Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sunday, I'll Go To Church...

And I'll fall on my knees and pray...
Here is a picture that I just discovered which was taken by Guillermo De La Puente...
I can't believe how rough I look; though I though I was playing pretty well that day...
Maybe a tint adjustment...

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Eagle Flies On Friday

...and Saturday, I'll go out and play...
  • Leslie Gets A Job
  • Karrie Encountered
  • Full House A Losing Hand
"Hello, and welcome to Chris Owens.
My name is Leslie and I'll be your ID checker.
We cater to a very distinguished class of people and I'm sure you will fit right in.
Let me know if there is anything I can do for you..."
Leslie got the call Friday night at 9:30 p.m. from one of the dozen or so prospective employers whom he interviewed with, and after telling the manager of Chris Owens club on Bourbon Street that he could be there in 15 minutes, donned his one fancy suit (shown) and arrived there 12 minutes later.
He drew 50 dollars in cash for 5 hours of "Standing there looking at pretty women and checking IDs."
Meanwhile, I was up the street, making a 20 dollar tip from one man who said: "Wow, I've been across the street listening to you play for (looking left and right) apparently nobody; and you are putting so much energy into what you are doing regardless; just for the love of it; that I just want to tell you that it is humbling..."
That was humbling.
I made a few extra singles from apparently nobody; before taking a break, and running into Leslie, who was to get off at 3 a.m, and took these photos of him.
The black couple to his right, above, came out and said "You're taking pictures?!? That's not cool!" after I snapped this one.
There are people all up and down Bourbon Street constantly snapping pictures of everything under the sun (or the neon) even the strippers who stand in the doorways wearing lingerie.
I guess the tourists, and the Asians in particular, are expected to be taking pictures and are overlooked.
I was invited to crash at his place, as the temperature had started to plummet by that hour.
Leslie promised to start reimbursing me for all the drinks which I had bought him over the previous 3 weeks, and that began immediately after a walk to Brothers Market.
Steve And Selena
He neglected to inform me that Steve and Selena were already there, until we were at his gate.
Charlie and Sue (the wheelchair skeezers) have been barred from the premises by the landlord, due to their unpopularity with the nearby neighbors who have regularly seen them pushing their folded wheelchairs up Leslies walkway; without a trace of a limp; after taking their "removeable" casts off.
Steve and Selena seem to be their replacements.
"They are nothing like Charlie and Sue," Leslie promised.
I can't tell.
They basically make themselves at home there.
Steve is all cut up after being purportedly attacked with a knife, under the bridge where the two had been sleeping. He has stitched up scars on his forehead, forearms, and one across his throat which appears to be only a superficial scratch.
As Leslie and I were leaving the next morning, and I was the second one out; no sooner had he disappeared when I observed before closing the door behind me; them scrambling around; moving to Leslies bed to arrange their blankets there, flipping on the TV, etc. and seeming happy to have Leslie out of their way..
The food that I put in the refrigerator would be decimated; the stove would have its burners run full blast to take the chill out of the place; showers would be taken; soap and shampoo used; and there would be no toilet paper for the next hapless soul, by the end of Saturday evening.
Sunday morning, there was to be a Thanksgiving event at The Bridge House -yet another service center for the homeless, and the farthest one from Leslies apartment at about a 3 mile distance.
Steve declined to come along with us because he had a hole in the (hospital) pants which he was wearing.
"I can't go out like this; it's unacceptable!" he admonished Leslie, in a tone of voice which implied "And don't expect me to!"
"Yeah, Leslie!" chimed in Selena, in a tone which implied: "What's the matter with you?!?"
Selena opted out also: "I didn't get to sleep until 4 in the morning; I'm still dead tired!"
There was to be clothing and turkey dinners handed out; and Leslie promised to get Steve a pair of pants; and to carry those items the 3 miles back to them.
Leslie The Pacifier
"Is that OK? Is everything copacetic?" he asked them with his trademark smile.
Everything was fine; they weren't offended that Leslie suggested that they leave his place, tired and with a hole in the (side) of ones pants; to come along and get food and clothing for themselves. They would wait there.
"But don't take forever," said Selen.
"It would be a lot easier if we had our own copy of the key," she had the gall (in my opinion) to add.
I caught them again out of the corner of my eye, licking their lips and wasting no time making themselves comfortable before we were even out of the door.
Just like Charlie and Sue used to do...
Karrie Sighted
We were on our way back to the house; Leslie laden with 3 styrofoam containers of food in one arm and a bag of clothing in the other, when we spotted Karrie, sitting in the sun by a wall and drinking water -just water.
I introduced her to Leslie and we wound up walking together; and at one point I rubber her head and her shoulders the way she always loved to have done...
"I need to straighten my life out," she told me...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oh, Wednesday Is The Worst...

