Monday, October 6, 2014

Guitar Wars

I woke up around noon on Sunday, at the sign spot.
Sitting across the street by the Saenger Theater was David, the water jug player.
David, for lack of photo
I had promised, the previous night,  to give him the Indiana Scout guitar, and had sent a text message to Dorise asking her to bring it with her when she came out that day.
I had a feeling that David, who was already drunk at noon, was looking for me wanting the guitar. He knew that I slept somewhere along Basin Street; not where exactly; but that my first stop in the morning was the McDonalds restroom and/or the Unique Grocery.
He didn't know that I could see him from across the street, as I packed up my trash; looked in my case to see that getting a Takamine guitar hadn't been a dream; put my cardboard up in the trees, etc.
David wanted his guitar and mentioed it as soon as he saw me and then reiterated the sentiment, the way a drunk will sometimes repeat something which he has already said.
I opened my phone to find a message from Dorise, which had been sent at about 10:30 that morning, asking: "Do you want me to bring it?"
I answered: "I just woke up; hope you brought it!"
"I have it," came the response.
My biggest concern became getting the guitar in Davids hands and him out of my hair as expediently as possible.
He kept babbling "I want my guitar; when can I have my guitar?!" and at one point added: "Don't be like that, Daniel, don't do me this way; you said I could have the guitar!"
"It's at the corner of St. Louis and Royal, David." (for the third time...)
I finally got him into motion, by proposing a stop at the Unique Grocery, for more vodka, along the way, as a carrot in front of his nose.
I was afraid that he was going to embarrass me in front of Tanya and Dorise; or that they would recognize him instantly (he has been in New Orleans since right after Hurricane Katrina) as someone whom they had reservations about; or may even have had run-ins with in the past.
David is a character. He kind of looks and sounds like J.J. Walker (the guy from the sit-com "Good Times" from the 70's who would exclaim: "Dyno-mite!!!" sort of as his catch-phrase.
We got to where Tanya and Dorise were playing "Besame Mucho," the same song which they had been doing when I had left them the previous night, and dropped the guitar off with them.
The Indiana Scout was leaning against the wall behind the girls.
David didn't embarrass me too much; and I couldn't read anything in Dorise's expression which said: "You're giving the guitar to THAT loser?!?"
And so, I went off to watch football; and David went off to find a place where he could practice on his new guitar.

The Debacle
I watched football and drank, witnessing a very satisfying win by The New England Patriots, then, was heading back down Royal Street, towards where Tanya and Dorise were still playing.
Bilals Corvette was parked almost in front of the spot; and he stood nearby, dressed to the tee, and listening along with a crowd of about 35 tourists.
"Oh, my God, Daniel; I have to tell you what happened. You're not going to believe this story!
 The Story was that he had seen David walking along carrying the Indian Scout guitar.
"I walked up to him and said: That's a really interesting guitar; how long have you had it? And he said 'I've had it for a long time.'"
That was when Bilal "knew" that David had stolen it from me.
He went off on him, telling him words to the effect of: "You haven't had that guitar for a long time; I know that guitar. My frigging autograph is on that guitar right there and I know who it belongs to, and I just saw him with it like 2 days ago!"
Bilal then strong-armed the guitar away from a protesting David; getting help from Jesse (the grizzled old guitarist) who was in the area.
Then, Bilal had happened (by chance, as he put it) upon Dorise, who had wondered aloud why he was carrying the now infamous blue guitar.
She informed him that I had indeed given it to David, after someone had given me a really nice one.
As he related the story, the 35 or so tourists gathered around seemed to be drinking in every word of the "real-life drama" unfolding in front of them. The blue guitar was in the passenger seat of his car.

I told him: "After I got the Takamine, I went by your gallery with both of them -that's when I had it out of the case- but you were busy with that Elvis impersonator guy; I didn't want to interrupt...I was going to ask if you wanted it back....If David had just been honest and said 'Daniel gave me this guitar,' then the whole matter could have been resolved..." I said; and then it dawned upon me: "...he must have thought that I stole it; and that you (Bilal) are the real owner!"
The latter produced some giggles as the story became more convoluted.
Bilal broke into a jam on "Folsom Prison Blues" with Tanya and Dorise, after having cajoled me into tuning up the Takamine and joining them. Tanya and I kind of traded solos; and I think all were in agreement that I now have a really nice sounding guitar by the end of it.
"He just tears this kind of stuff up," Bilal, ever the flatterer, said of me when we were done. What a difference a good instrument and music which is "right up your alley" make. 
"Do you think you can find David, and bring him here? I owe him an appology," asked Bilal.
I went off toward his usual haunts to look for him but was told that he was last seen headed in the general direction of the Lilly Spot; perhaps to try to get me to help him get the thing back.
As it stands today; I haven't seen David (yet?) and I don't know what the situation is.

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