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...

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