Friday, I was flat broke. The "Art Walk" was scheduled to take place that evening, bringing me hope of making some money.
I arranged to be on my favorite spot by 6 pm.
As I approached it, I kept my ears pealed for the sound of a trumpet, because I feared that Don, the trumpet guy, would be there. It would not surprise me if he took his cue from myself in choosing where to play.
I sat down and began to play, noticing as I did that the people walking by were different from the one's that I had seen during previous art walks. They were "well" dressed enough, but they also (art) walked by and didn't even give me but one dollar, the whole night.
The next day (Saturday), there was to be a big chilli cookoff in Bienville Park. I think a lot of those folk were there, setting up and hoping for a lucrative go of it the next day. I only made one dollar, as I've stated, and it wasn't from any one of the them.
I was next to a place where art was being displayed as part of the "walk." They had had sangria the previous month. This month, they had bottles of red and white wine. They let me fill my cup at will, especially after I told them about the lack of support from the people walking by.
I left, cursing Mobile, intent upon going to New Orleans, and slept in my spot with one dollar in my pocket and thinking angry and vile thoughts.
I slept pretty late, waiting as I did for the sun to rise up and warm things. It had been a 25 degree night, or so.
The Chili Cookoff
I got into town to see the chili cookoff in progress. There were people everywhere.
I sat on Royal Street, perfectly sober, and began to play. I chose a lot of Beatles songs, but played for a full half hour without a tip. There was a 10 euro cent piece in my case, by itself.
Finally, someone came and put a dollar in my case, and, as often is the case, seemed to open up the floodgates of wealth (to exagerate). I played a little better, as if spurred by it. My strings felt tight, as I was tuned to standard pitch, because of tuning on Thursday night to the cello player (Skye Johansen) in hopes that I would be able to play something with her, (and make her fall in love with me).
Then, someone gave me a ticket to the chili cookoff (worth 10 bucks), which I sold for 4 bucks to a passerby. And then, I thought I played pretty decently and made 16 bucks.
I took a break and was on my way to the coffee shop, to drink coffee and work on my next paper for the Bangladeshi guy, when I changed my mind and went to get a 4 Loco drink from the Dauphin Store.
Emerging from the store, I saw a guy drinking the same thing in plain sight of the cops, and noticed that "everyone" seemed to be drinking in public.
I struck up a conversation with the guy, who turned out to be Angelo, who went by "Lo."
He invited me to go for "a shot" at the Seaman's Lounge, where we went, and had about 5 shots, played pool, and then, Angelo wanted to find some "speed."
I told him that I had the number of one drug dealer, in my wallet thing, but that I had gotten it long ago and the guy might be dead, or in jail, or both.
To make a long story short, I tried to call the guy who wasn't "there."
Angelo got me a room at the Budget Inn, saying that he used to be homeless, and that his company would pay for it.
I went to Save-A-Lot and got some fish and stuff to cook in the microwave at the room, returned to the room and had a feast of it. That was not before running into two of my friends at McDonalds, who I invited to crash at the room. That plan didn't work out as the Indians who run the place came running out of the office at the sight of the three of us heading towards room 173, and hollered that there were no visitors allowed at the Budget Inn. What do expect for "budget" rates?!?
I ate and then went out on the street, knowing that I had a warm room, TV and a shower waiting for me.
I played with the looseness of someone who had a room and a hot shower waiting for him, come what may.
My favorite spot only yielded a bit of money. I headed towards my late-night spot, by the hot dog cart guy, and I could hear the trumpet before I even got close to it.
The trumpet guy was there, as he was the previous week.
I sat down on my spot, right next to him. He turned to me and said "Let's play something together."
I thought that he was just patronising me, since he had taken my spot.
I got up and walked down to where I sat right next to the club Atlantis.
This is the spot where a bunch of kids line up and wait in the cold to go in that club. I don't know what the attraction is to them, except for themselves. They go there because so many people go there.
This is the spot where a preacher often stands, with his bible in hand and shouts out things to them which seem to make them ashamed of themselves. It seems like condemnation to me, whenever I hear it.
A white guy with a guitar is just asking for trouble to sit there and play. At the least, the mostly black kids would request things that they were pretty sure I have never heard of, or just heckle, in general.
Last week, I was pissed off at the trumpet guy and thinking of attacking him. Somehow, after making the bold move to sit in front of the Atlantis, I felt superior to him, thinking that even he hadn't the courage to play in front of a mob of young kids, whose role models are thugs.
Then, I began to play, and thought about the preacher guy, and how he tried to shame them.
I hit a couple of chord and created a song which went something like
"Acknowledge God in everything you do and give Him thanks. Have fun, dance and sing and party because pleasure comes from God, as does all of heaven and earth..."It was my first "gospel" type song that I composed spontaneously, (ok, I didn't really make it up entirely, I can recall reading it somewhere...) and, surprisingly, none of the young
At one point, some girls walked by and one of them said "Hi, Daniel." I didn't recognize them. They might have thought that I had a lot of guts to sit right in front of a mob of 100 teenagers and play.
Before long, though, one of the security guys from the club told me to move down the sidewalk, stating that he had to expand the line in my direction (because it was already two blocks long and around the corner in the other direction).
I picked up and left, having felt that I had exorcised the demon of the trumpet guy.
When I got back to my room, there was an extra 10 dollar bill in my case, which I hadn't seen thrown. It must have come while I was singing my "gospel song".
This doesn't necessarily mean that my gospel song was good, because, people say that Christians are persecuted, and people don't persecute by throwing 10 dollar bills.
That was about it. I am kind of excited about doing more music based upon scripture, now that I know that I can do it with "bad to the bone" riffs behind it.