The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Leslie
 And, by now, it is Wednesday afternoon, and I am on the Algiers side of the river.
Howard is sitting right over there, in the corner, reading the sports page...
Howard As Mentor
He has been tutoring/babysitting a young brown skinned boy of about 4 years old; who developed a curiosity about him one day; which led to conversation between he and the boy; followed by him meeting the mother; a skinny brown skinned lady in her thirties possibly Haitian (though I'm terrible with brown skinned island dwelling races) and eventually to him occupying the boy's attention and enriching him with story telling, coloring, block construction and board game playing at the library while the mother might run errands.
This seems to have had a rejuvenating effect upon Howard.
But it has meant that he is seldom seen at the New Orleans branch of the library; and so; I must cross the river in order to visit him.
I would like to continue our football prognosticating contest; after missing the past 2 weeks.
I basically blame myself (because I take responsibility for everything which happens) for missing the past 2 weeks of our competition; but I was hanging around with Leslie; crashing at his place and then finding us walking around together the entire day and as far into the night as his blood alcohol level would permit, before I would get a few hours of solitude at the ends of each day.
By then, I had neglected all of my planned activities.

In The Dark Again
Some of them, I deem important; like the acquisition of some kind of light; a reading light or a small LED flashlight (9 hours on 3 batteries) for my playing spot.
The house across the street; which owner had installed an extra spotlight to illuminate my spot, telling me the next morning: "I figured you could use some light; you're kinda in the dark" now has doused those* spotlights in favor of an elaborate Christmas display which consists of all kinds of lights but none of them bright enough to cross the street and illuminate the tiposaurus and its sign (Which I have changed from "The tiposaurus won't bite," to "The tiposaurus rarely bites," by the way; thinking it to be a bit more titillating to the tourists) and so, I should buy some kind of spotlight of my own; before I run totally out of money...right Leslie?
The Man In The Red Shirt
Saturday night, as Leslie and I sat on Lillys step playing guitar and 2 harmonicas; along came the "vagabond" who bangs on a drum and sings.
He had captured the attention and dollars of a small group of tourists.
He seized them right in front of the spot where I used to play, before the man who sleeps directly behind that spot in an historical house which predates soundproofing, came out one night and politely asked me if I would stop playing at 10 p.m. each night.
That was when Lilly had stepped in and said "Play on my step."
The vagabond got greedy and implored the tourists to hear one more song.
This was the song which broke the camels eardrums as (I was in the restroom at the time) the same man emerged, wearing a red shirt and said something to the vagabond; which led to a heated altercation, during which the vagabond responded with "That guy plays guitar here all the time (pointing to Leslie and my guitar) why can't I play here!" at one point.
Then the man in the red shirt approached Leslie, and said "Not again! If you play again, I'm calling the cops!"
I heard all of this from Leslie after I returned, though all of the parties had dispersed except for Leslie, who was watching my rig.
Leslie was happy to disperse quickly for another beer; having been shaken a bit by the mans threats.
I sat there by myself.
Soon the head of the man poked out of his doorway and looked my way.
He walked over and, in his red shirt, reiterated pretty closely what Leslie had reported hearing.
He said "If I see you here; well if I see you here playing; I'll call the cops"
But then he added "You're bringing the neighborhood down!"
I don't know if he thought that we were all banging on the drum and singing together; or if we had invited the vagabond to stop there and play (he usually does one song then keeps moving) or if he was referring to the presence of Leslie as being the factor which was bringing the neighborhood down, but he added that anyway.
I Am The Pawn In This Game
I sat there not playing and letting things sink in...first the spotlight gets turned off; now this...when happened to emerge Lilly from her gate on the side of the house furthest from the man in the red shirt.
"Oh, he's a lawyer. He's a jerk. Play on this side right in front of my gate. If the cops show up just ring my doorbell," said Lilly.
I played in front of Lillys gate for about another hour; made some money although it was pretty dark with just the Christmas lights; no cops showed up (at one point one drove past, uninterestedly) and that was how Saturday night ended.
Though it has already ended in this blog a couple posts ago, I thought I would go "back" and insert the lawyer anecdote; in case it comes to any import in the future.
Moving Out
I slept under the dock last night; woke up pretty depressed; but now I have full reign over my life, I don't have to answer Leslies' text messages if I don't want to, and I won't consider crashing at his place.

Last night I didn't get him as drunk as usual with my money.
He was a bit irritable at the house; complaining about me opening the refrigerator (which I had stuffed with food) for a midnight snack; and he complained about cigarette smoke for the first time since I have known him; and he complained that he was sober.
I left to sleep under the dock at about 2:30 a.m.
Karrie, where are you??
He hasn't messaged me all day...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday Is Just As Bad...

