Housebound for a couple days, I have discovered that, in the quiet of the nights, I hold back on my vocals; creepily conscious of the people on the other side of the walls, and the security people in the hall, whom I can hear every time they sneeze.
I need to come up with a super-padded area.
And so, I left the jail about noon Tuesday
I had had 46 dollars handed to me, through the window, along with the rest of my property, in plain sight of a skeezer who was also being handed his property.
He immediately struck up a "friendly" conversation with me on how good it feels to walk out of jail and how it is hard to do so without a smile on ones face.
The amount of 46 dollars indicated that Christina Friis had given me 20 dollars for having held her spot, as I had made about 23 in the hour and a half that I played there. Not bad for a slow evening on a pretty empty Royal Street.
I next needed to find out if the police had indeed transported my stuff along with hers, to her apartment.
The skeezer and I stepped outside into the chilly air.
"Is there any way I can get a dollar from you?," he wasted no time in asking.
How can a guy who was just handed 46 dollars hold out on a fellow release-ee? We were brothers in incarceration, right?
"No, I need to figure out my expenses..."
"Do you have a cigarette?," he then asked; going down the skeeze list, checking each item off mentally.
"No, I have to go to the store," I answered.
"Oh, good. I'll walk with you; 'cause that's what I really need right now," he said, apparently taking a cigarette for granted.
It is that "taking for granted" part that bugged me; enough so that I said: "I'm just going to buy a lighter...I have cigarettes at my apartment, not far from here..."
"Oh, your apartment's not far from here?" he asked, his face momentarily lighting up.
I could almost see the wheels turning in his head: We go to the store, I buy a lighter, and then he "walks with me" to my place, where there are cigarettes and it is nice and warm and stocked with food and then..."What I really need right now is a place to crash, bro, I'm on the street..."
I managed to ditch him.
I then called Christina, who gave me her address.
I showed up, sipping on a pint of brandy, and got my stuff.
"Are you sure you didn't give me too much money?"
"No, I gave you what I felt it was worth to me to have the spot held," said Christina, through her perfect teeth (see below).
I then went to Radio Shack, where I spent about 7 dollars on 16 pack of batteries for my spotlight, which I would not use that night, because it would be cold and rainy.
The Tooth, And Nothing But The Tooth
And, because I had an appointment with the dental clinic at Healthcare For The Homeless, the next morning.
Thursday morning I was up about and hour and a half before my scheduled appointment. It was raining pretty moderately; and pretty cold.
I had less than 5 bucks, after a night of not busking; and so I decided to walk the 3 miles to the dental clinic; through the rain. I wasn't sure which bus went there, nor where I could catch it, anyway.
When it came time for my teeth to be examined; all I could think of was that sound effect which played during the scariest moments in the movie "Carrie," the screenplay of which was based upon the Stephen King book of the same name.
Open (Your Wallet) Wide!
I had thought about recording that onto a small mp3 player and hitting the play button as soon as she said "Open wide," and I did so.
My teeth have always been somewhat of a mystery to me.
A diet which has kept me otherwise pretty healthy through the years, has not preserved my teeth accordingly. A dentist once told me something to the effect of "Just because you live on fruits and vegetables, doesn't mean you don't have to brush and floss religiously...fruits are loaded with sugar; especially stuff like raisins, which stick to your teeth and have concentrated sugars..."
"I thought that Jack Daniels was just as effective as mouthwash, doc..."
After examining my teeth then studying the x-rays, the dentist at Healthcare For The Homeless first asked me if I expected my "situation" to change.
It wasn't hard to figure out that she meant my financial situation.
She then gave me the contradictory information/advice that, I really needed to have all my teeth pulled out and replaced with dentures, but then added that "It's always better to try and save them, if at all possible."
If your situation changes.
I can't make a quick decision on the subject, and I think I am in denial right now; focusing upon every other thing on my mind and putting it on the back burner. You can't change your mind and have them put back in...
What if they (the dentures) are not the exact size and shape of my original teeth; and make me look like a woodchuck...?
Or, what if they are so "perfectly" shaped and so white that they look obviously fake from 2 blocks away...?
As a 52 year old, won't I walk out of the hospital looking like a 62 year old, automatically...?
What if they resonate at an odd pitch which would ruin my already challenged singing voice...or make every "s" sound like an "f"....?
She "referred" me to the University Hospital, so that I could set an appointment for the oral surgery, should I choose to go that route, because there are some teeth that cannot be pulled by the Healthcare For The Homeless people, due to the limited scope of their office.
When In Doubt, Procrastinate
My inclination right now is to just keep my existing teeth until they break apart and fall out on their own, or become unbearably painful and abscessed; at which point I can have them removed one at a time.
Maybe then I will be 65 years old before I cave in and get the full dentures.
That would give me another 13 years for my "situation" to change, while they work on newer technologies in less fake looking dentures...