Friday, December 19, 2014

13 Dollar Thursday

The Most Important Thing
Rain on Canal Street
The most important thing that happened last (Thursday) night was probably that, after blogging at Starbucks until about 7 PM, and then going to The Unique Grocery, for the first beer of the night, I encountered, in that establishment, "Mama Cat," who is a fixture in the quarter, and whom I have had dealings with, in the past.

She said "Travers and Mark were looking for you."

Travers is my Unity caseworker. It is December 19th, and for the remainder of the month, Unity is placing only veterans in housing units. "Everybody else," will be administered to, after the 1st of the year (2015). Just saying "2015" makes me think that we are all in some futuristic movie. Aren't we all supposed to be living in a colony on Venus, by now?

Travers had been looking for me around McDonalds, Mama Cat said. She hadn't said how long ago that was, though.

I hung around McDonalds, where David the water jug player often hangs around, and there he was.

After about an hour of waiting out the rain storm, and not seeing Travers, the rain stopped, and I repaired to the Lilly spot.

It was another very slow night, where there were intervals of 2 or 3 consecutive songs, when nobody walked past.

I know enough to keep playing through these times, for a few reasons.

Some tourists seem to hide in the shadows and listen, out of sight, maybe to see if the musician is really dedicated to his craft and will play for just his own joy; or to keep open their option of tipping  him without revealing themselves, and then hurting his feelings by just walking off (if he sucks that bad). Or to avoid interacting with him, in case he might just be a skeezer, banging on an out of tune instrument missing strings.

So, I kept up a pretty steady set from about 9:45 until just short of 11, and made 13 bucks.

At one point, Lilly's ex husband, who is a pleasant, soft spoken gentleman with a Portuguese accent, came out and nicely asked me if I would move further away from his bedroom window, which was right behind me; just as Lilly warned me that he would. She had told me that I should move down to the other stoop the night before.

I explained that I had only moved down so that I could be in a better lit spot, and that I planned upon getting batteries for my spotlight, and returning to the other stoop. After he grasped this, he said: "OK, play here," then appended "Maybe 45 minutes, or an hour?" To which I nodded and told him that would be fine, as it was very slow out.

The 13 dollars that I wound up making was largely due to one 10 dollar bill from a woman, towards the end of my set.

I spent another chilly night at the sign spot; frequently waking up to readjust the one flimsy blanket which I have to wrap around myself in my 3 tee shirts and 2 sweatshirts and a hoodie, but only a pair of jeans below the waist.

I thought about getting some thermal underwear out of my own money, rather than going through the process of waiting for some homeless assisting operation to be handing out clothing, at some time and place which I would have to arrange my schedule to be at. By Christmas, I could be dead from pneumonia, if I wait upon those organizations.

But, batteries for the spotlight are more important, as they will produce the money for the long johns faster than the long johns will produce the money for the batteries.

And going to The Rebuild Center to use their phone to try to set up an appointment with Travers trumps even that. He may have been looking for me last night to tell me to meet him today; maybe even to show me a housing unit which might be available and to ask me if it was feasible for me (given its location, or other factors, perhaps. At least I don't have a pet...)

It is raining outside, and has been since it washed me out of the sign spot, at about 11 AM. I will have to just walk the 3/4 mile through it, so as to get to The Rebuild Center before they close.

As I was foraging for food outside of Rouses Market, at about 1 AM, this morning (an activity which I can resume, now that I am not tied to the running of the last bus of the night out to Leslie's house) I found a trash bag wrapped around 4 large cans of beer -3 of them Pabst Blue Ribbon, and one Budweiser.

I stashed them in the trees, as I had drank enough for that night, and I don't drink in the morning; unless I'm hanging out with Leslie, who does.

I then hatched a plot to retrieve all the stuff which I had left at Leslie's house as I made my hasty exodus.

I will take the bus out there, and show up at his door sporting the 4 jumbo cans of beer. I don't think he will be able to form the words "You're not welcome here," and look at the beer at the same time.

And, he doesn't have to know that I got them for free, out of the Rouses Market trash cans..."Leslie, I went and bought you an early Christmas gift; as a peace offering....can I come in and get the rest of my stuff?"

But, first things first.

It is ironic that; in addition to probably missing an opportunity to be placed in my own apartment because I was staying at Leslie's and "missing in action" in the eyes of Unity; I left my phone charger there; my phone subsequently went dead; then, Unity had most assuredly tried to call me last night, to tell me to meet them in front of McDonalds. They may have even handed me a 5 dollar McDonalds "gift card," as they so often do when they go out in the field to find "clients" on the streets.

It is 1:30, and I will now walk through the rain so I can use the phone at Rebuild Center to call Unity; and will not have to bank on my phone charger still being at the Thompson residence.

Leslie has a habit of discarding items; and removing all traces of the people whom he casts out.

When I moved in, he went on a rampage of throwing out stuff from housemates past; valuable stuff, like a box fan, a huge bag of rice comes to mind; and he stopped just short of throwing out the large TV that someone left behind before they ran like hell from that hell.

That should have been a red flag for me...

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