Friday, December 26, 2014

The Holly Jolly Blogger

It is the day after Christmas.

Leslie Thompson is texting me left and right; like a man who has pissed through all of 950 dollars in the past 2 weeks, and who is now exploring every possible avenue towards getting drunk and stoned.
The More I Think Of Him; The Less I Think Of Him...

He borrowed the money for bus fare to and from the quarter, he said. -i.e. he will arrive totally broke, and with his head cast down; meek and humble; and wanting to ask someone if they will buy him beer, but not being able to bring himself to do so (maybe the person in question is openly anti-skeezer and he would fear the violation of his sensibilities).

He will then push buttons; connive; employ psychological stratagems; and basically try to bring me to the conclusion of: "This guy just ain't no fun to be around when he's sober; let me buy him a beer or three."

Textbook Thompson. Been there; done that...

The Restaurant Skeeze

He asked me, just now via text, if I would look up the address of a certain restaurant, called La Boca, on my laptop, as I sit here in Starbucks, doing this post.

He didn't elaborate further, but, let me fill in the blanks....

He is going to give me the positive news that he is soon going to be either washing dishes or flipping pizzas at that particular restaurant (that's why he needed to know the address -that would help) and will of course be able to re-compensate me for any and all beers or puffs of weed that I might buy for him today.


The only problem with that; economically, is that he will not give me back cash; so I am not saving money like putting it in a piggy bank; I am just buying more beer and weed for (ultimately) myself.

It's like; "Buy me an Edsel; using most of your money; and next week you will see a shiny new Edsel parked in your driveway; courtesy of myself." ...but I wasn't in the market for one; as snazzy as they look....

I have a good mind to wrap this up soon; and disappear from Starbucks as a means of evading him.

He will walk into Starbucks sober, at least, and not embarrass me that way -though, it often seems that tourists enjoy the spectacle of him and usually have that "This is why we come to New Orleans; get a load of that guy!" look on their faces as he blurts out his Leslie-isms.

Then, he will say and do the things; which I have seen two dozen times; again.

A Road Analogy

It is a road which leads (every time; I'm convinced now) to him standing between myself and my precious Takamine guitar and telling me that I will have to fist fight him over it.

A Football Analogy

That outcome is in the opposite end zone; and we are only on our own 4 yard line; figuratively; but with every 16 ounce beer; we make a first down; and, if I hand off a 24 ounce Hurricane Lager to Leslie, he can run it up the middle and burst through the secondary for a 25 yard gain.

20 Dollar Christmas Eve

I was able to make about 20 bucks Christmas Eve. I play a mean "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" on the guitar and harmonica, I must humbly say, and there was a steady flow of tips, as I repeated it . 

The (that) morning of Christmas eve saw me waking up under the statue of Simon Bolivar, having been driven there by the rain, which had resumed around midnight. I had about 15 dollars in my pocket, after having spent myself broke the night before (see below).

Before that, I had finished up a (Tuesday) night upon which I hadn't played, because of the same weather; and had spent myself down to 0 dollars and 0 cents; odd how the numbers work out "perfectly" sometimes.

I was trudging through the rain, on the way to the dryness of under the Natchez dock; where there were no blankets; but it wasn't very cold out.

I spotted the security guard, who was sitting in his truck on top of the dock; and not in his usual invisible spot on the boat; from where he cannot see me as I go under.

I stopped short of the boat upon seeing him. And, right in front of me there was a soggy 20 dollar bill on the ground.

I hung around, pretending to tie my boots and organize the stuff in my backpack; hoping he would go back onto the boat.

He came out of his truck and yelled to me that I couldn't hang out where I was -under the eaves of the pagoda where they sell tickets for steamboat rides.

Just as he was saying this; the rainfall went into a crescendo; as if an unseen conductor had the instructions on the sheet music in front of him; "Bring in the full orchestra and really build it up behind the security guard yelling."

I started to stand up and grab my pack when, to his credit (and it was Christmas eve eve) he came back out and said: "You can wait for the rain to let up, man; you don't have to go right now!"

Maybe he saw a little bit of divine connection in the timing of the deluge; also.

So, I went to the sign spot, where there was a puddle where I usually lay; but where my one flimsy blanket was still dry, entrenched in cardboard and up in the trees.

I opted to go under the statue.

This proved to be dry; but, as the night turned into morning; a very cold breeze began to replace the rainfall; and the one flimsy blanket became overpowered; and I could hardly get any sleep.

In fact, I was still awake at about 7 AM, when I heard a voice above me ask: "Did you wake him up?" and then respond to another voice (I assume -I couldn't hear it): "Cool."

Shortly thereafter, I decided to give up upon an attempt to go back to sleep; I rolled over to discover that two paper bags had been placed next to my head from the walkway above.

I checked the first one, to discover a sandwich and some cookies; I didn't check the second.

Money From Home

As I walked toward the Rebuild Center; where I had the once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to check my mail (I'm usually asleep during their mail hour) I was kicking myself for not having checked the second bag -sometimes "they" will stuff a 20 dollar bill in with the sandwich; especially around Christmas time.

There was also a blue moon chance that the Christmas card which my mom had mentioned sending 3 days prior; would be in my mailbox; having come from Massachusetts and beaten stuff which I might have dropped in the mailbox across the street from the place (7 day average for that odyssey).

