Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's A Black Crowned Night Heron

...One of the few species known to attack man?
⦁ 2 Days Without Alcohol
⦁ Bird Photographed
This is NOT a reprint; I lengthened its neck

Now begins the third day without drinking; and it is probably a blessing that the Quarter has been so slow that, had I been drinking, I would have gotten out and busked, then spent the miniscule take entirely on booze, along with all the extemporaneous impulsive purchases which are byproducts of the state of intoxication; like popping into McDonalds for a couple of McDoubles that I would forget eating until I woke up with an itchy scalp.
The second day was typical of the last time around. I am struggling with the same deadly sins.
I had the typical animosity towards the beggars which I usually get when I am flat broke; exacerbated by the withdrawals which I was feeling. I have admit that I struggle not to envy those who make "300 dollars a night," just sitting there with their cute dog and an "anything helps" sign.
I also cancelled my busking session for a second straight day.
This was partly because the self conditioned correlations between playing well and getting money; and money and getting drunk, were not in place
And partly because, it was so slow that my audience consisted of little more than the "Do you have any change for something to eat?" guy on Lillys other stoop; and the "I bet I can tell you where you got your shoes" guy, patrolling back and forth in front of me, along with the "Welcome to New Orleans, how are you doing? If you need any directions or any restaurant recommendations, I'm right here; and speaking of restaurants, I haven't eaten all day..." guy, who was a tall, thin (to fit the part) black man with a small backpack on his back, and carrying an umbrella.
I'm sure that the umbrella goes on the market as soon as a first raindrop is felt.
He is well spoken and about the most decent hustler that I have seen, and I withold the designation of "skeezer" from him. He is a skeezer "light."
A Time To Write
I opted to come here and regale you all with this blog post, as well as catch up on things computer, in general (I could work for 5 hours per day for a month before I felt comfortable with the progress that I am making with my blogging and writing and the organizing of my thoughts.
It is frustrating to come up with a new idea when there are old ideas sitting on the back burner) instead of trying to manufacture a positive attitude and play through my pain, until the joy of it came back two-fold.
I had a couple of positve things occur at the Lilly spot, though, before packing up and leaving.
One young guy, who turned out to be British (Gibsons are like a thousand pounds, eh?) asked me if there were any "guitar shops" in the area, which led to a discussion about guitar playing and guitars in general.
I took out the Indiana (proudly) to show it to him and discovered a bit of enthusiasm in myself for playing it (though its strings are worn and I am going to have to tough it out and play it that way when I do, in order to come up with string money. There is comfort in the knowledge that that particular expense won't have to wait in line behind the expense of "the first couple of beers to get going" when I do decide to play!
The Coke Dealer
The second thing, which was ironically positive was the guy who came along trying to sell cocaine to me.
"I got the good coke," he said.
I had 6 cents on me, but decided to kind of test him. "Oh, I'm off that. I've been clean for a couple weeks!"
He stopped in his tracks and became quite animated; like a fisherman who has one on the line. "Pffuh! Well, give it another go! You won't be disappointed; I got a 10 dollar bag right here!"
It is just this type of sociopathic attitude that bothers me the most about skeezers in general, and people like Leslie Thompson, whom I could sense was thinking things like "What an idiot; I got him drinking, and now he's spending money to get me drunk, too drunk to realize that it's happening! I love it! Whew!!" when I hung out with him for that short period of time last year.
I decided to give the coke dealer/fisherman/demon possessed sociopath more line: "No, man. I tore through almost 200 bucks on that stuff; and I just barely have enough money to pay my bills now!"
"The Right Choice!!"

That was like touching a match to a powder keg (excuse the pun). Instead of relenting with: "I understand, let me know if you change your mind," he started to extol the high quality of his product, after having approched to within 3 feet of me. "You won't regret it!," he added ...nobody ever regrets blowing their rent money up their nose and winding up out on the street, right?...
"Well, yes or no?" he asked.
This reminded me of both Leslie and the other skeezer, "Tarrentino" who both ejaculated "The right choice!!" after I had opted to get either the stronger spirits (in the former case) or the bigger bottle (in the later).
I fixed my eyes upon his, seeing a demon looking back at me, and jogged his memory with a very firm: "I just SAID no!!," wherupon he walked off.
I like to test people, just ask any of my friends...
This was ironically positive, because I found that, had I wanted to, I could have played the hell out of my guitar; fueled by indignation.

