Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Cold

Well, that day came; and it was yesterday.
It was so cold that my hands were stinging minus gloves, as I emerged from under the dock and made my way towards any place warm and free.
I was glad to have a Starbucks gift card, which ultimately permitted me to go into the brand new one on Canal Street (now there's like 5 in the Quarter) and to order a simple cup of black coffee, no room for cream, just 3 or 4 ice cubes, and to sit and read and write.
I completed most of a song, which I had been intending to write for about 6 years now.
It's tentatively entitled "Purple Heart" and is about a guy I met in Jacksonville, Florida about 6 years ago, who...well, it will all be in the song, hopefully...
I stayed at Starbucks until well after dark, consuming 50 cent refills; surrounded by notebook pecking college kid types, who were (mercifully) oblivious to me.
They were young and well dressed and apparently from good families and seemed to be enthused about life in general and excited about their prospects as eventual Tulane University graduates; were staring at their computer screens like cobras in front of flutes; and impressed me as a wholesale bunch of some of the biggest losers whom I have ever encounter and who all had "rude awakenings" in their futures.
Enough About Them
But, back to the story of my life, which is more interesting....
I bought some food off of my food card, which had just been boosted by 180 bucks the day before, at about 9 p.m., not wanting to even wait 3 more hours for any to be thrown out.
I headed to the dock.
There were 3 uniformed security guard types on the dock.
As it was so cold out, they were huddled about a heating type device.
I was able to descend to the river bank at about 100 feet from them, which put me at and angle which was out of their sight.
This was the earliest that I had ever tried to go under the dock, and I had never encountered security people before, but I believe that I slipped past their notice; or their concern.

I started a fire under there.
Since it was so cold, I might have lit a bigger fire than usual.
Soon, I heard the voice of one of them commanding me to "put the fire out and then come out!"
I did so, and then wound up trying to kill about 3 hours walking around the Quarter in sub freezing temperatures, waiting for the Natchez security crew to leave for their cozy heated houses and their high definition TV screens.
The upside was that I was still walking around at the time Rouses Market threw out fresh meats and fishes, which the other, less fortunate (to not have a place to build a fire) homeless guys had passed over, or weren't even around to get, having fled for shelters where they would sleep next to snoring others with smelly feet who would somehow manage to steal their cigarettes in the middle of the night.
I got back under the dock and re-lit the fire and had spaghetti and mushroom sauce with corn and pieces of seasoned chicken breast in it, along with a pint of brandy.
And now it is Tuesday night and it is just as cold and out I go.......

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