Friday, April 11, 2014

First Friday Draft (but not of beer)

  • 29 Dollar Wednesday
  • 27 Dollar Thursday
Now, it is Friday, I have not eaten nor had alcohol since Sunday night -the night that I had run into Leslie, who tried to encourage me at 1 in the morning, to drink more. "No, I'm going to sleep.."
He seems intent upon worming his way back into my good grace.
The Call Of The Wild Man
He called this morning, when I was under the dock, wanting to meet somewhere and smoke weed. "I'll throw in a couple dollars."
I took this to mean that he wanted to smoke and only had a couple dollars, and needed me. He could have seen the money around the sharks, without my noticing it.
He called again  after I hadn't shown up where I told him that I would probably be "in 45 minutes or so" and I told him that I was clipping my toenails, which I was. I had started to leave and, when putting my boots on, remembered the clippers that I had bought the night before and decided to put them to use immediately. 
He got angry and started cussing me out. "You pissed me off, man; talking about clipping your nails; what are you, drunk, sitting there clipping your nails?!" ...Hey, they were getting long, dude!
He sounded drunk. He basically called me all the very same things which he had called me before we had a fistfight in the street about 3 months ago -verbatim- and then hung up, but not before I was able to get in: "I think I told you that I just wanted to get the hell away from you and stay there, that night that....(hangs up).
I felt like I should have hung up first.
27 Dollar Thursday
Yesterday, I posted here, and then made my way to Rouses Market for more water.
I am off of apple juice and drinking distilled water now.
I got to the Lilly spot, after passing by Paul (Doreens Jazz Band) who told me: "The best I've ever felt in my life was when I was on a 6 day juice fast...I had a juicer, so I was putting all kinds of fruit and vegetables in it"
I sat on the stoop; it was still light out.
Pot OK, Alcohol Bad?
Guy, a guy who works an ice cream cart in Jackson Square stopped and passed me a blunt. 
I took a few puffs, feeling that I wouldn't be breaking the fast, and remembering the words of Lloyd, the guy who was trying to learn telekinesis, who said pot was good; alcohol bad; for someone who is trying to line up their chakras and tap into the positive power of the universe.
I started to play, and felt extremely competent, and was hitting every note, unlike the previous night when I tried to play sober. I think it was the best that I have ever started me thinking about making a CD soon.
I was sitting on the stoop and warming up; not believing how much energy and focus I had for someone who was sober and hadn't eaten in 4 days.
I didn't open my case, but a guy came along and put a dollar on top of it.
I didn't notice it blow off onto the sidewalk in front of me, but another guy came along and pointed it out to me "You've got a dollar there, ready to blow away."
I nodded a "thanks" to him, but kept playing. After all, I had woken up with 61 dollars and had spent none of it at all; no pint of vodka, no sack of weed, no cigarettes.
Maybe my apparent  lack of "attachment" to money prompted the guy to come back a minute later and listen some more.
He was dressed like a rich tourist, business haircut, sport coat, button up shirt, slacks and shiny shoes.
"I'll tell you what, I'm trying to cut down on gluten, do you want this?" he asked, showing me a bottle of Abita Amber beer.
I thought about taking it and putting it in my pack for such a time that my fast might end and I might appreciate such a fine expensive brew.
"I could save it for later, but, right now I'm doing this cleansing juice fast thing," I said "I'm only drinking water tonight."
That was all he had to hear; he instantly removed the bottle to the pocket that he had taken it out of, and said "Oh, that's cool...that's really cool; good for you!" and walked off.
I felt sufficiently warmed up after that and so, set up my sharks and moved a few feet to where I like to sit and resumed playing.
Within minutes, a young tall skinny guy came by and asked "Do you drink?"
Before I could answer, he said: "It's just that I have this card for free drinks at O'Briens, and it expires tonight and I won't be able to use it, because we're going somewhere else..." and showed me a black plastic card with probably a leprechaun on it.
I pictured myself walking into O'Briens and right up to the bar, not the restroom which I have used 100 times -the bar that I could never afford to walk up to; the land of 12 dollar shots and 17 dollar drinks, and the looks on the faces of the staff ...see, he's not a skeezer, he's got a little bit going on...and how big my head would swell as I came out of there holding the expensive drink and walked past the skeezers with their mouths agape. I thought about pocketing the card for the future, but, I would be carrying temptation around, then.
"No, I'm doing this juice fast thing...."
He walked off.
I couldn't help thinking that somehow word had gotten out that I wasn't drinking (this blog?) and that these people were testing me to see if it could really be true.
The only other explanations would be, coincidence, or the devil himself, pulling out all the stops, trying to sabotage my fast. I tend to not believe the latter, as the first guy seemed genuinely pleased to hear about what I was doing.
I have always entertained a theory that New Orleans is like a purgatory and that souls are sent here to see if they can resist myriad temptations, pass the test, and be promoted to the status of Tanya and Dorise.
They basically live the life of Abstinence; and, look how well they are doing....
I continued to play the best that I ever have, and at 11 p.m., I knocked off, after having made 27 dollars, bringing the amount in my pocket to about 85 bucks.
I went and spent $3.04 on a set of "deluxe" toenail clippers at Walgreens, right before they closed at midnight, then went under the dock, undetected, and slept until about noon, after a lot of tossing and turning and thinking. It seems one doesn't need as much sleep, or doesn't get as tired when there is no food to digest...
I had thought about picking up some 10 dollar ear buds, along with the clippers, to replace the ones that the rats chewed up, but then decided that I would wait and shop around for something much better, like headphones which would give me deep bass and clean highs. After all, a musician should splurge upon musical stuff, if nothing else.
Day 5 of the fast (today) started with me still having some stiffness in my neck and tension and the numbness in either hand, which I have been getting when I lay a "certain way."
The French Quarter Music Festival is going on, and there are a ton of tourists out and the "daytime buskers" are all at it.
Tanya was busy pulling money out of her basket and stacking it into bricks when I walked past her an hour ago.
I didn't say hello, neither did either of them, they averted their gazes. I think someone might be keeping them abreast of all the disparaging things that I write in this blog about them sometimes; before deleting or softening them the next morning.
Tanya does have a joyless expression on her face lately, and I wouldn't be surprised if she announced her retirement from street music.

1 comment:

alex carter said...

I don't notice that you're saying anything disparaging about T&D, it's just that (a) you're a skeezer, in appearance and demeanor if not actual fact, and (b) it hurts T&D's image if skeezers are allowed to hang out around them. All it would have taken is one "customer" saying something about the meth-head etc. (you) hanging out around their tip jar, to make them decide to be a bit less welcoming - not anything overt, just enough to make you less likely to hang around 'em.

Frankly it's what I would do. When I've been busking and a bum or skeezer etc hangs around I certainly don't welcome them.

This is not to say you are actually a skeezer, you are not, almost all of the time. But it's the appearance thing. Discover the joys of clean clothes and barbershops, and your whole life might change.