Monday, December 8, 2014

Walking To Work

Our Friend, Gail
  • A Couple People Get Gail's Point
  • A 2 Hour Sunday Stroll To Quarter
  • Ear Infection Update

Sunday, I woke up at Leslie's house with 82 cents on me.
The bus into the Quarter (to save me a 6 mile walk) costs $1.25.
A dilemma could have been avoided, had I had the foresight to put away enough for the bus ride the night before, when I had it.
But, Saturday night, after having spent 8 hours in the LSU Interim Hospital waiting room, never having seen a doctor, and bailing out just in time to make the last bus; I stopped and spent a couple dollars upon what would be my only 24 ounce beer of the day; spending myself down to 53 cents short of a bus ride back the following day.
I did this upon the speculation that Leslie would have at least 53 cents, and possibly more on him.
All Leslie had Saturday night, was a bus token card with a balance of 29 cents on it.
This left me 14 cents short, and facing a 4 mile walk into the Quarter, where I would have to immediately set up at the Lilly spot and start out playing sober and with no "seed money" (a dollar on display signifyng that tipping is allowed).
The Saints were playing at the Super Dome against the Carolina Panthers, and that was my intended destination (before the home team ultimately began to get beaten so badly that the stadium began to empty prematurely, and I revised it to the Lilly Spot.)
I went to Canseco's Market, across the street from the bus stop, to try to sell one of my cigarettes to one of the cashiers, a black lady whom I have seen in front of the store before, smoking a (non menthol) cigarette.
The Thin Black Boy
There was a thin black boy of about 9 or 10 years old in the store, and he wound up in front of me at the register.
At one point, as I waited, I surveyed the floors around each of the 3 registers and was able to find 3 pennies on the floor. I could now lower the asking price for one of my cigarettes to 11 cents (a steal) and make bus fare with proceeds.
The thin black boy repeatedly looked at me and then looked away.
After about the 4th glance that he made at me, I (admittedly) was wondering if he had shoplifted something and was wondering if I could be a new undercover security guard at Canseco's Market, and was sizing me up in this regard.
He was purchasing a bag of macaroni, with a couple dollar bills.
A Drummer
The cashier asked the boy if he was a drummer, to which the boy answered in the affirmative.
Then the question of why the boy wasn't in "band" at school initiated a brief discussion during which the boy outlined the reasons that he wasn't in band at school; most of them involving the rules and regulations and the requirements outside of just drumming which where enforced upon members of the school band.
The cashier, whom I was about to try to sell one of my cigarettes to for 11 cents, handed the boy his change from the purchase of the bag of macaroni, whereupon the boy turned to me, and made me ashamed of having wondered if he were a shoplifter by saying "Here you are, sir," and handing me....are you ready?
11 cents.
I then had the exact fare for a bus which was probably passing by outside as he was handing it to me.
...that still doesn't mean he couldn't have had a bag of chips under his jacket....
...I know, but I still feel ashamed....
The Daily Dime
Before leaving the store, I glanced at the newspapers on their rack, and espied, on the floor behind them; one dime.
I have found one dime somewhere on the ground, 42 of the last 45 days in New Orleans (and the other 3 days, I hadn't gone out of the house).
The next scheduled bus on this Sunday would not come for another hour and 15 minutes.
I set out walking the 6 miles to the Super Dome, a trek which Leslie once said that he would never undergo again, as long as he lived.
There were skeezers holding signs on almost every corner along the way; and I was asked for a cigarette about once per half mile, and a dollar twice, along the way.
I found a total of 51 cents laying on the ground along the way and arrived at the Lilly spot with $1.43 on me, after having left the house with 82 cents.
Where To Find Motivation
I sat there; not feeling like playing and with my left ear still stuffed up and ringing...
I tried to motivate myself.
By walking for 2 hours, I had reserved the bus fare for a return trip to Leslie's house, where I would arrive broke and be in the same boat (walking to the Quarter) the next day.
Should I spend myself broke on a beer to get me started; and thus put the pressure upon myself to recoup it; plus enough to come back the next day, playing with a stuffed up ear on a Sunday night which didn't look too promising?
We will make sure they tip you, Daniel!
I eventually saw enough people walk past, holding Hand Grenade's and their ilk; and overheard enough snippets of their conversations to lead me to believe that they were drunk and possibly in the mood to hear music, notwithstanding the fact that I was not drunk nor in the mood to play music.
On The Stoop Again
I took the Takamine out and tuned it, sluggishly.
Eventually a set which included, but was not limited to, "On The Road Again," by Willie Nelson produced 3 dollars and 50 cents in about an hour and a quarter, or about 40 passing tourists, as that was about the rate of flow (R.O.F.) of them.
A moral victory; 3 dollars and 50 cents. I felt like the team that, at last, gets on the scoreboard to break up a shutout; albeit with just a field goal.
