Monday, December 16, 2013

I Am


On My Way To The Bust
  • Thursday, Continued
  • 1 Dollar Friday
  • Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
  • The Lidgley Parcel
  • Surviving Below 40 After 50
It is Monday afternoon.
I woke up this morning; under the dock and wrapped in the new heavy blanket which had been given to me outside of the Veaux Carre Baptist church at about 9:30 p.m. the prior night; along with the other fleece throw which had been handed to me by a random young lady; and the 2 blankets which I already had.
I had been pretty warm and slept pretty well; secure in the knowledge that I was out of Leslies apartment until further notice and was none the worse for it.
4 Day Recap 
Thursday night, after I encountered Brian Hudson playing on the corner of Royal and St. Louis streets; I eventually sat on the curb by him.
He began to play "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohen.
I took my guitar out and discovered that I was in tune with his guitar (having tuned to my harmonica) and was soon able to pick out the chord progression to that song.
Him being amplified and standing almost directly in front of his speaker; I was pretty sure that he couldn't hear me; and, if he could I would be in pitch with what he was playing.
The song ended and I wanted to run through the changes to cement them in my mind; but found that I had not organized the song into a pattern. The fact that I had my capo on shifted the dots on the neck to where they usually aren't.
I ran through the keys quickly, trying to relocate the chords which I had only moments before had down.
"You know, Daniel, that's very distracting," said Brian.
I didn't know if he was referring to me fumbling through the keys and thinking "Now, where were those chords again?" or if he meant that he had heard me playing along with him out of the corner of his ears and that it had distracted him.
On a night when I had only made a couple dollars at that point; it was just enough discouragement to spur me to bag up my instrument and walk off without saying goodbye.
Then, I remembered that I had done that after one of our first meetings and that he had alluded to it the next time I had seen him.
I was taking out my musical frustrations by being a jerk in that way after a day which had begun with whiskey for breakfast (see below).
Some musicians are distracted by some things which others aren't.
Tanya and Dorise just smile when someone walks up and plays along...unless he is blocking their tip basket; that will "distract" them...so it goes.
Another Day; Another 20 Dollar Bill
I went directly to the Lilly spot where I experienced an almost instant replay of the previous night.
I made a few single dollars here and there; and then a guy walked up and gave me 20 dollars; after listening to me tear through "Hey Jude," by The Beatles..
Once Bitten...

I had learned a lesson about Leslie the previous morning after I had rung his buzzer and found him to be sitting in his room doing absolutely nothing, and had asked him: "A lady gave me 20 bucks and I wound up making 24, do you want to run to Esplanade and get a couple beers?"
I hadn't had to ask twice.
That turned out to be a fun time, and we retired as friends.
But, the next morning, he was keeping me on a short leash. ...Is he thinking about the change which the guy at the store had handed back to me???
After he unlocked the front gate to let me out (I'm sorry; let us out. It's "us" when "we" have money...) he began his now familiar "shadowing" of me; or "tailing" me, if you will.
Step for step. ...so, what are your plans for today, Leslie? I felt like asking.
Twice Shy
His now familiar morning banter began, with him talking about all his prospects for making money in the near future..."Paul might have some work for me tomorrow....I need to check back with the Po Boy place; they said after Thanksgiving they might hire me...Maybe I can borrow money from Mark if he's working today...etc"
All of which were the now familiar hints that he wanted me to continue to spend my money on alcohol -first thing in the morning, no less.
He was very distracted; answering any comment which I made with "Really?" after a few seconds delay during which he seemed to be working out a complex problem in his mind; and thus, only half listening; and walking with his head down.
"There's Lillys SUV, she must be home..."
"Really?.....oh, Lilly's home, huh?"
"Yeah, Leslie there's her SUV right in front of us..."
Friday Morning
I had appeared at his door Friday morning, after having been thrown the same amount of 24 dollars after playing the same time slot of about 2 hours.
We repeated the excursion to The Esplanade Market, and retired as friends again.
In the morning, Leslie once again began to repeat the exact same actions which had resulted in myself buying us whiskey and beer at our first stop.
Things such as rattling the change which was all that he had left over from the 100 dollars which he had gotten only 5 days prior and lamenting "Oh, darn...darn it!" and pacing back and forth as I was bagging up my stuff and getting ready to go out, for example).
Thursday morning, I had caved in, and had regretted it later.
Whiskey first thing in the morning had lead to me continuing to drink and becoming irascible 12 hours later, walking by Tanya and Dorise with just a curt wave and a sour face; and having been rude to Brian Hudson, for example.
Leslie began to shadow me; again, with his head down..."darn it..."
I finally just had to break away from him.
It felt like someone had put a turn-key in my back and was winding it tighter and tighter.
I started to feel like if I didn't get a drink, I was going to go crazy.
Then, I caught myself in this thought pattern and realized that Leslie was probably absolutely trying to drive me to drink; just by his demeanor.
He may have been chanting "...buy alcohol;...buy alcohol..." in his head as we walked, for all I know.
"I'm not going to repeat the mistake I made yesterday," I told him.
I broke away from him at a certain corner and headed for Rouses Market, where I encountered Paul and the rest of Doreens Jazz Band.
I really felt like a heel; as if I had been mean to the guy. I still had about 16 of the 24 dollars which I had made the previous night on me.
I thought about going back to Bourbon Street to intercept him. "Do you really need a beer, Leslie? Come on, let's get some! ...I can't treat a friend like this...
"I truly think that Leslie was trying to drive me to drink this morning, using psychological ploys which he has mastered," I said to Paul.
His smile seemed to say: "That sounds like Leslie."
Football Tournament
Then, I went to the Superdome spot because there was a high school football tournament going on, where state championships were to be decided.
It was a bust because, due to the relatively small crowd compared to when the Saints play; all of the cars which arrived fit into the parking garage attached to the stadium and no additional lots were open; no vendors were out; and after I left; no buskers...

1 comment:

Alex said...

Wow that photo of you is ... scary. Skeez-O-Matic, man!