The ups and downs of the third dry day, here.
I was able to make about 25 bucks in an hour and 40 minutes, or, just about my 15/hr. average, over the course of time.
I paid back Gloria the cashier at Rouses Market, the 2 dollars which she had given me on Tuesday night, so that I was able to take the cable car home; and then back Wednesday, when I had about a 10 dollar night.
That was after having brought Howard to my apartment, from out of the woods.
A Test Of My Patience
There is a new security guy at Rouses Market, a very tall and rather large pretty light skinned black guy, who follows me around blatantly, when I am in the store.
If I am in a particular aisle; he is at the end of that particular aisle.
He has a habit of humming to himself when he passes close enough to me so that I can hear it.
Somebody who came in there at the same time as me; wearing decent second-hand clothes could have a field day shoplifting in any aisle where I am not, when that guy is on duty; and I think I will tell him so, one night.
I might say something like: "You know, I could throw on a shirt and tie under my coat, and some decent slacks and shoes, and walk out of here with just about anything. You'd be too busy watching someone with a backpack and a guitar...you're profiling, buddy..."
Fueled By Pineapple Juice
Before that, I had played from 10 PM, until 11:40 PM, and made the 25 bucks.
It is much easier for me to sing when sober; as, remembering the words is not so much of a challenge.
I am also hearing the notes on my last harmonica which have gone slightly out of tune, or have a thin tone; better; and I thought that I played it rather poorly because of this. It's hard to work around the dead spots; nor to jump in and try to rip up a solo, when you know they are lurking, ready to make people cringe.
Before that, I had only enough time to put up my blog post at Starbucks at 8:30 PM, having walked there (in 29 minutes) from the apartment, mostly just to save the $1.25, which was about all I had, for a potential return trip, should I have not made anything.
It was cold again, and the tourists were a little bit thin; but the temperature was offset by the fact that Mardi Gras is just about to kick off, with the first "major" parades being tomorrow (Friday).
What a glorious time it could be to stay sober and rake in some cash.
While I was waiting for the cable car after having played and made the 25 bucks, and then paid Gloria back, I saw David the water jug player, whom I owed $2.50 to, across the street, standing next to one of the guys who has a chess board set up and plays people for $5 per game (whether he wins, or not).
I thought about hiding from him until the cable car came and then slinking onto it discreetly.
The debt is from about a week ago, when we were going to go in on a sack of weed; and when I couldn't find him anywhere after I had gotten it. I hadn't seen him since.
I can't duck him forever, and I HAD made 25 bucks.
I put myself in his shoes; and realized that he might have been flat broke over there, and really wanting a $2.50 half pint of Skol (yeck) vodka; and rightfully entitled to $2.50 of my money.
He acted surprised when I handed it to him, as if he had forgotten about the debt.
He was soon off to the Unique Grocery store, not for vodka, but for gin; to go with the pineapple juice of which I am on a sole diet of, and which I unwittingly took out of my pack in front of him.
This had sprung from a conversation which I was having with the guy whom David was hanging out with.
He was a young black guy, maybe 20, who looked more like he was from the Carribean islands, rather than Africa.
When David introduced me as "Daniel," the guy immediately started talking about the first book of Daniel in the bible, and specifically about how Daniel was able to sustain himself for 10 days, I think it was, on just vegetables and water.
Daniel had come out even stronger, to the astonishment of the guy, who had tried the same diet himself, but had aborted after the 4th day, due to weakness and lightheadedness.
His question for me was; what kind of vegetable could you live off of for 10 days along with only water.
The only one I could come up with was kale.
This made me think that David the water jug player had talked to the guy about me, and the fact that I did juice fasts.
As I started to talk about how it was very possible that Daniel had come out stronger, due to detoxification, I mentioned that I was on a juice fast myself at the time.
Since it was about time for me to drink 8 more ounces of it, I took the half full bottle of it out of my pack; showing him the full one which was in there also, as if to prove that I was indeed on a pineapple juice fast.
This was when David asked for some pineapple juice.
I thought it was noteworthy that he wanted pineapple juice after having just seen me drinking off of the bottle.
"I'll be right back. Wait right here. I'm going to Uniques," he said.
Enter the half pint of gin.
After he walked off, I kissed goodbye any notion of catching the next cable car.
David is a slow walker, who leans on a cane quite heavily.
I took out my guitar while waiting and, soon a man approched and laid 5 dollars upon my case, saying "Get something to eat," to me.
I did miss the cable car, but had recouped the money which I had repaid my creditors with, plus a dollar to spare..
David spiked a cup of gin with pineapple juice (no wonder he hadn't been concerned about germs) and then half filled another cup with gin and ice, and set it next to me.
It wasn't much of a temptation at all.
Plus, after having extolled the virtues of juice fasting with his Carribean friend, how would I look if I spiked my pineapple juice with hard liquor?
I ran to get on the next cable car, and turned to see David retrieving the cup of gin and ice, from the vantagepoint of my seat.
I am now up writing this, and sipping juice and distilled water, alternately.
I might have to tap into the almost 30 dollars that are sitting on my coffee table for a 12 dollar harmonica for tomorrow nights busking. It will be exciting to get one in a totally random key and totally change my repertoire from "all the songs that I know in C and A minor" to "all the songs that I know in whatever key of harp I choose."
I also plan upon going a lot longer than an hour and 40 minutes.
The weather is forcast to be sunny and a lot warmer. I think they said a high near 70.
Eat your hearts out blog readers in cold climes!
Before all that, and back to the beginning of this (Thurs)day; Howard and I went out, this morning, and had coffee at McDonalds; on him -I guess a token of appreciation for having let him sleep at my place (and eat a lot of my popcorn).
I bought a pack of cigarettes across the street, before we went there.
That was money which I could have used to take the cable car to Starbucks, and had more time to post to this blog; and do other things.
The juice fast (marred by eating some plain popcorn last night) has started to make them taste nasty.
We talked, over coffee, mostly about the book which Howard is writting, and has 31,000 words done on, with about 8 thousand to go, I think he said.
He reads up to 3 books per day, as blogged about previously.
He also now has a little DVD player, and is becoming well versed upon movies.
He said that "American Sniper" was a good one; but he panned several others, along with several TV shows.
Howard hates books wherein every woman is beautiful; or when plots involve anything implausible, like if one of those women is, not only a supermodel, but a computer genius, who stumbles upon a plot to kill the president; and who used to date the head of the CIA...
Howard went off to get his bike from across the river, assuring me that he could accomplish that and still be back at the apartments by 10 AM, when Travers and the other guy from Unity were to meet with him; and take him to get his ID, and start the process to get him into Sacred Heart Apartments.
He must be optimistic, if he is bringing his bike over to this side of the river.
I came back to the apartment and was up until almost noon.
Neither Howard, nor the Unity guys showed up.
I slept until about 6 PM, and then walked to Starbucks in 29 minutes, as per the beginning of this post.
I don't know if the Unity guys found Howard waiting in front of the building, and then took him off to do their business at the DMV, or not.
It is now Friday night, there is a Mardi Gras parade going on, and I now go to the Lilly spot with a brand new harmonica in the key of C.