Monday, April 14, 2014

Stormy Monday After The Festival

  • Fast Broken
  • 22 Dollar Saturday (continued)
  • 22 Dollar Sunday
Monday Afternoon, Right Now...

Saturday evening, I was at the Lilly spot before sundown, sipping cranberry/ginger juice and slowly warming up on the guitar.
I had "broken' the water fast Friday night, by stirring honey and apple cider vinegar into some water; having a tablespoon of molasses on the side and then continuing to add cayenne pepper to Saturdays water.
I felt great, and had a lot of energy.
The Guy Who Wants To Hang Out
I took a break after about an hour, and a few dollars, to run to the store for more juice, and on the way back, ran into a guy whom I have hung out with before.
I can't remember his name, but can call him "smiley," as he is one of those afflicted with a facial tic whereby a smirk is frozen upon his lips. He just walks around with almost a nervous smile. He was born and raised in New Orleans, and has the attitude and the accent. The attitude seems to include being simple and taking amusement in simple things. He was drunk and wanted to hang out.
I told him that he could, remembering that he wasn't a skeezer, but forgot to add "for a little while."
He sat next to me. Every song that I played seemed to remind him of some other song, which he would ask me to play as soon as I was finished. That was OK, as it opened my mind to new possibilities, but, as tourists swarmed by; support was gained for my theory that "the dude playing guitar with another dude sitting next to him" doesn't make as much money as the "lonely troubadour" figure. ...Do we have to give them both a dollar? ...has that guy just dropped him a tip and wants his undivided attention? ...I know, he pretends to be a street performer while the other guy snatches my wallet and runs, then he plays dumb! he just waiting to make another couple bucks and then that guy is going to run to the dope dealer? ...why is that guy smirking; what's so funny...does he think I'm a clown?!? etc.
Smiley has a job. He threw 2 dollars to the sharks, had his own cigarettes and weed and money and bike -said he just wasn't yet up for the 5 mile ride to where he is homeless; probably just didn't want to sit there by himself all drunk with nobody to tell stories to...
Then, he wanted to play the guitar.
"Hey, let me show you a song...I'll give you a couple more dollars!"
I let him show me a song. He played terribly. I felt like my brand was being besmirched as tourists walked past, probably thinking that we were both guitar skeezers, using the instrument like a Trojan Horse, to get us into the spot, so we could skeeze.
I almost wanted to turn my spotlight out while he was playing, so nobody would utter the words "...the guy with the sharks; yeah that guy was horrible!"
Eventually (and probably about 10 lost dollars later) I had to just tell him that I couldn't work with someone hanging out. He left rather graciously.
I made money here and there. I kept working on originals and obscure stuff and really wasn't playing "money" songs (like "Money," by Pink Floyd).
The highlight of the festival...

A secong guy-who-wants-to-play-your-guitar came along. A tall, lanky black guy with a shaven head.
"Remember me?" he asked, bumping fists with me.
He gave me his street moniker.
"Hey, let me show you some riffs," he said, reaching for the guitar. "I don't want your money; you can keep whatever I make, let my show you a few things."
That phrase brought back the memory of when he had played my guitar (horribly) before. He played a lot of bass lines, but hit all the unwanted strings out of sloppiness and, well, I wasn't interested in keeping everything he made, once I realized who he was.
"I just got this guitar and I'm still adjusting it and figuring out how to keep it in tune, I don't let anybody else play it." (I HAD let smiley play it; but was thinking that I would start that policy moving forward from there).
"That's cold!" said the guy as he walked off.
The fast and cleanse had really calmed my mind and body, but I almost became angry and yelled something like "Get a guitar, if you LOVE to play so much," or "Try walking up to a welder who is working and say 'Hey, let me show you a few things, let me hold your torch' and see where it gets you..."
I made 22 bucks, and had only spent 6 on a pack of American Spirit cigarettes.
Sunday, I made about 22 dollars again.
I am now living on fruit juice and have instant oatmeal with honey and molasses in the morning. 
"How To Spend" Monday
It is Monday and it is raining.
I woke up with $127.50 in cash, and $32.50 in the-jar-that-can-never-be-touched.
I hadn't drank alcohol in an entire week. I had a ton of energy, ate my oatmeal, did my push ups and sit ups and then waited for the rain to let up, while I meditated upon how my "festival" money can best be spent.
The best investment might be in a little digital stereo hand held recorder, so that I could have a CD produced in short order, but, then I wouldn't have the capability to overdub anything; it would be just guitar/voice/harp and all done in one take; mistakes notwithstanding....but it would make a great practice tool...

1 comment:

alex carter said...

You could probably get a room to rent easily if you just save up a bit. Then you could set up a "mini studio" in there, put out CDs etc. I just bought a stack of 100 CDs (for work) and it was like $24.