Yesterday; I left Leslie's apartment after he opened the front gate and let me out of confinement.
He fell in beside me; but he was bent upon making it to The Saint Jude Catholic Church, for their lunch.
I was bent upon crossing the river to find Howard, and to use the library there to make yesterdays post.
I started getting text messages from Leslie while at the library.
He was concerned about me (and the money in my pocket?) missing the last ferry back to NOLA; and advised me to try to catch the next-to-last one, to be on the safe side (which, ironically was the side of the river which I was already on) and so that I would be across in time for the kickoff of the Monday Night Football game.
"Cool, lets watch the Patriots together!" he messaged me.
I then informed him of my progress, while I was on the next-to-last ferry.
The ferry landed and Leslie found me in short order and took his place alongside of me; matching me step for step as I walked towards Brothers Market for what would be my second 25 oz. beer of the day; and the one which I planned upon sipping on as I watched the game.
Leslie was flat broke.
He moved when I moved; never letting me get more than a few feet away from him.
As we neared the store, he started talking about all the job leads which he has and the interviews which he has lined up; as is his habit whenever we near a beer store.
The implication is that; soon he will be able to afford his own beer (and reciprocate for whatever I buy for him).
He became more animated as our destination became clear to him.
He answered most of my casual observations with: "Really?"
I thought about just walking past the store; to see his reaction.
I was pondering just what value his company meant to me.
In a sense, I felt like I was being played like a pinball machine...just hang around him; act interested in everything he says; don't let him out of your sight; and within an hour he will be at a beer store and will always buy one for you...that's how you play Daniel...
 So, I stopped outside the door, my ire raised a bit and asked: "So, I'm going to be buying beer for 2 all night; is that it?"
He bowed his head and said a meek "No," in a tone of voice which seemed to say: "I couldn't ask you do that (I'll just be sober and miserable all night and not much fun to be around, that's alright...)"
He accompanied me to the cooler where we discovered that Brothers Market was nearly sold out of beer; particularly the cheap beer; because The Unique Boutique is not selling alcohol until further notice, due to a problem with their license, the rumor is...
The only "strong" beer came in 25 oz. cans of Bud Ice at $2.49 plus tax each.
I grabbed us each a can.
"The right choice!" Leslie exclaimed and pumped his fist in the air.
"This is the strongest beer they have right now," we almost said in unison.
Well, we watched the game; the game ended; and it seemed to be incumbent upon me to get us yet another 40 oz. malt liquor before we went back to his place.
He laughed when I came out of the store with it; either ecstatic and unable to hold it back; or mocking me...the two are hard to distinguish between. I have to give Leslie the benefit of the doubt; at this point...

