- 3 Days Sober
- Laundry Day
- Perl Program Reconstruction
- The Lady Who Wants To Play Your Guitar
|Don't waste the money!!|
I am in the apartment, having completed the 3rd day without drinking; and having to grapple with the cigarette addiction; which may be the "master" addiction which triggers all the others.
The Devil Plays His Hand
The devil is in the news again, as he played his hand Tuesday, my second sober day, when, as I was preparing to go to the Quarter to blog at Starbucks and then to busk at the Lilly spot on apple juice alone, I opened my backpack to retrieve my nail clippers, and found an almost full half pint of Long Island Tea, 40 proof.
I determined to give it to David the water jug player, and stuffed it back in the bag.
The miserly part of me almost made me feel like I had to drink it, in order not to waste whatever money that I had spent on it.
I had bought it Sunday night, taken a sip, put it in the bag and then forgotten about it. That fact seemed a very strong argument for not starting to drink again.
I left the apartment a little before sundown on Tuesday, and, only remembered that it was St. Patricks day when I noticed a plethora of green garments being donned by the people that I passed. The leprechaun hats, and the tee shirts which read "Irish" on them, were also clues to that.
I didn't feel very weak or light-headed on this second day of the juice only fast.
I walked towards Starbucks with 6 dollars and change on me, and the almost full half pint of Long Island Iced Tea in my bag.
I used my gift card to get a coffee (and thus, cheat a bit on the "juice only" fast) and did my blog post, or rather, posted it, as I had written it the night before.
I had been up most of the night and also began to re-write the Perl program to format this blog, and am finding it much easier to grasp the concepts of the language that I had had to agonize over, the first time I wrote the script, when I worked about 70 hours on it. I think I can make it better, faster and stronger and take less time doing so. This time, it will boldface the names of persons, places and things of note (it dawned upon me that all I have to do is let the pattern matching function search for words that begin with a capital letter and then boldface them. That would take care of proper names -i.e. "The Lilly Spot," as well as street names, etc.).
After leaving Starbucks at their closing time of 9 PM, it didn't take me long to find David the water jug player in one of his usual spots, holding the blue guitar which I had given him, and waiting for one of the St. Patricks parades to pass by and the noise level there to drop.
He seemed thrilled with the gift of liquor, and started to pat his pockets, saying "I know I had some weed on me somewhere, I just can't remember where I put it."
I told him about the current attempt to rid myself of alcohol, cigarettes and, effectively, weed (as, smoking it turns me into a cigarette fiend).
This time, it seems like an "all or nothing" abstinence is the only option.
And, as usual, I stood there next to David The Water Jug Player, kind of twiddling my thumbs and struggling to think of anything to say to him. We couldn't share a bottle or a joint, and that really left little else to do. I soon left for the Lilly spot, walking past The Unique Grocery and feeling only a slight magnetic pull towards it.
10 Dollar Wednesday
After stopping at Rouses Market to get one half gallon of "Simply Apple" juice and to politely tell T. that, no, I wasn't interested in selling any food stamps, no, not even a few dollars worth in exchange for a 24 ounce beer, I carried on to the Lilly Spot, arriving there just after 10 PM.
I played pretty precisely, but had to force myself to pretend that I was drunk so that I wouldn't be hesitant, nor be too picky about hitting each note, nor worry too much about the ones that I missed and let them trip me up further.
10 dollars went to the tiposaurus in about an hour.
The Devil Plays Another Card
It may be because it was St. Patricks Day, when people might over drink and become artificially generous; or it may be because I was on my 2nd day of sobriety and the devil, who really exists, was coming after me, but I was offered drinks and beer "left and right," as I played.
I had to tell the people: "I quit drinking 2 days ago," to which most, if not all, congratulated me and/or gave me a high five.
One young lady merely placed an almost full Hurricane drink next to the tiposaurus and walked on.
I moved it to the other side of Lillys stoop, further away from me. (Gee, it would have almost have taken less keystrokes to write: "I put it in a stocking and hung it on a skeezers chimney.")
The Lady Who Wants To Play Your Guitar
A little after 11 PM, a very drunken woman came and sat on Lillys stoop next to me. She was stammering something about "They just tried to rob me. Nobody robs me!!"
