Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1 Dollar Monday

I woke up pretty well rested at about noon. I had been up until almost sunup.
I was kicking myself for not having gotten candles; because I wanted to read; but then realized that the sun was going to come up in about an hour.
I fell asleep, waiting for it to come up, so that I could read.
Saturday I had managed to get a new harmonica in the key of G for about 14 bucks.
Sunday I managed to get razors.
Today, I went out, clean shaven (see photo, right) and got candles.
It's a good thing that was all I spent on "necessities" ($2.70) because I only managed to get one dollar thrown to me, during the hour or so that I played.
When I got there, there was a black guy sitting on the rightmost stoop (that I play next to) and there was another one on the other stoop. They both seemed to be skeezing.
When I un-shouldered my guitar and put my spotlight in the vines, the one nearest me said something like "Oh, I'm in your crib," and made movements towards leaving.
I said "Yeah, my girlfriend lives here and she lets me play on her stoop," whereupon he began to leave in earnest.
I sat down and began to slowly unpack the sharks and the beads and the harmonica...and then a cop car pulled up. It was the black cop that Lilly had spoken to before about letting me play there, because I was "like family" to her. And then another cop pulled up behind him.
They turned their attention on the guy who was on the other stoop. The one that was on the one near where I play had already gotten down the street a bit.
I heard the guy say something like "I can't sit here, but he can sit there and play?"
To which the black cop (a sergeant) said "I know him."
I decided to go around the corner and smoke the blunt that I was rolling (as that was what I was doing and why I hadn't had my guitar out yet, making it easier for the cop to say "What do you mean; he's not playing music; he's just sat down to rest; and he's not skeezing tourists!")
I didn't want to create a situation where the second skeezer would demand an explanation as to why I was allowed to play there, but he was being ticketed for "obstructing a public passageway."
I didn't want it to take on a racial tone...."That's just the way it is; some things will never change..."
Disappearing for a few minutes seemed to be prudent.
Hell, without me there, the sergeant could say something like "Hey, I think he's fucking the lady that owns all this property; because she's ready to go to the Supreme Court to allow him to play on her steps, regardless of any curfews; we just don't want the aggravation; that's just the way it is..."
I came back and they were gone; but so was everyone else.
I only made a dollar; but; I felt like it was a sincere tip; as I was playing pretty well for almost no one.
Where There Is Smoke, There Is The Fire Department
I got under the dock at about 2 a.m. and proceeded to light a nice fire with some driftwood.
I threw a tin of chicken wings on it, while I ate a salad.
While the wings were cooling, I threw some ground coffee in water on the fire to bring it to a near boil. That is how I have been drinking coffee lately, heating up the grounds and then siphoning the liquid off the top, using my front teeth as a crude filter.
Then, I saw the flashlight beams and heard "Fire department!," to which I hastily explained that I had just been heating something up, but that I was putting the fire out directly.
That seemed to satisfy them (as it did the last ones who had shown up and noted that there was nothing but rocks, steel and water under there) but, they returned a minute later and announced that "Security wants you to come out from under there; you can't be under there."
I emerged with my pack and guitar, and carrying the tin of still steaming chicken, hoping that it would look like that had been my only business under there...but, I don't know.
The security guys who were standing there looked like a rookie, a thin young black guy; and his boss, a heavyset older white guy; and it crossed my mind that they were working on a Monday night and perhaps were like the second string of security personnel, spelling the veterans who worked the weekends and other busy occasions; and I was just hoping that they weren't going to try to make a name for themselves somehow.
Like going under there and discovering my little setup and disposing of everything, and then reporting their good deed to their superiors.
It is almost sunup and I will probably return to sleep there, but, there is a risk that when the news of the smoke incident is relayed to the day shift; someone might decide that enough is enough (having the police called once and the fire department twice) and they might send someone under there to ferret me out. Then, it will fall into the category of "direct disobedience," as I have been told to leave but then came back.
Time To Travel
I think circumstances are prodding me to get on the road and head north to see family and friends for the summer.
I just met a guy who had crossed the country in just 12 days "just playing my guitar on the corner."
I think it is time; and; why wait until the situation dictates my actions. It is going to go into the slow season (August is the low point) and why not stay one step ahead of things and be proactive.
"Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans" -John Lennon
I would hate to be standing in front of a judge for trespassing under the dock and be thinking: "Damn, I was going to leave the very next day for points north! Now, I guess I'll be spending the next 30 days confined with a bunch of skeezers that remember me for never having given them a dollar or a cigaette."
Well, the sky is lightening; and I hope the night security shift has not decided to sit on deck and keep an eye on the dock, out of boredom.
This is all I have to do in exchange for using your wi-fi?
I hope their attitude is: We KNOW the guy sleeps under there and we frankly don't care if he wants to sleep with rats, but when he gets the fire department involved; we have to at least go through the motions of running him off; for appearance sake.
It is 6 a.m. now, and I guess I will go back under and see if everything is as I left it.


alex carter said...

Oh, wonderful, your place under the dock might be "blown up" now.

If you're going to travel, there's no use in doing the CD covers for you, since you'd never get them.

Daniel McKenna said...

@Alex waiting for the CD covers would be just one of the loose ends that I would have to tie up before scooting out on a caprice ...I have to make some money first, would be the traditional wisdom;
So, you haven't even started them yet; I read between the lines, because if you had already done them you would have said: no use sending them..but you said no use doing them;
so you haven't done them; I can't imagine not being able to send them by e-mail; 10 megs is I think the limit on my Excite account; and I thin that is plenty to render a picture the size of a CD cover...

alex carter said...

I can do 'em in a day, I've always been a fast artist.

I can't send them from MY email, I'd burn them onto a CD then mail you that.

I'd use the scanner at my friend's house, I don't want to spend money on one right now, although I could get a used one cheep at Weird Stuff Warehouse I guess.

You've got to understand that tech is going BACKWARDS, CD's are good solid tech now, email beyond the simple text type email of the early 90s, isn't really a thing any more.