Thursday, August 28, 2014

Notes On Osmosis In NOLA

  • 7 Dollar Tuesday
  • 3 Dollar Wednesday
  • Leslie Calls

One Year Ago Today:
One year ago, my friend Ted Broughey in Boston had wired me 70 dollars after we had talked on the phone and he had gleaned how slow it was here.
I had befriended The Guy Who Paints Himself Red (left, unpainted) and I made $17.50 that night on tips from 4 people (one of which was a 10 spot). 
Two Years Ago Today
Two years ago, I was in jail in Baton Rouge after having fled to that city to escape the slowness here....
We are in the middle of the season which; my posts from last year and the year before corroborate; is the slowest time of the year in New Orleans.
I slept until past noon at the sign spot; I was almost flat broke, after a miserable night, when I had made only a dollar at the Jake Spot and then 2 more at the Lilly Spot.
I was surrounded by the aftermath of a feast which I had consumed the night before, to include a whole pineapple.
I had trouble deciding where I would sleep, as, the dock offered plenty of water, olive oil and vinegar and hot sauce, along with my FM radio, candles and the chance to sleep undisturbed (except for the occasional heron causing a ruckus or the turtle rattling in the tin pans) for as long as I wanted. It also has "Nicholas Nickelby," by Charles Dickens, which I am reading.
The sign spot had plenty of water and my instant coffee, as well as the other book that I am reading; "The Oregon Trail," by Parkman.
I opted for the sign spot and its proximity to the library and the VA Center, should I have been ambitious enough to do some laundry in the morning; and pick up a razor while there.
True to form, when the money flow dries up here; the food and other things seem to replace it, through osmosis.
Tuesday night, after digging up a lot of food at Rouses Market, I heard a group of young people from across the street in front of Pat O' Briens, who were talking about women who sleep with celebrities; and they were soon on the subject of Coby Bryant, the basketball player and his infamous exploits with white women.
I had to throw in my 2 cents and said something like: "They (the women) are hoping that they will become impregnated with a child who will one day lead the NBA in scoring."
This lead to one of them asking me to play something on the guitar on my back.
That lead to me playing the Tom Petty song, "You Don't Know How It Feels," which lead to the girl, whom had been in the most adamant agreement with my Coby Bryant comment of the group, putting 5 dollars on my case, advising me to pocket it before a skeezer came along and tried to skeeze it (I paraphrase) and then an almost full bottle of very good red wine from Argentina was given to me by them before they went into O' Briens.
So, Tuesday night, I dined upon gourmet food and excellent wine; after having made only about 7 dollars the entire night -the 5 dollar bill included. 
The Jake Spot
Wednesday (last) night, I had started out at the Jake Spot.
Jake is the guy who died about 6 months ago, who used to sit there nightly, from about 7:30 p.m. until about 11 p.m., sipping whiskey and with his guitar leaning against the wall next to him.
He would rarely pick it up and play.
His approach was to wait until someone; seeing the guitar; would make a comment like: "Do you play that thing, or just sit next to it?" to which his response would be something like: "Well, what do you want to hear?"
If the person then requested something, then Jake was pretty much assured of getting a tip. That way,  he would cut out the "crap" of performing for people walking by and ignoring him; and save his fingers for when it counted.
Then, To The Recording Spot...
I stayed up until almost sunup, messing around with a recording which I had made there the other night, when my voice was still crapped out from lack of use and the lingering effects of the bronchitis.
As always, I'm not sure it will play; and I'm not sure that the mix, which I monitored through tiny ear-buds will sound good through speakers. And, as usual, it has mistakes and kind of starts and stops in spots, but it features 2 harmonicas of the key of G, playing over an A minor thing; and hopefully shows improvement in my ability to play and record harmonicas...
I am sitting here at the library with 59 cents in my pocket; pondering a trade of something off my food card in exchange for my first 24 ounce beer of the night to get me started, and wondering if I will play at the Jake Spot and then move to the Lilly Spot, as I did last night; when my phone rings.
This, in itself was amazing, because my phone had stopped ringing; stopped beeping when texts came in; and stopped letting me hear whomever is on the other end.
The words "Car Kit" were emblazoned on the front and no sound emanated from the thing.
I discovered the problem as I was trying to make a call to "911" when I couldn't breath about 3 weeks ago.
My surprise at hearing the phone ring; and then noticing that "Car Kit" was no longer displayed on the front panel; was carried over when I opened the thing and discovered that Leslie Thompson was on the other end.
"Hey, can we get some weed, I have money!" said Leslie.
I told him to meet me here in another half hour; and then put the phone back in the pocket with the 59 cents in it.

No comments: