Saturday, October 11, 2014

Second Sober Day

Yesterday morning; I woke up around 11 a.m.
There were no southern flannel moths in sight; and I had about 17 dollars left of the 19 which I had made the previous night (I had spent $1.29 on single serving instant coffee packs).
I would have studied music for an hour or two, but I had to run to a restroom. Instant coffee is a good laxative.
I See Karrie
There, standing by McDonalds was none other than Karrie, with a shavened head and complaining that she had eaten too many doughnuts that morning. I gave her a hug, but could glean that she felt un-huggable. She showed me a radio which she had just gotten, and said: "You probably don't want to touch it because it's been in my ears (the ear buds) when I went to inspect it.

I think that she felt like I rejected and abandoned her when I left Jacksonville for Mobile without her; and doesn't blame me for it.

I'm glad that she is back in town. Neither one of us drink, for the moment..
Blogging Til The Sun Went Down
I blogged until about 6 p.m. at Starbucks, lamenting that Downtown Music (and their 6 dollar packs of guitar strings) would be closed -a rare tactical misstep in my sober state- and I would have to walk all the way to Louisiana Music Factory (11 dollars per pack) and would only be able to afford a single string or two.
I stopped at The Unique Grocery and paid Sam back the 2 dollars which I owed him from the last half pint of vodka that I bought from that store 2 days prior.
David The Water Jug Player
But that was not before running into David the water jug player on the corner. He had the Indiana Scout across his back. Bilal had scratched (yikes) onto the back of it:
Bilal 2014
From Bilal > Daniel > David
I told David that I hadn't drank the previous day and wasn't going to that night, either. I told him that I had only spent $1.25 the entire day.
He was visibly disappointed; and at that point I became convinced that he was another Leslie Thompson. 
He probably was short of his next pint of vodka and hoping that I would go in on it.
"So, you kept yourself some money; Good! I like to wake up every morning with at least 10 bucks on me, myself..."
It was the classic set up for a skeeze: congratulate someone on how well they are doing, and then ask for some.
Before I walked off, he laid a hand on my shoulder and asked "Did you give up weed, too?"
I had kind of decided that I would, and hadn't gotten any. I surmised that, had he 5 dollars, he would have had some.
"I'm going to try to play completely sober tonight," I said, to his further disappointment.
As I walked off, I felt the strongest urge of the day to drink.
I almost went to get some weed, so I could return as a hero to poor David. But then caught myself in the thought process and continued on towards my playing spot. It was too eerily similar to how Leslie T. "made" me feel.
The two can spot a "people please-er" a mile away; and prey upon them. ...look at poor pitiful me with no booze and no weed; darn...I guess nobody loves me....darn...
Jay The Loud Singer
I passed Jay, who was upset because The Clean Guy was set up across from the Hotel Monteleone and had his amplifier cranked up. He was looking for another spot to play.
Then, I stopped at Rouses Market for a gallon of distilled water, which would be all that I would have to "eat" that evening.
John The Classical Guitarist
Carrying the water down Royal Street, I came upon John, the classical guitarist, and his dog "slick."
"Well, I'm averaging 5 dollars an hour, so far. The past hour, I haven't made anything," he lamented.
John is the real deal on classical guitar. He complains that his thumb "crapped out" on him; otherwise he would be playing more Bach.
He is about my age, maybe 5 years older, but has a head of long silver hair (and I'm going to try to find a picture of him, rather than put a thousand words here) and was an accomplished french horn player; playing with a Symphony Orchestra at one time until -you guessed it -his lips crapped out on him.
He plays genuine classical guitar by the worlds best composers and tourist, by and large, walk past him as if he is just the background music for whatever they are doing.
"Oh, that's beautiful!" said one lady, as John was playing a beautiful passage. She, of course was talking about the plant draped balcony of the hotel across the street from where John sets up regularly.
"I hear that all the time....'Isn't that pretty?' -and then I look up and they're getting ready to take a picture of the hanging plants" said John.
I left my gallon of water with John and then headed for Louisiana Music Factory, another half mile further.
I bought a single string for 2 bucks and then headed for the Lilly Spot with 8 bucks left over to start my tiposaurus out with.
I was a bit disheartened to hear John say "It's dead out here," when I retrieved my water jug.
48 Dollar Friday
I got to the Lilly spot, fixed my strings, hung my spotlight, set the tiposaurus atop 3 one dollar bills and in front of the sign which states: "The tiposaurus rarely bites."
From there, the night was almost a carbon copy of the ones that I was having the last time that I stopped drinking.
I was still tuning up when a man sat on Lillys stoop and said: "Still tuning up, eh?"
I made conversation, trying to hold his attention as I quickly tuned; accepting that it wouldn't be perfect lest I take too long and lose his interest.
His phone rang, and I heard him directing someone to where he was "I'm hanging out with a street musician..." I tuned frantically while that stalled him.
I played "Best of My Love," by the Eagles -the latest song that I have put into heavy rotation (3 times per night) in order to drill into my memory. He sang along.
When his wife arrived, as per his directions, he said to her: "Give him some money; he sounds good!" and smiled at her.
She smiled back and the guy threw a 20 dollar bill next to the tiposaurus, as he was getting up; and what would end up being a 48 dollar night; (on 2 and a half hours of playing) was off to a good start.
Two Guys From Paris
A couple of guys from Paris stopped and asked me to play "anything" and they were going to improvise in French, which they did.
They returned about an hour later; not wearing shirts and more drunk; and we repeated the performance.
Being sober gave me command over my facilities, and they listened in cross-eyed fascination to what I was playing; especially the harmonica.

I wound up making close to 10 bucks off of them.
The F harmonica was starting to stick a bit and I really had to brute force it into pitch; or thereabouts.
Another 10 Dollars
I made another 10 dollars off a guy who works at Rouses Market by doing him the favor of running to his car for something; before spending $1.19 on a pomegranate juice drink and then taking a circuitous route to the sign spot.
Having the Takamine on my back and 65 dollars in my pocket caused me to heighten my senses, and I made sure I wasn't being followed.
The Anti David
Just as I had decided not to hang out with David the water jug player; a guy, whom I have often seen, because he walks his dog right by the sign spot in the early mornings; has started to leave gifts like a carton of finger sandwiches, a can of Coke, and this morning, another can of Coke next to me as I sleep.
I was awake when he came with the first can of Coke. "Oh, I'm glad to see you moving; I didn't want to freak you out," he said as he gave me the soda. He introduced himself as "David."
It is so easy to imaging New Orleans having David the bad spirit; and David the good spirit; fighting over my soul. As long as I avoid the bad David and his alcohol, the good David will reward me with soda...
Today, I was up around noon. I went and bought a new harmonica (key of C) for 13 dollars; and a set of strings ($6) and a set of headphones at the half-price of 13 dollars at Radio Shack; and have 30 bucks left over, minus the coffee that I am drinking.
The headphones sound great; I'm sure the harmonica will, too. I just need batteries for my spotlight and I should be good to go on this Saturday night.

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