Monday, November 18, 2013

They Call It Stormy Monday

I woke up feeling depressed this morning, just before noon.
I was sleeping on Leslies' floor, where I had landed at about 2 a.m.
Saints vs. 49ers
Playing outside the Saints game had not been very lucrative the evening before; netting less than 20 dollars.
It was a close game; decided in the final seconds; so there were very few people tricking out early.
They came out en masse and, within 15 minutes, they were tricking.
Leslie was nowhere to be seen.
We were within a few blocks of the stadium when we came upon the first trash can with almost full drinks almost falling out of it.
One of the bright green vested workers was about to empty it.
"Oh, these are mine!" said Leslie, grabbing 3 cups of scotch and water before the worker could get his hands on them.
"This is crazy!!" he added, and made quick friends with the worker, who informed him that he finds whole bottles of liquor "and drugs, and everything on his job.
Leslie remained by the trash can, as the worker emptied it by hand, ready to pounce upon the first whole bottle of liquor that he saw.
We watched the game on a large screen at a "tailgate party," but Leslie couldn't sit still and made several forays out into the streets to look for more free liquor; and after the last trip, he never returned.
I played solo; and it is probably just as well. I won't have to split the less than 20 dollars with him; and I didn't have to buy him alcohol.
Me And My Arrow
The past week, throughout which I estimate that I made $275; Leslie has been like a shadow; or a tail, if you will.
I balked at using other descriptions, like "leach," or "sponge" because of the naivety of his ways and the simple joy which he gets out of life; but am starting to have doubts.
When he got 100 dollars (for selling his food stamps) 10 days ago; it may have lasted 4 days.
It was basically spent upon alcohol and herb for himself and his friends, and his "friends."
He even ate at the missions, so as to reserve his money for the above.
I had to be careful not to take advantage of him; as he was just a fountain of the above (would never say "no") and I felt like I was in danger of accruing a karmic debt.
I tried to keep track of how much I "owed" him.
One night, after I played and made about 30 dollars; I didn't have to buy cigarettes, because he had bought me a pack; and I didn't want another beer, because he had bought me a 6 pack; and so I gave him 10 dollars.
All About The Booze All About
Yesterday, I became convinced that his number 1 priority is consumption of alcohol.
I had suspected that he is not as feeble minded as he may try to appear to be during the 3 days (Monday through Thursday) that I didn't busk because of cold weather and high winds.
I had started the week with over 200 dollars on me
The Ghost of Addiction Present
He took to shadowing me; beginning in the mornings and ending when he was drunk enough in the evenings to want nothing more than to go home and sleep.
If I was sleeping under the dock, I would get a text from him: "Where are you?"
I felt sorry for him at times; because I knew he was craving alcohol; yet would very rarely ask me outright.
But he would say and do things which seemed manipulative in hindsight; and which the A.A. people would probably have a specific term for.
It was like being followed by The Ghost of Addiction Present.
When a person goes from moping along with a downcast deportment to literally jumping for joy at hearing the words "I got you one," as someone emerges from the beer store; there comes an almost passive aggressiveness into play.
It felt like I was being conditioned by him.
I suspected that he planned to follow me around the entire day; knowing that I was going to drink at some point; knowing that I would feel uncomfortable drinking in front of a friend without offering him some; and knowing that I had just passed the night in the safety and warmth of his apartment.
I always felt like I was being steered towards the beer stores.
His conversation, which had previously seemed like the idle, light-hearted trivial musings of an A.D.D. person began to be fraught with subtle machinations by Thursday; as he was following me around for the 4th day.
As I spoke, and after almost everything I said, he countered with: "Really?"
This is an irritating habit of his.
I could point to a pelican and say "There's a pelican." and he would be likely to counter with "Really?!?" when he could see the bird right there.
I could pull a guitar pick out of my pocket and hold it out to him and say "I found my orange pick," and he would say "Really?" as if the thing might be an illusion.
I wondered if he wasn't just patronizing me and waiting. Waiting for me to desire my (our) next beer.
I See Your True Colors
One of the things that I have been doing is playing the cash 4 lottery when I go into Uniques to get a beer (or 2 if I am with Leslie).
I use a system whereby I look at all the colors that jump out at me from my surroundings.
Yellow is 3; Violet is 9; etc...
We were walking together yesterday and were about a block away from the beer store and Leslie started to mention different colors, in statements such as; "Wow, she has an orange dress" or "Look at that flashing blue light," etc.
I really think that he was trying to manipulate me to want to run to the store so that I could play my Cash 4 number (and get us each a beer).
This has turned into a diatribe against my friend, I am afraid...
I still consider him that; but have learned that someone can get on ones nerves; a person can "O.D." on another when that other person is stuck to her like glue.
One More Time...
I was in The Quartermaster, one block down the street from his place, getting an energy drink for myself yesterday morning.
"Just this?" asked the lady in the store after I put the drink on the counter.
Just then, as if on cue, I saw him slowly skulking by; with his normally smiling face turned towards his shoes. He looked like he had lost his best friend.
He could have been praying that I would come out of the store with a beer for him.
I guess God answers Leslies' prayers.
"How much are your cheap beers? My friend is probably craving one..."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

All My Exes Live In NOLA

  • Tuesday's Cold Front
  • Bamboulas Open Mic
  • Xanna Sighting
  • Karrie Is Here
I guess I will start with the most recent and work backwards:

This morning, I got to the library and noticed a woman sitting on the steps, who smiled at me.
I thought that she was a certain woman who paints her face and body white and who dresses like a jewelry box dancer and stands as a living statue on Bourbon Street.
It was not the living statue, but a woman who explained to me that "We used to live in the woods together in Jacksonville..."
A closer look revealed her to be none other than Karrie, whom I have not seen since May 31st, 2010, before I got on a bus for Mobile, Alabama and left her "crying at the bus stop" (according to subsequent reports) in that .
She has lost a lot of weight, 50 pounds of it ("I quit drinking beer) and shaved her eyebrows ("My face got burned") and seems to even have a different accent.
She had a pack of cigarettes in her purse, but wouldn't sell me one, not even for a dollar ("I have to pan-handle for them") and wouldn't give me her cell phone number ("I just don't want to get in trouble").
"You must have a boyfriend," I said, thinking that the cigarettes probably belonged to him and that having me in her contacts would be what might get her in "trouble."
"No, I don't have a boyfriend," she said, before she went off to The Rebuild Center to eat lunch at 1 p.m.
And that is the way it stands; I'm not going to rush into anything.
If I wanted to rush into anything, I would have reached for the 150 dollars that I still have left from the weekend; and offered to buy her some better food than what is likely to be the fare at the homeless center; and then; old habits might have taken over and the next stop might have been the liquor store...
She looks very good and healthy; and, if it is truly because she has stopped drinking, then I'm not going to be the devils advocate.
If old habits take over then, she will find me at the right times and places; like she used to do.
We need to take things slowly, to maybe establish a different kind of relationship than we had before.
I had been standing and talking to Leslie about 25 feet away from where she was sitting just 10 minutes prior to our meeting, and the subject of the conversation had somehow drifted to her.