But, I had already found that wet 20 dollar bill the previous night; had immediately bought a new spotlight, of the same make as the one which a skeezer had stolen from me on Monday night with it; and, if there had been money in the second bag; the bag would either still be there...

...or it would have been found by a worthy skeezer, on this Christmas eve morning; and one cannot rue that...

The mail room guy at the Rebuild Center took my ID at about 10 minutes before closing time (and he locks the room behind him; gets in his car and hauls ass at exactly that time -him being willing to donate one hour per day of his time to the Rebuild Center; but not one hour and one second of his time) shaking my head at myself over the fact that, even with all my careful preparations -sleeping close by; setting my alarm, etc. I had just barely made the mail call which would be the last one until January 5th.

Is it any wonder that I need the Rebuild Center and its ilk to add stability to my life?

The mail room guy emerged holding one small envelope with the instantly recognizable handwriting of my mother upon it; and saying: "Merry Christmas," handed to to me.

It was a nice card; a nice message, to include: "From reading your blog, I can discern that you are your own worst enemy," and such. And 50 dollars.

A Very Karrie Christmas

I turned to see none other than Karrie, behind me in the mail line. She was really cutting it close, time-wise.

She is still not drinking alcohol; but has a pretty severe coffee habit. She had no money at all; and mentioned flying a sign, for cigarette money (and a cigarette habit, now).

She seems to be unable to repress a smile whenever she sees me.

I was unable to get her to accept a few dollars out of the now 65 that I had (which was helping to alleviate the stress over the pending Christmas Eve and the "will they tip; or not (like last year)?" that was beleaguering me.

I was able to get her to accept an offer to buy her a cup of coffee.

"You would really buy me a cup of coffee?" she asked; (as if our 2 years together had been a mirage; and won't go down as two of the best years of my life...).

Off we went to the Shell station; where my mother bought Karrie a large cup of coffee with cream and sugar; from 1,200 miles away.

I saw her later, after she had panhandled 5 dollars from someone, and she wanted to pay me back for the coffee. I just kissed her on the head and walked off to play the Lilly spot at the ungodly hour of the early afternoon.

Time To Ditch The User

Now, it is 4:12 on the day after Christmas; and -no sight of Leslie.

He must have run into someone who is getting him drunk and so has shelved his plans to meet up with me here -gee, he sounded so desperate to do so, that's odd- really wanted to enjoy my company.

I just might go out and play on this Friday after Christmas though the streets look pretty dead. I am enjoying the luxury of (still) having money in my pocket and being able to play songs like "Skyline Pigeon," by Elton John, if I so wish.

The stock market hit a record high recently; and their IS a correlation to that and my tip jar; I know because I still pay attention to the market....

If I do run into L.T., I may just level with him and ask "What happened to YOU, I thought you were on the 3 o' clock bus; and now it's already 5 PM?!?"

And then lie to him with something like: "Man, I had a whole fifth of Jim Beam and some killer medicinal bud from California, but, I just couldn't wait any longer; I partied with some friends. Now I just want to go lie down...just lie down somewhere; I'll see you later (a taste of his own medicine)."

Johnny B. Studios

Johnny B. has told me that the neighbor; whose presence was precluding me from being able to record at his apartment, because of the vocals; has moved out.

He added that there will be times that I might have the place to myself for a few hours, here and there. We didn't mention money; but, as he took that opportunity to pull a wad of it out of his pocket to straighten it out; I did the same, pulling the 70 dollars or so which I had out (I had broken every large bill into fives and ones, which made the 70 dollars look even more impressive; especially given the fact that I had one 20 dollar bill still unbroken and wrapped around the outside of the wad; leaving open to speculation that the wad could be all 20 dollar bills) to kind of see him and raise him and perhaps call him (about using his place as a studio).

I don't know why these musicians, like Johnny B. and Jay the loud singer, have that habit of whipping out their money in front of me, as if they think that I think that I am a better musician than they; and want to "prove" to me otherwise....

Open Mic Idea

And, I am pretty gung-ho about the idea of going to these open mic nights, where I could set up my Snowball microphone in front of a monitor and capture myself playing live and have a CD pressed "in no time" -complete with (a smattering of) applause at the end of; and even cheaper than Johhny B. Studios on Barrone Street, apartment 2C.


Alex said...

Your mom is right. You put equally large amounts of energy into avoiding Karrie and buddying up with Leslie. You should do the opposite. I blame the drugs. The tons of pot, a lifetime of heavy drinking, and god knows what else you've drunk, inhaled, shot up, or otherwise ingested, apparently in the hope that will turn you into a musician.

Being around Karrie would probably result in little to no drinking, a place to through unity, and some sort of a stable life. But Leslie is so much more fun! Amirite?

Daniel McKenna said...

Nope, psychological vampires that dwindle away your time; and usurp your attention and is an analogy that I am just now pulling out of my butt; I am a small craft and Leslie's brain waves are like an ocean; and I am pitching left, rolling right, now facing north east, now west; now being tossed forward with my bow slamming into a wave; and the next morning I am aground on a rocky beach covered in lichens, which may be Greenland, or Newfoundland...I'm never sure...

The only difference with Karrie is I've sailed her turbulent seas so often I can do it without a compass or a sextant and blindfolded and still get to Key Largo

Daniel McKenna said...

You: So, there you go...Karrie is the answer!!