Monday, February 24, 2014

Can't Trust That Day...

It is Monday.

1 Year Ago Today:
I had to move the plank and cardboard further under the dock, and higher up, away from where the Mississippi lapped at the bank of rocks. It was like moving the cardboard from Seattle to Spokane in Washington state, away from the ocean and higher in altitude.
One year ago, I had just moved to the spot where I now sleep...
I woke up this morning, with about 10 bucks less than I had the day before.
The Guy Who Sits Next To You
I had played at the Lilly spot, but was beset by the appearance of Chris, who used to walk around Mobile, Alabama aimlessly (and I blogged about him 4 years ago) and he now walks aimlessly around New Orleans.
He had told me that he walked around all day in Mobile because often, people, who had come to see him as a fixture there, would stop and give him money or food or clothes, out of compassion.
I really believe that he is of the mind that people should see him in his condition and remunerate him.
It's like he is presenting himself as a test of where peoples hearts are; giving them a chance to do the right thing and support him. ...I'm going to walk the sidewalks all day and just see how many people have the compassion to give me things; seeing the condition I am in...
He never asks for anything, but will always accept anything; and do it without any outward showing of gratitude, as if you owed him the thing and now you and he are squared away; and why should he thank you for doing what you should have done as a decent human being.
I hardly made anything while Chris was sitting on the stoop next to me, mostly listening, but staring at my pack of cigarettes every time I took it out; and making the comment: "So, you're doing pretty well," after a few tips had eventually gone under the tiposaurus.
Busking Axiom #6
When someone is sitting on the stoop next to me; it looks like I already have a "customer" to many people (someone who has requested a song and then sat down to listen to it) and the tipping drops way off. After all it is like the song that somebody else played on the jukebox.
I endured him for a while and then scooped up my money and put it in my pocket (at which point he walked off in a huff without excusing himself) and took a break, only to return 15 minutes later after he was out of sight.
The History Of Chris, The Guy Who Walks Around
He is the guy that got me thrown out of a hotel room which Alan from Las Vegas was letting me crash at in Mobile, under the stipulation that I bring absolutely nobody there.
Alan was passed out on the bed and I had run into Chris on my way there to microwave some haddock and broccoli, and invited him to share it after he mentioned that he was "starving" because he had missed the free "feeding" that evening in the park.
In hindsight, I think that he slipped into that condition upon noticing the bag of food which I was carrying.
When we got to the hotel, I was going to have Chris wait outside (to honor Alans wishes) and was going to cook the food and then carry it out there where we would eat.
Alan was well passed out and had his head covered in blankets, and I relented, thinking that it would be alright if Chris came in (as long as he was quiet) and ate along with me.
Well, to make a long story short (and this is in a blog post way back), Chris ran into Alan from Las Vegas, later on that evening after the latter had come out of his stupor and was headed to the liquor store for more vodka.
Chris inexplicably told him that I had invited him to his room and that we had eaten and then thanked the guy for his hospitality, or words to that effect.
When I returned to the room I was thrown out onto the street after being berated with "I TOLD you NOT to bring anybody here, what part of that don't you understand?!?"
That still sits with me when it comes to Chris from Mobile.
Along with the memory of him making a sour face and pushing the broccoli to one side of his plate without any kind of "I'm sorry, I don't like broccoli" as if I had given him a pretty good meal for free to relieve him of his "starvation;" but I could have done better.



Alex said...

Skeezers WILL skeeze, remember that.

Love the "Frowny McScowl" photo .... if you can make out OK looking like you do in every photo you've ever posted on here of yourself, maybe I should get to work learning to play that song that Peewee Herman dances on a table to in his great adventure movie and at least entertain the idea of a vacation there.

Daniel McKenna said...

The artist whose genius has been so misunderstood and unrecognized by the masses so that he has become disenfranchised and marginalized to the outer envelope of freakishness which the New Orleans street scene embodies SHOULD scowl!
Enough said LOL
Daniel the trumpeter prints out a page of a song at the library and then learns the notes exactly and then plays them at a slow even tempo without much embellishment; no improvisation; no vibrato and certainly no Miles Davis type toilet plungers to make him sound like he is playing for a burlesque dancer!!

Daniel McKenna said...

P.S. I remember him saying that he made $2000 bucks one month (a November)but was complaining that for that December he was at more like $1,500 because the big Xmas tips just weren't happening...
And, he looks like Ted Bruschi, who used to play for the Patriots; just to throw THAT in LOL!!

Alex said...

Wow that trumpet player is my heeeeeeeeroooooo.....

OK seriously, I wonder if it's simply the fact that he's playing a trumpet, which can be considered a "jazz" instrument?