Bamboulas Open Mic
I did all of my laundry last night, and dried it very well and put most of it on, as the weather forecast was for temperatures to drop to 40 degrees with winds strong enough that people were advised not to leave their empty trash cans by the street.
I saw that the new club, Bamboulas, on Frenchman Street, was having open mic night from 9:30 till 11:00 p.m.

A walk past my playing spot showed it to be deserted.
The wind was already picking up with cold breezes strong enough to blow tips out of a guitar case hitting my face.
Not A Good Idea
I decided to grab Leslie from his apartment and we would go to Bamboulas and jam at the open mic night.
I thought this would be good because Leslie knows the owners of that place, as they are also the owners of Last Call, on Bourbon, where Leslie does odd jobs.
I thought it would elevate his stature with them should they hear how well he plays the harmonica; and I thought it would be good to get out of the cold on a night when I probably wouldn't have made much money, anyways.
Leslie was in his apartment and had 3 cans of Hurricane Lager which he had not yet drunk, and a half pint of whiskey in his pocket, but couldn't remember where it had come from.
We arrived at the venue and I was greeted by Sal, who is a very good singer and guitarist who does old blues from the 1920's. "I'm hoping to get a gig here," he said.
He was scheduled to go on after the guy who was up there doing pretty decent stuff that sounded original; but who was a jerk when I tried to compliment him upon it.
Sal got up and played.
The PA system was set in a way that destroyed most of the effect of his voice.
He sings with a very wide vibrato and bends notes with a lot of dynamics; and has interesting lyrics; all of which was washed away by the reverb and echo on the sound system; and I realized just why people in the 1920's developed vocal styles like Sal and why they didn't need, and would have been annoyed by, too much reverb and echo.
Amp Search Continues

Useless Leslie
By the time Sal finished playing, Leslie was barely standing up and wasn't sure where he was.
I told the guy running the thing: "I would get up and play, but my partner isn't exactly in playing condition..."
"I wouldn't have let him go up, anyways," he said.
 Leslie is useless after around 7 p.m. on any given evening, I am learning...
Monday afternoon, I saw Xanna (another ex girlfriend; see 2001) standing by the off ramp of Route 10 holding a little sign begging motorists for money.
She had several items of luggage strewn around her along with a little kitten, which she said she has named "Captain Ghost" (another reference apropos of 2001).
I gave her a dollar, out of the 200 or so which I had left over from the weekend.
San Francisco Fans
This weekend, the Saints have another home game and we are expecting the San Francisco fans to be as generous as the Dallas fans were.
It shouldn't hurt me -the fact that I play in the gay district of the Quarter...
Another Cold Night
Another cold night is forecast; though not as cold as last night, and without the wind.
I will make an effort to play.
I have been invited to crash at Leslie's place.
Karrie is invited, too.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Amp Energy

  • 210 Dollar Saturday
  • 28 Dollar Saints Game
  • Amplifier Search Begins
When we last left Daniel, he had had a falling out with Leslie, in the sense that he left that mans apartment and went to sleep under the dock.
This departure took place at 3:30 a.m.
8 good solid hours of sleep were all his, with the waves of the Mississippi River breaking upon the rocks as my lullaby; instead of Leslie talking and/or Leslie talking over classical music from his radio -music which is compelling enough that it is entirely possible to tune into it and "not even hear" Leslie at all. Of course, he's getting to you subliminally; but that just comes with the territory.
I slept well, and then, the next day, I found him and apologized, using the excuse that too much Hurricane Lager turns me mean and ornery and vicious.
I told him about my state of mind that morning when I awoke under the dock with 11 cents in my pocket, no cigarettes; food card turned off by the state, so no energy drink; and how I had endured a whole day in destitution; and how seeing the first tip of 5 dollars go into the case; I kind of wanted to see it sit there for a while so I could bask in the feeling of not being broke; but that I allowed him his share of it so that he could run to get only his second beer of the day; but then I became angry when I realized that he had been watching the clock and sweating the closing of the beer store and playing the harmonica at the same time and that we had sounded pretty crappy through that whole stretch and that I was having a flashback to a guy I knew in Mobile, Alabama who sat next to me one night while I played and ejaculated: "There's another beer!!" every time I got a dollar tip; and how the whole of the situation added up to me leaving his apartment at 3:30 a.m. pretty angrily.
He understood, and was his usual happy self.
Weekend Update
The weekend brought lots of Dallas Cowboys fans into town and Leslie and I played at the Lilly Spot, after having staked claim to it in the late afternoons.

