- I Err On The Side Of Caution
- Zero Dollar Session
- I Lost My Spotlight
- 10 Dollars On Bourbon Street
|I've Got A Feeling...|
Tuesday night, September 9th, I played at the Lilly spot for about an hour and a half and made nothing, although one guy sat on the stoop and listened for about a half an hour, and said "That was awesome!" at one point.
He introduced himself and chatted for a bit, a conversation during which I failed to convey my need for money, so that I could continue being awesome. He wasn't a skeezer, as far as I could tell.
As he walked off, I could have said "Say, you wouldn't have a buck or two, I haven't made anything tonight...especially with you sitting there, making it look like you were getting a private concert and would most assuredly be "hooking me up" well.
I am so anti-skeeze that I err on the side of caution and it costs me sometimes.
Spotlight On A Skeezer
Then, at about midnight, I was at Rouses Market, where I bought a bottle of vinegar to adorn the food which I already had at the sign spot; and whatever salads I might find outside after they closed.
Before they even closed, there was a skeezer who has become known to me, digging the bags out.
A Skeezer And I Become Civil
He had become known to me one night when we almost came to blows over the fact that I wouldn't hold my spotlight, and burn the batteries up therein, for him and another, so they could find food more readily.
I have encountered situations a few times when I had been shining my bright LED bulb into a bin which I was looking through, with the other 2 sitting in darkness nearby; only to have a skeezer materialize over my shoulder, availing himself to the illumination, who would then see a choice item, like a po-boy sandwich; and uttering something like "Oh, hell yeah!" would snatch it up, right in front of my nose, while I had my hands full, tearing the bag open with one, and holding the light with the other.
This is usually done with a "I saw it first; finders keepers, losers weepers" attitude, and a darting motion such as a wild cat would make.
"Hey, I'm looking through this one right now; why don't you check the other ones?" ..Because it's hard to see in them....
"Hey, can you shine your light in here, real quick?" asked the friend of the skeezer whom I had a pushing and shoving incident with, on that particular night.
The friend was new in town and the skeezer was showing him the ropes; probably telling him how available food is here; and how "we all" (skeezers) are "out here together" and how we "look out for each other" and other favorite expressions of those who seem to take more than they give in life.
A Biblical Reference, Even
"Dude, you can get a light at the Dollar Store, probably for a dollar," I had said; recalling the biblical women who had no oil for their lamps when the proverbial bridegroom showed up and were asking the women who had prepared for that contingency for theirs.
They both had the skeezing mentality: Don't take responsibility for your own provision; just look around and find someone to skeeze off of...
Then, the first skeezer became angry and accused me of only caring about myself; and began to block my way to the bins. Pushing and shoving ensued and I was within one nerve synapse of clocking him in the head with the very same spotlight which had become a bone of contention when I realized that I had already gotten what I wanted out of the bins; and so I walked off. He was a scrawny 50 something year old whose only physical exercise is holding his hand out for money and lifting a beer can to his mouth; I could have beat him down.
The next day, he came up to me on Canal Street and appologized; and we have become civil.
I Lose My Spotlight
Last night, the same guy was there, but soon arrived another skinny black guy. I had already gotten some organic greens and other things which I could use the vinegar on. I had placed my spotlight down next to my bag before stuffing the bag with said items and was replacing the food bags in the bins; preparatory to leaving the area cleaner than I found it.
I recalled where there were some sandwiches, which I didn't want because they had mayonnaise; and I pulled them out and offered them to the skinny black guy who grabbed them rather perfunctorily without even saying "thanks." and then walked off, perhaps scooping my spotlight up from where it still stood next to my pack; as I was out of view of it for a few seconds as I bent down to pick up trash in cleaning up the area. I didn't notice its absence as I grabbed my pack and left.
Somehow the loss of the light bothered me more than anything else which went wrong Tuesday. It makes a crucial difference in the amount of money that I make at the Lilly Spot, along with being almost a "homeless necessity."
I Salvage 10 Dollars
I didn't noticed that I didn't have the light until after I had gotten to the sign spot almost a mile away.
I had passed Troy at the corner of Iberville and Royal Streets on the way.
He plays a guitar and harmonica, just like me but has a 5 year old girl often sitting next to him who is handed quite a bit of money as she sits there and sings a bit. Troy has been accused of being a "little girl skeezer."
He asked me how long I played and how much I had made; trying to ascertain if it had been as slow for me as it apparently had been for him. I had to tell him: a hour and a half and nothing at all.
At the sign spot, I decided to go back to the bins to see if the light was miraculously still there.
"Play something for us!"
Then, as I walked Bourbon Street, headed back to the sign spot empty-handed; a young couple asked me to play something.
I played "Tequila Sunrise," by The Eagles (which they surprisingly had never heard before) until I snapped a string towards the end of it...
I then switched to "My Favorite Mule," after explaining that the song originated from my having snapped that same string before.
I got one last beer on the way to the sign spot, where I woke up rather depressed this morning with 9 dollars and 70 cents on me and needing to spend some of it on a new string and a new spotlight; one which will be a much cheaper version than the heavy-duty 16 dollar one which had served me so well, even as a bone of contention, and had probably been stolen by someone whom I had just gifted sandwiches to.