- Collection Day
- Pick-Pocket Strikes Again
Rod, as that was his name, was a guy who had gotten 20 dollars from Father Joe, at the St. Jude Catholic church on Basin Street, after having told him his sob story about how he passed out drunk on Bourbon Street and had all of his stuff stolen by one of his "friends."
He recieved forgiveness for his debauchery and the cash.
Father Joe also called me in the morning to corroborate his sob story.
The only "inconsistency" was that I had only asked for 15 dollars, not 20.
Rod and I met at The Rebuild Center, where I showered and shaved, etc.
We walked to this libraray where I blogged and tried to contact Dorise through Facebook.
After Getting no response from her, we started walking in the general direction of her house, about 4 miles from where we were.
Rod told me that he had spent most of the past 25 years in prison in Trenton, New Jersey for armed robbery(s) as we walked.
He had plenty of interesting stories to tell about prison life; and plenty of interesting stories in general.
Of course he did.
For most of the past 25 years, he had nothing to do but to pass time by trading interesting stories with all kinds of interesting felons; cultivating the ones that had them rolling on the concrete floor with laughter; or the ones that made time evaporate "Wow, it's chow time already?!?"
He suggested that we each get a beer at The Unique Boutique (he had 5 bucks and change; I had 15 dollars coming) and we started heading in that direction.
Rod handed me the money for the Jasmine at that point.
I thought that was a bit unconventional; usually people pay upon receipt of the goods...
I told him to just give me 14 dollars, and tak a dollar out for my beer.
He went into The Unique Boutique and emerged with two 24 oz. Hurricanes, which cost $2.50 each....do I owe him another $1.50?
He had spent his entire 5 dollars on them, and was now broke....but, watch what he does....
I had 14 dollars.
Finally, my phone rang at about 2 p.m.
It was Dorise, calling from Connecticut ("Why didn't you just ride up here with me?") who said that her housemate was at work, but would leave the Jasmine on the back porch when he got home in a few hours, if he was to go out.
Rod and I had a few hours to wait.
We continued to drift eastward, in the general direction of Dorises house.
We ran into Ron, the surfer, in Jackson Square, who gave me 5 of the 10 bucks that he owed me.
I thought it a bit curious that Rod, my new ex-convict friend smiled just perceptively and mumbled the word "cool," as Ron the surfer was handing me the 5 dollars. Is he just happy for me?
I now had 19 dollars.
Rod had only a little bit of change, but was now the owner of a Jasmine guitar.
Ron the surfer told me that he would give me a couple dollars in addition to the 5 (today) if I would give him some of the bud that the guy on the bike had thrown in my case the night before. I did.
I was still pretty cool with Rod at that point, even after he suggested that we could sit in the park and smoke a bowl (of my herb) to kill some time. We did.
Then I told him that I was going to run to Rouses Market for a beer.
He tagged along with me ("That sounds cool") and grabbed one of what I was having; a Fosters Lager.
It wasn't until we were almost to the register when he pulled the change out of his pocket, looked at it, then turned to inform me that he was "short."
He was about $1.20 "short," but assured me that, once he started busking with the Jasmine he would be able to pay me back twice over.
I begrudgingly gave him the money, but told him that I hadn't appreciated how the deal had transpired.
"I bought you a $2.50 beer, remember?"
...yeah, I also remember telling you to take a dollar out of my money for a (dollar) beer...
"I gave you all my f***ing money!" he said.
I had to correct him:
...No, you spent all your f****ing money on a guitar; and got a pretty good deal on it; got over on a priest for 5 dollars in the process; you didn't give me all your f***ing money....
With that behind us, we had a walk ahead