Friday and Saturday were similar, with the difference being that on Saturday night, I made 210 dollars.
Each day, Leslie and I went to Uniques to get beer or, in my case brandy; and then to see a certain Jamaican who sells tobacco products; and each day Leslie loaded up his cargo pants with several Hurricane Lagers; and each day he was unable to continue playing the harmonica by 8 p.m.
We made 20 dollars in our first 20 minutes on Friday, but the money tapered off in a way with was inversely proportional to the sloppiness and falling off of the beat which beset Leslie (especially when he was playing his bongos) and which had become a debilitating problem by about 8 p.m on Friday, and by about 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Each night he retired, at those times, to his apartment, which is a block and a half up Bourbon Street; and was there to answer the bell when I rang it 6 or 7 hours later, after having made pretty decent money Friday night, and 210 dollars on Saturday night.
A white van stopped in front of me right about when I was playing a pretty good harp solo and, since I didn't have my glasses on, I could just distinguish that the person, whom I couldn't recognize was holding out a bill.
One of the people who had been listening to me (I had attracted an audience which varied in number from between 4 and 7) people actually did me the favor of taking the 100 dollar bill from the guy and couriering it over to me.
I Will Not Have To Touch My Nest Egg
I stashed that in my pack, along with 6 dollars out of my case and then went back to focusing upon music, and was able to play some pretty satisfying (to me, at least) stuff on the harmonicas.
I had the comfort of the 100 dollar bill in my pack and I think I was able to play in a more liberated style by certain measure.
Skeezers! Drop what you are doing and come directly to NOLA!!
This is just one trash can; they are all over the place!!

The Leslie Factor
There is also something about jamming with Leslie that has changed my approach to music and raised my standards; sort of as if I was hanging out with Charles Dickens, and thus felt not hesitant to use any word which popped into my head, or to wax poetic etc...even when he isn't with me.
It wasn't until Lilly and her daughter, Angelique stirred me from my musical reverie by surprising me by walking up from the opposite direction of which they have always walked up in the past, with Lilly announcing: "Wow, Daniel, you're doing good!" that I turned my head to see that my case was indeed brimming with bills.
I had seen quite a few people throw something out of the corner of my eye as I played, but didn't know that it must have been hand-fulls at a time; along with a few fives and tens and twenties...
"Oh, I need to stash most of this!" I said, as I stuffed most of it in my pack.
There was a bill which had missed the case and was on the ground at Angeliques feet; and that usually shy and evasive girl handed it to me.
After splurging upon a pack of American Spirit cigarettes and a morning energy drink, I went to Leslies, where I counted exactly 200 dollars (to the cent) and went to sleep.
Sunday, my goal was simple: to play outside the dome at the Saints game.
It was not so simple to get Leslie there with me.
The odds upon him being by my side were dismally slim; and had started out so when he returned to the house early in the morning holding several Hurricane Lagers as his breakfast.
He was a wreck by sundown when I made my way to the stadium.
I made 28 dollars; all ones; and think I could have made more had I set up the tiposaurus and my clever signs and trinkets. There is always next weekend...
Amp Energy
Now, I search for an amplifier that I might snag for about 120 bucks...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Falling Out

Yesterday, Leslie and I walked from the library, to the ferry, planning to go to Algiers to look for Howard.
"I am sorry, loan not approved..."
I wanted to get with him on our football prognostication contest (I closed to within 2 games of him) and to try to borrow 5 bucks, so that we wouldn't have to rely upon Sam at The Unique Boutique extending us credit for a couple of Hurricane Lagers to get us started off playing music at the Barnaby spot.
Howard was located; was in good spirits but was "tapped out" cash-wise.
We were both disappointed -half of my own chagrin coming with the realization that we had gone all the way across a mile-wide river in quest of beer money.
We arrived back in NOLA with just enough time to walk to the OZ Center, where a hot meal is served each Wednesday at 6 p.m.
My food card has been turned off, and probably will be until at least the 12th of this month, which is when I get minutes on my phone; and which is when I messaged my caseworker that she could call me for the required phone interview, to ascertain that I am still homeless and unemployed and hungry.
We ate copious amounts of beans over rice with cornbread; and then began the walk towards the Quarter.
I had 11 cents and no cigarettes.
I started to muse to Leslie that this was perhaps Gods way of weaning me off of tobacco and alcohol -putting me through a period of cold turkey by making me flat broke; and without even any food items to barter with.
He either didn't buy my theory; or had no response ready.
I was telling him that the devil uses cigarettes and alcohol to drive wedges between people. He agreed with that.
How stress-free it would be to walk past Uniques (and "bum row") and say "Sorry, I don't smoke," rather than "I don't give away my cigarettes" -the latter likely to provoke hostility- as opposed to emerging from that store, unwrapping a fresh pack of butts with a bottle of brandy under ones arm...I don't give strangers sips off my bottle!
"I'm not a stranger; I've begged you before; don't you remember?!?"
I started to tell Leslie that I was considering calling it an early night, especially if we didn't make any tip money; and added that, even if someone threw a 5 dollar bill; I wasn't going to pack up and run straight to the beer store. I wanted to make sure I didn't wake up broke with the accompanying "sinking" feeling.
It was then that we encountered 2 cold cups of Sapporo Beer, sitting on a ledge by a group of well dressed people in the CBD (Central Banking District), some of whom were sipping on cold cups of it, and others not; having placed theirs upon the ledge.
They were our first beers each, of the day; at 6:30 p.m. and, very delicious, we both thought.
"I'm going to have to start drinking better beer than Hurricane Lager," I said to Leslie. "I think that that stuff is toxic, in a way."
We got to Uniques, where Sam let me get one beer, on credit.
Leslie was turned down.
I broke my vow to start drinking better beer, since we were to share it. The stronger the better, and that meant Hurricane Lager.
Then, we walked down Royal Street where we encountered Jonah, the Kora (26 stringed African harp) player.
I watched his kora while he ran into Rouses, and he gave me a dollar when he emerged.
This produced the second Hurricane, which we shared as we walked to the playing spot.
I was in a very good mood for playing, and thought we sounded good; after we shook off the cobwebs of being almost sober.
Within minutes, a 5 dollar bill went into the case.
Within minutes of that, Leslie volunteered (pleaded) to run to Sydneys for a 25 oz. Hurricane Lager.
By the time he returned with it and 3 dollars change, there were a few more dollars in my case.
We hadn't even finished the beer when Leslie announced: "Sydneys closes in 16 minutes!" implying that we spend yet another 2 bucks there.
I got angry at that point...