Now, to more important matters...
Bird Photos Obtained
This crappy, grainy low-resolution photo was taken this morning of the bird (inset) which had come into my sleeping area.
I had to turn my laptop around so the camera faced them and ten snap the pictures.
The one standing at the waters edge is a second bird of the same feather; slightly larger, that has recently shown up.
"Now there are two birds," one might think. But, think again: There has arrived a third one of them; the largest of all; rivaling a turkey in size. That one has kept its distance, also staying at the waters edge.
Perhaps the larger ones enjoy fish, while the smallest one favors small mammals.
I have still not been able to positively identify the species of bird; and am thinking of going to an oronthology (or avarology or whatever the branch of science is) website and trying to post on a forum of some kind under the head of "Ask the experts" in order to identify the bird.
They emit a single cry, sounding like "Waauukk!!" upon taking flight.
The smallest bird (inset) and the one which I witnessed making a meal of a rat jumped up upon my cardboard and positioned itself with its head towards a gap in the rocks, as if listening, within seconds of my having put my boots on and walked off a few yards to "use the restroom," as if it had been patiently waiting for me to leave.
Alex In California IDs Bird
 Alex In California, a blog reader had suggested in a comment that the bird might be a Night Heron, and a search of that term produced pretty much a dead ringer for my visitor, though, the neck on the one shown to the right is shorter than the one (and now 3) that frequent the dock (maybe just for the summer months; or maybe because the rat population has exploded under there due to myself as a food provider).
"You Heard Me?"
While conversing with a young black guy, I felt compelled, at one point, to tell him:
"You're 3 feet in front of me, and speaking pretty loudly; the background noise is relatively low; and I have a pretty much average aural capacity ...I think you can forgo asking me if I heard you after every statement that you make....

"And Yet, I Am Unemployable..."
At CVS, when I was getting my apple juice for day 3 of the juice fast, the young black lady behind the counter said not a word to me.
She spoke to the next customer in line though, who happened to be a middle aged black man, asking him how he was doing.
Whaauuk! Say's the Black Crowned Night Heron...
Then she answered his reciprocal inquiry by telling him that she had "sprung" her toe, and that was why she was limping (although she was standing still at the time).
"Maybe you broke it; you should have it checked!" said the concerned guy.
"No, if it was broke I wouldn't be able to walk. It's just fractured." was her self diagnosis.
And yet, I couldn't get a job at CVS if I tried.


alex carter said...

Maybe the young black lady behind the counter has adopted a policy of just not talking at all to skeezers; I feel that's the policy I'd adopt if I worked there.

As an example, I was in the small Safeway in downtown San Jose yesterday, skeezer central except for the Walgreen's which is the physical and spiritual center of skeezer culture in San Jose, and was standing in line and some skeezer rode his bike in, and the security guy (who was somehow absent when two guys were smoking up a pot-storm in the wine section lol) told the guy he can't ride his bike in there. Well, he called the guy "kid" or something, and the skeezer got all offended and was basically trying to pick a fight with the security guy who just ignored him after making his point and walked off to check for real crime (like shoplifting, or maybe guys smoking up a storm in the wine section). Basically, the security guy spoke to the skeezer only as much as necessary and no more.

I can see the lady behind the counter where you were, having the same policy. Who knows what cockamamie shit a given skeezer is going to get offended by?

Daniel McKenna said...

I had been sober 2 days and was buying apple juice; It could be food stamp related; her feeling like she was paying for my juice with the taxes they take out of her check; there's THAT attitude out there....

Alex said...

Well, there's that, but probably a fair number of her friends and neighbors are using food stamps too. And apple juice is pretty innocuous, it's not as "bad" as buying chips or jerky or something much less beer and weed.

Nope, I think it's all about an informal not-talking-to-skeezers policy, since as mentioned, skeezers must be assumed to be kinda psycho and you never know what will set one off.

That being said, when I was on food stamps I made sure to buy really "solid" things like oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, pork chops in the sale bulk pack (friend I was staying with and I would marinate them and then freeze two per bag, and make great meals of them) and so on. If The American Public is going to feed me, I'm going to spend the money prudently.

Thanks to pics of Tanya and Dorise you posted on here, I've identified the violin Tanya plays, it's a "Luis & Clark" carbon fiber job, just about indestructible. Unfortunately also about 6 grand. I've got a cheap-ass fiddle I got from a guy, and at least it's something to saw on for a few months while I work through beginning material.

Daniel McKenna said...

And Dorise' is a "Bluebird" -almost the same price range

alex carter said...

Yeah it's one nice looking guitar.