Monday, April 8, 2013

The First Weekend In April

  • 30 Dollar Per Mile Bike Ride
  • 50 Dollar Weekend
Thursday, as I stepped off the ferry and walked up Canal Street, it had slipped my mind that I had agreed to pay Ron 30 dollars for a bike; which was locked up by the casino under the watchfull eye of some camera; and the combination of the lock having been given to me, I was free to take possession of it.
I made it all the way to the Unique Boutique before I remembered and doubled back to get the thing.
Ron, The Surfer
"I Have A Bike I Can Sell You..."
Ron is "the new guy" who sleeps under the stand of cedar trees with Howard and I.
Howard and he have established a pretty good rapport and Howard has lent Ron money which has been paid back to him.
Ron is like 56 years old, but still has plans to bicycle to California; he has a lot of tattoos and is a surfer.
He once surfed at a spot in Hawaii which is called something like "The Pipeline" and, though he didn't fall in the water and become turned into minced meat by the force of the waves raking him along the underwater coral; he had his surf board broken by a person who informed him that only "professional" surfers were allowed to even surf that particilar beach and that they all had to sign a legal form in advance of surfing that beach; which freed any and all concerned parties from liability if the surfer should go underwater and become turned into minced meat by the force of the waves raking his body along the coral formations; like putting swiss cheese through a grate.
So, Ron had this bike.
It was his second bike.
He works at a bicycle shop, a few hours a week.
Buy Here, Pay Here
Stoker, Readers; Readers, Stoker
He told me that I could make payments upon it and begin to ride it right away.
A bike pays for itself many times over.
I could theoretically be at a playing spot and have 5 bucks in my case after riding the bike there by the time I would just be walking up.
Plus, the energy saved by using the wheel instead of the feet would itself be an asset.
I had a bike more than a year ago (before it was stolen) and it had been very useful.
I rode it, pretty much straight to my playing spot on Bourbon Street and leaned it right up against the front of Barnaby's condo, right across from me in plain sight.*
*When I first met Barnaby, after he had come out and sat on his steps with his guitar in hand; and I had walked across the street to talk to him, I kept glancing back at my stuff on the other side.
Noticing this action, Barnaby said something to the effect of "Don't worry about your stuff; nobody is going to steal anything here; and he laughed a bit.
I had the aforementioned lock, of course, but I didn't want to put it right on the light pole in front of me because that particular pole already constricts the sidewalk; and the addition of a bike locked to it might constrict it to the point that it might look unpassable to approching tourists, who might veer off onto the street (and out of the magnetic pull of my music) in order to get around the whole mess, of which I would be part.
You Shouldn't Have To Look At The Notes
To make a long story short, it was probably the first time that I looked down at my fret board as I played, to find a note or a chord, about 15 minutes into my set; that someone or some thing made off with the bike.
It was a nice bike and had riden very well along the mile from the casino to there.
I played on and thought that I was playing better, fueled by the whole incident.
My prime concern that I am going to see the very person who stole it; as that person is surely one of the pan handlers who "works" that area; and, not being sure of his guilt, will have to be freindly to him; or be seen as a person who can't be civil to someone whom, on surface at least, has done him no harm.
That is the worst part of the whole ordeal.
The positive is that I now don't feel like I am being anal retentive when I snatch up every bill larger than a one that goes in my case and pocket it...
The Next (Friday) afternoon, I played for about an hour and a half at that very spot and got one tip, a 20 dollar bill.
I was playing Grateful Dead and thought that I was doing it justice.
Seeing a new set of srings and then some in the tip, I began to play as if I was trying to finish my strings off; just let them snap and get it over with. I was able to bump my playing up to the next micro level by taking that approach, and I learned something, musically.
I was also happy to have gotten paid where I had gotten ripped off the night before...
Paying For A Bike I May Never Again Ride
I was taking a break from that when I ran into Ron, on my way to Sydneys.
He asked me with no small measure of concern, where the bike was.
*The previous night, after having it stolen, especially in such an embarrassing manner, I wasn't ready to tell Ron about it. Since I hadn't even made the first payment on it and didn't want him to think that I was trying to scam him in some way ...I got to the rack and it was already gone, bro, I SWEAR!....
I had just told him that the thing rode great and that he had given me a good deal on it, trying to fake enthusiasm.
It was then that I was able to give him 10 dollars and tell him that I was going to honor our deal even though the bike was gone; (and he could see that now).
A Tanya And Dorise Weekend
I kept returning to Tanya and Dorise like a moth to a flame, (or a buglight, depending upon your perspective).
They have been on a binge of Mariah Carey music; were playing one of her songs when I walked up; and I was soon informed by Dorise that I had "started the whole thing" the night that I walked up and wound up singing "Love Takes Time," throughout which Tanya played with her eyes closed and a smile beaming on her face.
I guess Tanya is the boss of their operation and so Mariah Carey it was, this past weekend.

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