She was dressed pretty well, to include a hat which was almost like the female version of mine, and was fairly attractive, for the 50 years of age which she said that she was.
She kept taking a little purse out of her larger purse and looking through it, as if to confirm that she had not indeed been robbed. She kept showing me a gold watch with a gold band, and the manner in which she had fastened it to the purse, so that it couldn't be pulled out without undoing the band. Maybe someone had tried to snatch it and run. I didn't ask.
She was stammering continually as if she thought that I could listen to her and play and sing at the same time.
She requested "an original," and then began to talk rapidly less than 10 seconds into that original.
I then noticed, about 15 feet to my left, a young black kid of medium build who was just standing there leaning against the wall, nervously. He kept glancing over towards us, when not staring straight ahead, at apparently nothing.
He was conspicuous for the fact that he wasn't doing anything; not smoking, not talking on his phone, not drinking, not looking left and right as panhandlers do; and the distance of about 15 feet away is just within my comfort zone when it comes to nervous looking kids. Plus, I had never seen him before; and he wasn't wearing any St. Patricks Day green; not even on his running shoes.
I unabashedly took the money out of my jar, leaving only a dollar, not worrying about what he might think that I was "implying" by that action. ...I never leave much in there. What, do you have a guilty conscious...?
Within seconds, he left, and went and sat on a stoop across the street, but kept leering over towards us.
Soon, he came and sat to the right of the lady, and began to strike up a conversation. He was conspicuously soft-spoken, as I imagined he was the type who usually yelled to a person who was 2 feet away.
It crossed my mind that she, and not my tip jar, may have been his mark -if he had a mark at all. If someone had been unsuccessful in robbing her, they could have easily spread the news about how big the fish was that got away. ...."She's got a gold watch!..."
I wasn't taking any chances and started to pack up after the lady started to insist upon playing my guitar, and then started to grab it, while saying, half teasingly; half aggressively, "Give it to me! Let me play you something! I'm another Nancy Wilson!" followed by "What, you don't trust me?!?"
I didn't like the fact that, in that arrangement, I would have been sitting to her immediate left; the nervous kid in the running shoes would be to her immediate right, and my guitar would be right between us; and my backpack with my laptop would be on the other side.
But, I didn't want to open a can of worms by pointing that out -having one person questioning my trust was enough- and so I packed up, using the excuse that I needed desperately to use a restroom, and walked off. I was content with the 10 dollar that I had made, since I would only spend 2 dollars the whole day; on a newspaper and a cable car ride.
I circled the block; and they were both still there, but got up and left, upon seeing me coming; each in a different direction, but I decided to get the 12:30 AM cable car and come back to the apartment to suffer through a fit full night of withdrawal from food and alcohol and cigarettes; and to lament that the eczema, which I had inflamed during my last few days of drinking and binging on forbidden foods, had not cleared up yet.
I feel better on this, the 3rd day of the fast, though.
My laundry is done drying; it is 11:27 PM, Wednesday.
Tomorrow begins the "spring water only" phase of the cleanse...
I have completed the 4th day without alcohol, living on fruit juice; and have finally expelled the last of whatever offensive food had been constipating me. I'm a lot more comfortable in my own skin, but it took 4 days, this time, and I still don't feel weak or light-headed, even after having walked the mile to here from where the cable car dropped me on Canal Street. Am I able to sustain myself on apple juice, and the occasional Monster 0 calorie energy drink?
It is almost midnight, about to turn into Friday morning. I am at the EnVie Cafe, where I am cheating on the spring water only phase of the the fast and cleanse with an "americano."
I picked up a couple American Spirit half-cigarettes from the sidewalk outside; and smoked them. They are from one of the employees, who steps outside, lights one, takes a few drags; then yells: "I'll be there in a second!" to whomever just walked in; and then tosses the butt, which lands hard, knocking the lit part off; and there I have it.
I am at the end of "Stop Smoking The Easy Way," by Allen Carr, and now it is time for me to smoke my last cigarette, inhaling deeply and asking myself: "Am I really enjoying this?" and then to proclaim: "Yippee, I'm no longer a slave to nicotine!" and to keep repeating that, until the physical withdrawals subside in about 5 days; and then to enjoy the increase in physical and mental energy and wonder how I could have been so stupid to have smoked for all these years.
That will be tomorrow....