to be continued...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Run Aground Again

It is Wednesday; and I have finally run myself down to being broke...
But, I have a new set of strings; and now have harmonicas in the keys of A flat, E flat, F and C.
The only two with all the holes working are the A flat, and the F.
Dave (of Dave and Rosylyn) told me that I could boil the Marine Band brand harps for a couple minutes, and that may un-stick the reeds.
I whacked a tiny bud of green vegetable matter out of the F harp; and that remedied the stuck "6" hole on the draw.
Leslie and I are soon to leave this library; flat broke; see if Sam at the Unique Boutique will extend credit for a couple Hurricanes to get started; and then maybe ferry across the river to see Howard, who is probably at that branch of the library; to see if he will load 5 bucks or so...
And that is the dire straights which I have put myself in at present.
I Get New Glasses
This morning, my new glasses were waiting at the Rebuild Center.
Putting them on reminded me of when I used to clean the windshield on my car when I drove; and would realize just how dirty it had been...
I Contact Unity
I have finally left a message with my Unity case worker; who has in his file cabinet; a folder containing a bunch of paperwork which I just need to sign; and then he can get to work finding me an apartment or empty house.
I have been informed by Mama Cat that I can get a voters registration card very easily; which can be then used as the elusive "third piece" of ID, which is required to get ID.
I will ask my mom to mail the other two documents to Rebuild Center.
Then, I may have an apartment, an ID, and hence some kind of job in short order.
Leslie has been an influence in that direction.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


  • Sunday Slow
  • Monday Slower
  • Food Card Charged This Morning
  • Eyeglasses Should Come Soon
  • Leslie Gets 20 Job Leads
The weekend was pretty much uneventful.
Leslie left my side to go to his place and sleep, Sunday night, during the 4th quarter of the Patriots game, which we were watching from a sidewalk a few blocks from his place.
I played a bit; working on harmonica technique and getting a few dollars; then crashed at his place.
This morning, I woke up around 9 a.m. there, and couldn't get back to sleep because of Glenn Beck (?) and then Rush Limbaugh yacking away on Leslies radio, which he keeps on throughout the night.
I think it contributes to broken sleep; but silence is probably disturbing to Leslie; who has constant rapid-fire thoughts popping into his head.
Guillermo de la Puente
We met a young guy, who has the name above, and who is originally from Spain, but lives in Chicago. 
He developed the website www.mosai.me; which allows anyone to create a mosaic, like the one on the right.
If you zoom in on it; you will see that it is composed of all of my Facebook pictures (though I could have used any pictures).
The computer distills each photo down to its predominate or "mean" color and then rearranges them to render the main photo (right) with each entire photo functioning like an individual pixel in the finished product.
Like a mosaic, basically.
Guillermo hung out a lot as Leslie and I jammed at the Barnaby spot, and was very much a gentleman -as a lot of Europeans are by comparison to Americans.
Before he left, he said that meeting us was the best experience that he had throughout the entire time he spent in New Orleans.
Leslie and he had a long conversation on Saturday night, while I played solo, making about 40 dollars.
I held back Leslies portion (except for 3 bucks) so that I could feed him it, one beer at a time, on Sunday.
I will try to stay in touch with Guillermo; as he seems to be an enterprising and creative sort; and maybe in my old age I can work for him; maintaining his company blog or something...
Leslie has been quite ambitious in getting job leads using Craigs List and has 20 leads; all of them in the French Quarter, and one of them at a restaurant owned by someone whom he used to work for.
"He'll hire both of us right on the spot; I know he will," said Leslie about that particular one.
"We could make our 40 or 50 bucks in the afternoon and then go out and play music at night!"

