Friday, January 23, 2015

The Big Skeezy

8th Day Of Sobriety

I am pretty proud of that little program; and plan to automate it more, so that it will boldface " people, places and things," like I do now by hand.

Whenever I mention an important person or place, I might preceed it with a 'tab' first -then have the program boldface every word after a tab; yeah, that's how I will code that...

It now after 4 PM, and if I am to make it to the music store to replace the missing string plug on my guitar, I had better hurry.

I won't have to buy light bulbs, as those were supplied to me by the maintenance guy, after I had spoken with him last night and mentioned that my light bulbs were "burning fast," to quote Neil Young.

I continue to test the program now.

I couldn't show it here, yesterday, because Blogger was trying to run it on my page as a script, which reaked (sp?) havoc.

I guess I found out that I am allowed to run scripts on my pages, though, and that is good news for you all. -interactive things could be on the way...

Rained Out Thursday

Last night, I came into the Quarter on the street car.

I like to walk, and save the $1.25, but it was raining quite heavily.

It continued to rain, as I waited inside the Unique Grocery store.

David the water jug player was also inside there, reading a newspaper.

The staff there tollerate him.

He bummed a dollar off me; and a cigarette.

Every single time that I stepped outside to smoke, someone tried to skeeze one off me; sometimes more than one skeezer per smoke break. The rainfall meant no picking up butts off the sidewalk, and so the cigarette skeezers were quite animated.

David the water jug player has been here "since before Hurricane Katrina," and I quote that because it is a catch-phrase here; something which places an imaginary badge of Honor on ones chest, in the esteem of others who have been here "since before Katrina."

The sentiment is that they toughed it out; they stood their ground; and weren't daunted by the 12 feet of water and the corpses floating up out of graves and past The Unique Grocery store.

They refused to leave, because they LOVE New Orleans (just read half of their tee-shirts) -it is engrained in them; and they in it; and they will never leave.

Closer to the truth is more like: People like David the water jug player had no means of getting the hell out of here, at the approach of the storm; were more interested in getting drunk and high than in evacuating; were deluding themselves with the wishful thinking that the storm might change coarse at the last minute, and not be as bad as predicted; and/or were secretly hoping they would have opportunities to break into businesses and loot (what with everybody out of town, and half of the police force (at the time) thinking the same thing*

*The police are MUCH better now; with officer Adams being a shining example.

Casino Skeezer

When the rain hadn't abated by 10 PM, I decided to call off busking and go to the casino, where their Starbucks is open until midnight to do this post that I am doing now.

I am doing it now, because I was not allowed into the casino with my backpack and guitar. That is my own fault, because I had them cover with a huge black trash bag, so that the security people couldn't tell WHAT I was bringing in.

I stepped outside, where a medium built black man was talking to an older, well dressed white guy with "tourist" written all over him.

The black man immediately motioned me over. "Come here," he said, gesturing with his hand.

Normally, I never "come here" when impelled to by anyone, especially someone with "skeezer" written all over him.

I feel that it is a sign of weakness to run to someone like a puppy when called. If he wants to speak with me, he can put forth the effort of walking over to me.

He asked me if I had an umbrella, using the parlance of something like "Check this got an umbrella? I KNOW you got an umbrella! (I was dry by means of the trash bag).

It crossed my mind that he might go on to say: "This man will GIVE you 50 dollars for your umbrella...he doesn't want to get his hair wet walking to the cab stand; and will buy your umbrella from you! (...and I only want half of the money, for brokering the deal).

I really had walked over to him (when beckoned) because I was in the mood to mess with a skeezer.

I wanted him to skeeze me, so that I could practice being snide and sarcastic; and lead him on by acting very naive and making him think that I was about to give him the 35 dollars so that he could take the bus to tell his grandmother, who just had a heart attack in Baton Rouge, that he loved her one last time, in case she died -even to the point of reaching for my "wallet," only to defrock him at the last second..."Wait a minute...There IS no cardiac ward in Baton Rouge (he wouldn't know that)...They life-flight them here!

"...Well, can I have the money anyways?"

Then, he became engrossed in skeezing the guy in a manner unrelated to umbrellas (I guess) and I drifted off to the side.

The rich tourist went back into the casino, whereupon the skeezer turned his attention back to me, as I was fishing my trash bag out of the pocket of my guitar case.

I guess the set of keys to my apartment and the laundry room empowered me to want to mess with him some more.

I took the about 19 dollars out of my pocket, and, turning my body slightly away from him, as if desiring privacy, began to count it.

Like a good skeezer, he moved, so as to be able to see the money.

