- A Drink, With Jam, And Bread
- 17 Dollar Friday
- 0 Dollar Saturday
- Guitar Fixed For Now
- 5 Dollar Sunday
- A Jam With Tanya And Dorise
- Leslie Encounter
- 3 Day Juice Fast
I just came from the French Market, where I spent 5 bucks on a full set of the "they suck, but they're only 5 bucks" guitar strings.
I had broken onet (Friday) night, but continued to play out of my repertoire of "songs for guitar missing G string," and was actually able to hoodwink a few more dollars out of a few tourists, on my way to having a 17 dollar Friday...
I woke up and threw 50 cents into the-jar-that-can-never-be-touched,-ever, and then added another dollar.
I now owe the jar 13 dollars.
It then started to rain. I emerged, umbrella in hand at about 4 p.m. and walked up St. Louis Street and past Tanya and Dorise.
Tanya spotted me and averted her gaze, as if she hadn't. In retrospect, I don't think it had anything to do with me, something seemed to be weighing upon her. She could have just been tired of the whole business, like I have become at times; me who puts in only about a quarter of the time she does.
Indiana In DisrepairI went and got a half pint of whiskey, and then returned to Royal Street.
This time, as I approached Tanya, she smiled (although it was her version of a smile where her mouth is smiling, yet her forehead wrinkles just above her nose, as if she is smelling a foul odor; at the same time) and said; :"How have you been; I haven't talked to you for a while?"
I said that my current living arrangement and routine just doesn't take me past their spot like it used to (plus, seeing all the money they make in the half hour that I stop to say "hi" can be depressing, as I go out, hoping to break 20 dollars for the whole day...and plus, I guess the crush that I used to have on Tanya has waned a bit; as I see a certain futility in pursuing her).
I decided to put the new strings on the Indiana, tune to them, and then be on my way.
I discovered that the tuning machine for the G string, which had started to mess up on me, and which Paul at Bywater Music had to order a new one of "It'll take about a week..." had totally 'crapped out' and was useless.
I was out of work; suddenly.
I showed it to Dorise.
The girls played a pretty spirited version of "September Song," by Earth, Wind and Fire.
Tanya played a very interesting solo, and told her so, before I walked off.
"Oh; I'm just trying to play..." she replied without enthusiasm, as if it had been no big deal.
That kind of put an uneasy feeling in me. I felt kind of sad, and it started me thinking.
I walked around the quarter wondering why things that should freak me out; like the sudden demise of my guitar tend to barely register with me. It is either due to numbness; or I am "disassociating" from the whole "What in Gods name are are you going to do now?!?" issue.
I also thought about how precarious my financial situation is; as I am one broken guitar away from ruin.
I took the broken guitar and the harmonica and tried to play songs around that missing string at the Lilly spot.
I just couldn't bring myself to continue for long.
Paranoid that someone would come and request a song which requires that string, and I would have to make an excuse and lose out on a tip; or worse, I would try to play the crippled guitar and they would conclude "You suck!" and walk off.
"It's just a hustle; most people won't even notice..." said another hustler to me.
I knocked off, after making 0 dollars, and went off to lie awake half the night mulling things over; feeling like I had wimped out and should have stuck to it and just done my best and that I would have made something. ...I'll have to go into the jar that can never be touched...
I thought about a beautiful girl whom I once was friends with, back in my college days who, according to "reports," got absolutely no pleasure out of sex -would "just lay there"- and about how beautiful Tanyas music is; yet does it just lay there? And I wondered if it is possible for people to be moved to goosebumps and tears by a performer who isn't "feeling" it at all...
At some point, I drifted off to sleep.
Back In Business
Sunday, I called Paul at Webbs Bywater Music and learned that the part for my guitar was still about a week away. He had gotten busy and forgotten to order it.
I ran into Nervous Duane, playing on Royal Street, who told me that he was 75% sure that tightening a certain screw would solve the problem.
Tightening the screw did not solve the problem, but, in the process of tightening it; a cover fell off revealing a pinion with 4 out of 12 cogs snapped off it. It had also been installed upside down so that the teeth were leaning the wrong way.
I managed to get a string up to pitch by using the remaining teeth, putting me back in business.
A Jam With Tanya And Dorise
Relieved to have a functional instrument, and on my way to the Lilly spot, I stopped to see Tanya and Dorise.
The Song I Hate
I had heard a certain song for the first time in about 20 years at the casino; twice. I have always hated the song, of which lyrics I can only remember something like "...happiness is compete..."
It is somehow in the rotation at the casino. All I can picture is a gym full of middle-aged housewives doing aerobics in leotards whenever I hear it.
As I sat catty corner to T&D, I was surprised (and feeling like the universe was playing a practical joke on me) to hear them play that very same song.
According to Dorise, they know about 3,000 songs and can play 3 days without repeating one.
I joked about how much I hated the song. Dorise said "Oh, it's a great song!" and played a bit of the intro. Tanya still seemed like her mind was somewhere else.
Then, after a Rouses Market employee named Clarence walked past, they began to play a Jackson 5 song.
"That's HIS song, because he has a little boy that everyone say's looks like Michael Jackson," said Dorise while not dropping a beat.
Soon, a black man, whom I have seen around had shown up and was singing along with the song; and so I joined in, and hit some pretty good harmonies.
"What are we going to do next, Daniel?" asked Dorise when it was finished.
It was, after all, Sunday, the evening when a lot of guest performers seem to join the duo.
I suggested "Bet You By Golly Wow," by The Stylistics? which the other guy knew and to which I added harmonies culled from the version of the song by Prince, which I am infinitely more familiar with.
As I was leaving, they started to play "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," probably an allusion to my guitar, which had been ailing.
I figured "what the hell," and couldn't resist the F harmonica-friendly key that the song is in; and the fact that I have done that one 50 times myself; and so, took the harp out of my bag and wailed along.
It sounded great; the volume and bass of their amps seemed to match the level of the harp; and I ripped out what I thought was a pretty good solo.
As I went to sit back down next to my pack (not wanting to go all "Blues Traveler" and hog the whole song) I felt exhilarated, like I was floating on air -quite a head-rush (oxygen deprivation from all the "draw" notes on the harp may have contributed LOL). There is definitely an "energy" surrounding them.
They had a crowd of about 20 or so listening, who applauded at the conclusion.
Dorise gave me a slightly astonished "I didn't know you could play the harp" type look. "Was that the F?" she asked, remembering that she had given me a harp in that key once.
"Yeah, it works over A minor."
"You mean D minor."
"No, that's the natural minor, but a lot of killer notes in that song are in Am."
I actually didn't mind the fact that I went and only made 5 bucks after that; I felt like the night had been a success.
I then regretted making my blog post earlier that day; when I was kind of harsh on Tanya; and resolved to change it, first thing in the morning.