Monday, November 4, 2013

We Stick Together

It's Monday morning.
I woke up at Leslies apartment at around noon, thinking that it would have been around 1 p.m., had we not fallen back on the clocks yesterday.
We had gotten there at about 3 in the morning, after hitting Uniques before it closed.
Danielle At 1 A.M.
Before that, we had to dispatch with a young lady, perhaps a stripper, who had kind of latched on to me as I made my way to Leslies' the first time at about 1:00, laden with some excellent food which I had gotten outside of Rouses, to include Greek Salads.
She seemed to sense that I was on my way to a dwelling, using her nesting instincts, and fell in beside me as I walked.
She was pretty enough in a "girl who is probably 20, but looks more like 29" kind of way -heavy makeup on her eyes, which were passably pretty but not even in the same galaxy as Tanya Huangs eyes.
When we got to the gate and after I rang the buzzer; Leslie emerged; and seeing two people, became apprehensivive.
I tried to tell the young lady that she was not free to just walk into my friends house with me, unannounced and unknown and uninvited.
Leslie came and opened the gate; whereupon the young lady just about fainted into his arms. ...a guy with an apartment who seems more like a lamb than a lion; pinch me, I must be dreaming!!
"Oh, wow," said Leslie, apparently pleasantly surprised to have a young woman, whom he later described as being "young and fine," fall into his arms.
I was not so impressed with the beauty of her, seeing her as being just too tall (well over the 4 foot 7" limit which I have set for myself) and just too assertive, pushing her way through the gate with her demeanor strongly suggested that she was hinting at Leslie to "lose" his friend, so that she could spend the night with he; and perhaps embark upon an extended period of crashing nightly at his place (but never bringing to fruition any of the vague obscenities which she murmured in his ear, as she would quickly size him up, seize control, and capitalize upon his gentlemanly manners) and bringing with her who knows what kind of baggage.
For my part, if the lady had been equally flirtatious with the two of us, then I may have pursued some kind "romantic" situation whereby we could basically each eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so to speak, but the blatancy with which she threw herself at he, while blatantly ignoring me was hard not to interpret as hinging upon the fact that it was his place, right on Bourbon Street; and not my place, right on Bourbon Street.
She tipped her hand and gave herself away (excuse the pun) by her behavior; underestimating the strength of the bond between Leslie and his friends and his skepticism about people whom he has never seen in his life who come into his living room and hug upon him.
Danger, Will Robinson!!
There could be the danger of an encounter with a jealous boyfriend first thing in the morning.
There could be sexually transmitted diseases.
There could be an episode featuring the young lady waking up screaming in the middle of the night when the police would come and hear her word; and we would be stuck with just our words...
Or, she could have eaten my Greek Salad in the middle of the night, out of the fridge...
We ditched Danielle, as that was her name.
The Last Thing We Do

A consolation is the fact that; if we ever run into her again (and it is pretty likely) she probably has the type of damaged psyche which will make her pursue us -her being more comfortable with people who kick her to the curb and get rid of her; like we did on Bourbon Street last night; than people who falsely flatter her and heap praises upon her which she believes in the depth of her subconscious mind to be a bunch of untrue horse manure; placing her upon a pedestal which she believes there is only one direction off of; and raising red flags, painting them to be just more of the same lying manipulating pigs which she believes that most men are, through her experiences with them.
Kicking her out of the house might resonate with her and she may make a vow to herself to seduce Leslie and I ...nobody kicks ME out onto the street, I've got Girl Power, I'll make them fall!!...if it is the last thing she does.
I have a couple of condoms in my pack, so it wouldn't be that last thing that we do...
90 Dollar Weekend
Other than that; there was money made this weekend.
Leslie is almost impossible to hang out with and get anything concrete accomplished, I have concluded -bless his heart. 
I think he is the textbook definition of A.D.D.
We make money when we jam together; however it is nowhere near twice the amount which I could expect to garner on my own. We are complimentary though, with his simple lines being like glue to stick toghether everything I do....
2 To 1
I am willing to take a pay cut in exchange for having company; and someone to watch the stuff during runs to the restroom; and we have settled upon a plan to split our tips with 2 portions going to myself (I am a vocalist and a guitarist and a harmonica player) and 1 portion going to him (he just contributes 1 harmonica)