Then, it became academic that he would push more vigorously to find an inroad to skeeze me; using the skeezers number one weapon; "the conversation."

"Oh, you did pretty well," he said, disregarding any offence that I may have taken over him having repositioned himself in order to look over my shoulder at the money I was counting. As an "afterthought," he added: "I need a bag of chips."

I didn't answer him. He wanted me to tell him that, yes, I had been lucky; more than that; I had been "blessed."

Then, his next move would have been in the vein of; "Then, why don't you pass the blessing on ?" To him, of course.

I didn't say anything, though. His "inroad" had come to a dead end.

I then put the trash bag over my guitar only; not my head.

"Oh, I thought the bag was for you, but it's just for the guitar," he offered; still trying.

Maybe he was still thinking (or knowing, in his case) that I had an umbrella for the rest of me.

Also, should I have put the bag over all of myself, it would have empowered him with the knowledge that I was probably homeless; and he could have stepped up his skeezing; probing me for whatever I might have.

Surely if I was homeless, it would be due to some addiction, and I just might have cigarettes, pot, or alcohol or all three, right on my person.

Also, if I was homeless, he could hold some vague threat over my head by tacitly implying that he was "out here, too" -where he was bound to encounter me; and would remember all too well how much of a jerk I may have been for not giving him a cigarette or a dollar or smoking weed with him; and I might not like the consequences.

I didn't answer him, again.

"What, are you F***ING DEAF?!?" he then barked.

"No, I heard you. You told me that you thought the bag was for me, but it was for the guitar. I don't know what to say to that; but it was interesting and informative, and I feel like I know you so much better now," I countered, noticing as I said it that he was glaring at me with rage in his eyes.

"What, am I f***ing deaf?!?" I echoed incredulously ...what kind of a thing is that to ask someone; what if I really was deaf?

"Watch your f***ing mouth!" he then said.

He was actually getting under my skin; and I started to anger. I was ready to pull out my cigarettes and light one; which I was 99% sure would produce a "Give me a cigarette!" out of him; allowing me to say something like: "They're just for friends and family; sorry...

We were right in front of the well lit; well patrolled casino which has cameras everywhere; even ones which have facial-recognition software running on them to ward off card counters and such; and I had a good mind to try to get him to boil over and maybe even swing his fist at me; whereupon he would be siezed by security.

He was apparently very angry because the rain had hurt his skeezing business; he couldn't pick butts off the sidewalk; his umbrella hustle had crashed and burned; and he was getting sassed by someone whom he deemed homeless; and who thus wasn't in the position to give anyone any lip; especially a hustler like himself who "runs" these streets.

I reined in my anger; thinking about the warm apartment which awaited me and the popcorn that I would eat as I worked on my computer and on my music.

He had been looking for a fight, for whatever reason. Maybe it was the easygoing manner which I exuded; having shrugged off being denied admittance into the casino, rather than having taken it personally and yelled obscenities at the security lady (which would have gotten me barred for life; probably like he, who would probably rather have been skeezing inside, where all the money is.

I walked off, insuring that he wasn't following me (he HAD seen about 19 dollars in my hand) and caught the street car.

The ride was free because the dollar bill accepting machine had been jammed with wet dollar bills.

I stayed up, working on things and drinking coffee, until 8:30 in the morning; slept until about 3PM, and here I am.

It is Friday.

I have been sober for 8 days now, and I came into town with about 17 dollars on me, after having stopped at the Dollar General and purchased a scrubby sponge, and some cleaning solution (which I can use on tubs, counters, floors etc.).

It seems like a ghost town, at this end of the Quarter; but that has never been a reliable indicator of how busy it will be at the Lilly spot, which is only 60 feet away from the "must see" tourist stop of Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern (the oldest bar in America...).

Let me run this through my formatting program and see if it changes the color of every paragraph and makes the first 3 words larger; and then get out there and busk.

It is in the low 50's temperature-wise.


Alex said...

Your program seems to be working OK, but you need to mod it to pit the word "other" in front of every mention of the word "skeezer" because it's not like you and the other skeezers are fundamentally different, they use the gift of gab or threats and you use poor-pity-me awful singing and flailing on a guitar. Its all the new Orleans great skeezy circle of life...

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, I'm working on the CD pretty hard; maybe it will quell the "awful singing and flailing on guitar" part.

Alex said...

By now I know it will be awful, but what really matters is the several with all different and whacky looking covers so people will tend to impulse buy the whole set and then when they get back to Wisconsin they'll find out they're awful, but by that time they're long gone and you've smoked and drunk up their money!