Monday, July 28, 2014

Starting From Scratch

I feel like I am starting from scratch. And, in a way, I am. Down to about 2 dollars; still shaking off the bronchitis; 2 days without cigarettes or alcohol...

Saturday, after my visit to the emergency room, I drank beer on an empty stomach and on whatever the pill was which they gave me as a cough suppressant; and I wound up pissed off at everyone and every thing.
It kind of crept up on me.
My spotlight was dim at the Lilly Spot, my voice was compromised by the bronchitis a bit; and, after seeing Lilly and her daughters slipping through their gate sneakily as if they were hoping that I wasn't going to notice them; my attitude went downhill.
It is a wonder that I didn't wind up in jail or attacked by someone.
I was literally singing things like "I hate your guts; all of you, I hope you die painful deaths..." knowing that I wasn't going to get any tips but not really caring because I really was that angry.
I had discovered that day that the battery on my laptop had crapped out; and had to digest what that was going to mean to me...

 Tried to slip through the gate unnoticed....
I hadn't slept much nor eaten and then drank on top of the medication. It was a state of dementia, similar to the one that Leslie Thompson used to frequently go into; when he would cuss out anyone who he encountered.
After that terrible night, when I spent one of the 4 dollars that I had made on one last totally unnecessary beer before going under the dock, I woke up Sunday afternoon and decided to continue sleeping into the evening and through the night.
I had a 32 ounce Gatorade and a gallon of distilled water; some almonds, some bran muffins and instant coffee.
The black capped night heron was active throughout most of the night; seemingly unconcerned with me as it practically stood on me and waited for mice to emerge in quest of the bran muffin crumbs which I might have dropped. She (as it was the female one) caught a couple and was able to snap their spines with quick jerks of her beak and swallow them without having to run them down to the river and drown them.
There was something cosmic about the situation when my bronchitis was at its worse and I felt like I was drowning in the fluid in my lungs; I kept envisioning being held by my tail and dipped into the river like a tea bag while I flailed my arms in a vain attempt to keep my head above water.
Cosmic Thing #2:
I was walking towards Rouses Market about a week ago; and a tobacco shop caught my eye. I had walked past it 100 times, but never had read the sign. I figured that their prices would be high.
The next day I went to Downtown Music to buy a guitar string.
Across the street from them was another tobacco (and coffee) shop.
The guy from the store had stepped out for a cigarette after selling me a string. I stopped to pick a snipe off the sidewalk, explaining to him that I didn't want to buy a whole pack because I could feel what would turn out to be the bronchitis coming on and didn't want a whole pack.
"She sells singles for 50 cents," he said, pointing to the shop.
I went in and bought a single cigarette from a the lady, who turned out to be very interested in me as a musician and as an English major. I wound up talking to her at length and she gave me a free cup of coffee in the process.
Her name is Ester, which she explained was the same as the "queen in the bible."
We talked about how the name Stella means "star" and I told her the Russian word for star, pronounced: Zveesda, and how mars had to do with the ocean, which was La Mer in french and El Mar in Spanish.
She asked me if a nightmare had to do with the ocean; and I told her, no, I thought that it had to do with a young horse, or mare, which just ran any which way, not being broken yet; taking one on a scary ride which one had no control over, just like the dream.
All the while, Ester was taking notes in Hebrew.
She gave me the suggestion that I could make little works of art to display alongside of me as I busked, saying that they didn't have to be "professional," and showed me some cigar boxes that she had fancied up by painting little flowers and things upon, and then signing, along with "New Orleans, 2014." She sold such things for "whatever I can get..."
She invited me to stop by and see her again at the tobacco and cigar shop.

Cosmic Thing #3:
I had run into an artist, who was painting a scene on the very far end of Bourbon Street one afternoon about a week before meeting Ester.
We had a conversation.
He gave me a DVD and told me to watch it apropos of that conversation. He asked me if I was going to watch it "Otherwise give it back to me and I'll give it to someone else!" he said.
I promised to watch it. "It's only 30 minutes, he said."
About 10 days later, when I was in the throes of the worse of the bronchitis, and hadn't slept much that whole night, I was standing on Canal Street right after sunup, looking for some direction. I still had the DVD in my guitar case.
A guy who sits in a wheelchair greeting people (never skeezing them; just saying "Good morning, have a nice day") on the corner across from the CVS that I was standing next to took my picture. He showed it to me the next day as I walked past on my way to the emergency room.
"Look, you were asleep standing up!," he said.
No, I hadn't been asleep standing up, I was just kind of in a trance; waiting for some kind of inspiration to strike. At one point, I began to stare at the church down the street, which is sandwiched between two much taller, much more modern buildings.
One of those was a bank building and my gaze fell upon the very top of it, which was a crown shaped dome featuring Greek style columns and decorated with all kinds of things.
I stared at the thing until I had become hypnotized by it (though, I'm pretty sure I wasn't asleep standing up).
Well, after going to the emergency room where I fried the battery to my laptop by plugging it into the waiting room socket; then unplugging it after being called 5 minutes later; then plugging it back in for a short time before being called again; etc. which, I suspect is how I ruined the thing; I went to the library.
I hadn't discovered that the battery was no good; and so I got on a library computer to burn some music off a CD which I could transfer to the laptop to hopefully listen to under the dock at night.
I figured that I would pop the DVD in, which the artist had given to me.
I wanted to watch it before I ran into him somewhere and he called me to task over my promise to do so.
The DVD was about "Illuminati Symbols in New Orleans," and was capped off (excuse the pun) by the turret on top of the bank building that I had stared at, in a trance, the day before.
*(the Twilight Zone theme can play in your head, now, reader)*
Cosmic thing #4:
There isn't one, yet.
Tanya and Dorise have left without me for points north.
In their defense, they weren't trying to ditch me; they were just going to Ohio and Iowa and not very close to Massachusetts this year....

1 comment:

alex carter said...

OK I just read this one and .... dammit. I was actually going to try to contact Dorise and tell her you've got pneumonia and that she ought to make sure you get to a proper care facility not on that will give you Claritin and a cough suppressant for pneumonia which you could easily *die* from.

Secondly, little art pieces are a good idea. People like something physical they can take home, people love cigar boxes, and any sort of useful thing - like you can get magnets for making fridge magnets at any craft store etc. I believe New Orleans is rather well-stocked, craft materials wise.

Making something shows you're at least "trying". I hate to say it, because you seem to know a fair amount about playing guitar, but to a large part of the public, "anyone can sit on their ass and strum a guitar" while making something that shows a little work shows that at least you're trying.

There's a big craze for what's called "outsider" art - that's art by people with no art training or background. You fill the bill perfectly, and frankly your little drawings have been cracking me up for as long as you've been doing them.