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Songwriters On Songwriting

Self Explanatory
Yesterday, the skies opened up and it rained for a good portion of the day. I took refuge in the library, where I logged on to weather underground, and saw on their radar image that the rain was moving onward, to menace the homeless in Montgomery, and we would soon be rid of it. This made me abandon my plan to spend my first night at the Waterfront Rescue Mission, where John The Street Preacher has been holing up these past few cold days, and which has been assessed by him as being "clean."

Instead, I went to the Shell, bought an
Earthquake High Gravity Lager, and then sat in one of the trolleys, consuming it, and waiting a half hour for nightfall. It became pretty cold, enough so that I kept an eye out for musk oxen, because of their unpredictability.
Under the cover of darkness, and fortified by the Earthquake, I crawled under the trolley and, noticing that the ground where I had been sleeping had been encroached upon by a puddle, I grabbed an extra sweatshirt and my sleeping bag and managed to remove them without letting my body dip down low enough to encounter the puddle. It was like doing a one handed push up, the kind the Marines are required to master. I was glad that I had retained enough of my conditioning, from having worked as a laborer 3 years ago, to have accomplished the feat.
I tied my bag onto my other bag and then went into town, where I sat down and played for about an hour, and was only thrown some change by one of the few people milling about.
I walked back to the Shell for another beer on my way to Terry's former sleeping spot, in the back of a U-Haul van, which is "in moth balls," and has a mattress in it. Terry has moved on to a garage at a friends house, and I congratulate him, I'm not envious; my time will come...

Musk Oxen; Looking For Someone To Mess With

I slept pretty well, but had a dream that I broke a guitar string. The dream was so vivid, that I opened my case in the morning to see if I had a broken string.
Today was spent for the most part at this library. I found a book entitled "Songwriters On Songwriting," and spent 3 hours reading what Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson and Randy Newman had to divulge about their craft. Dylan said that Hank Williams was the greatest songwriter, Simon said that Dylan was, even though he is "impenetrable," Brian Wilson said that Paul McCartney was, and expressed surprise over the fact that Paul cited him (Wilson) as a big influence, and Randy Newman raved about Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, even though he couldn't understand what Simon's "Hearts And Bones" was about, nor what 90% of Dylan was about. He said that it is harder to write a song that has a clear meaning, rather than writing about crystalline apparitions in deep space, or words to that effect.
It is now almost 7 pm. I haven't played a note. Tonight is the first night in a month that Serda's Songwriter's Open Mic Night resumes being what it was before the contest.
I am going to refresh my memory of my lyrics by poring over some of them, and then I might go and play. I am down to $1.35, which is about "par for the course" on a typical Wednesday night. Serda's must be wondering if I will EVER buy a cup of coffee from them.
I am thinking of doing The Bum Song, but, knowing myself, I fear that I will get up there and be unable to resist the temptation to make something up on the spot about crystalline apparitions in deep space.