I now had the means to get a 2 dollar beer, and still have the bus fare to and from Leslie's.
Right as I was packing up, a guy came by and passed me the end of a joint. ...Welcome back to the French Quarter, hope it was worth the walk....
Batteries Dead From Walk
Night was falling, and the batteries for my spotlight had died on me, in my radio, while I was walking along, listened to the Saints game.
My headphones had afforded me the opportunity to walk past skeezers and totally ignore their "skeezes," as I bobbed my head to the broadcast of the football game, as if it were my favorite music that I was totally into.
There were still those who had the abject gall to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention.
For those, I lifted the headphones off my ears without breaking stride, and said: "I don't give away cigarettes; and if I had a dollar I wouldn't be walking," replaced them and kept going.
In A Can Of Beer
I went to Sydneys Wine and Beer store on Decatur Street, where, probably Leslie and I's friend Gail, had gone on a "stabbing spree" a couple nights prior, Click Here For Full Story and video of her (It's Gail, alright!) and bought a 24 ounce Hurricane, and returned with it to the Lilly spot.
I moved down from my usual spot, closer to the light and the forbidden zone, where I set up the tiposaurus (which I now place in a transparent plastic bucket with just its head sticking out) and was able to make 12 more dollars, in about 2 hours.
The one beer had indeed seemed to loosen me up -perhaps the "purpose" of beer- and my one good ear was just adequate enough to allow me to monitor myself and keep it as "in tune" as I get.
It felt great to be productive, after having been house bound for a couple of nights.
Friday night had been spent in the hospital waiting room (where I got a lot of editing done on this blog during the 8 hours that I spent there in vain).
Saturday Night Movie
Saturday night, Paul, a friend of Leslie's, showed up with a DVD player and we all watched a documentary about the rise and fall of "southern" rock and roll; which was basically a biography of one Duane Allman, citing him as the "embryo" of southern rock, and drawing the correlation between his untimely death and the ultimate demise of southern rock.
Without Duane Allman, there probably never would have been a Lynyrd Skynyrd, a Charlie Daniel's Band, a Marshall Tucker Band, etc., the documentary concluded.
It was engrossing. I now want to try to find Allman Brothers discs at the local libraries.
By the time we had finished watching; it was 11:45 PM; still early enough for me to have gotten to the Lilly spot and played through the 12:30 to 3:00 AM window of great opportunity, but I decided not to.
I felt like a shirker, but, I would have been stuck in the Quarter until the 6 AM bus came; and, if for any reason I made not a cent, would be stuck there until I at least made a cent; on a chilly (45 degree) night.
$14.50 Sunday
Sunday night's take of $14.50 for about 3 and a quarter hours ($4.47/hr., "doing what I love") thus gave me a sense of relief.
I drank a couple dollars of it, while watching the Patriots beating the San Diego Chargers, running to Canal Street, during a break to get a 5 dollar sack of weed; thinking mostly of Leslie, who was perhaps sitting alone in the house with no alcohol nor weed. I didn't open before I got to the house on the last bus.
A Man of Resource
I found Leslie not sitting there alone, but with a guest, a young black guy from the neighborhood, who was locked out of his house pending the return of a housemate who had a key.
He was not the only visitor that Leslie had entertained that night.
Paul had come over with beer for him; and Joey had come over and smoked "a fat joint," with him.
He had partied as well, if not better, than I, and he being totally broke, but with the promise of the next check, which will materialize in a matter of 3 days now, and counting down...
Not Much Of A Hero, I
I felt like I could have saved the 5 dollars that I had spent upon the weed and woken up this morning with almost 12 bucks on me, rather than almost 7 bucks. Leslie never would have missed it; he was pretty blitzed already, when I had arrived at the house; so I wasn't very much of a "hero."
I will have to check my random generosity next time. I could have taken or left the weed; I had it in my pocket all night without having given it much thought.
But, here I am in the Quarter on a Monday night -guitar strings barely holding on, and with enough money for a beer to start me out, bus fare home, and bus fare back here tomorrow.
One good night (over 50 bucks) is all I need to set things right, especially since Leslie will get about 400 dollars this coming Thursday.
If The Pieces Fall Into Place
Hopefully that will mean that it will be easy for me to get some private studio time in as, if history repeats, he will be anxious; once the money hits his debit card, to get right to the Quarter and find one of his perpetually broke friends to bestow his love and suds upon, and he will be out of the house until the return of the last bus at about midnight; giving me up to 10 hours to myself; if the pieces fall into place...

1 comment:

Alex said...

There might be some reward for revealing to the cop who the stabby lady is, the story made the national new.

Reply, try some sudafed... If you don't have ID then get someone to buy it for you, it should only take one or two pills and a whole box is only 6 bucks.