Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting For Decadence To Return

  • 21 Dollar Monday
  • 8th Day Sober At Midnight Tonight
  • Israelis Check In
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Yesterday (Monday) I left for the Quarter relatively early, arriving at the Lilly Pad at about 8:30PM.

I had juiced some cabbage, tomatoes and onion with Serrano pepper, and used it to wash down a couple baked potatoes.
I hadn't even tuned up when up walked the piano player from Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern and offered me 5 dollars if he could videotape me playing my "Carcass Song."
I accepted the 5 bucks, and then, not being warmed up at all, really hacked the song to pieces.
There was a bit of nervousness over being recorded, and the fact that I couldn't take back anything that I played.
I should have asked him if he could start the video over again after I got the riff right.
I wound up playing until about 11:30 PM, making a total of 20 dollars, then ran to the store for a Bawls energy drink, returning to make only one more dollar in about 15 minutes, before deciding to divide my time between busking and stuff that I could do at home.

A Nickel Is Worth A Thousand Words

I got on the trolley, which was being driven by a black lady, who has shot her mouth off to me in the past.

I think she is just the type of person who likes to be confrontational, the way New Yorkers are often portrayed; being in each others faces and appearing to those not anointed in the ways of the city to be on the verge of coming to blows.

I think the last time, she was on me about not having my money ready when I boarded and having to fish it out of my pocket.

I also think that, on that particular occasion I had had to dash across the street just in time to catch the thing before she pulled off.

She is not one to pull off; she waited for me, and then berated me for not having my money ready.

If she really wanted to be a jerk, she could have pulled off, but she seemed to welcome the opportunity to give me crap.

"I just noticed you coming and ran across the street; I didn't even have time to organize my money."

"You know you're gonna take the trolley, you should have set $1.25 aside before even heading for Canal Street!"

Last night, I dropped what I was 99.9% sure was $1.25.

I put the coins in individually, rather than by the hand full. The machine will sort them out if dumped in the latter way.

As I was going towards a seat, the automated voice said: "Your change is encoded on card," which is what it say's when you put more than the fare in.

I thought that there was an outside possibility that there could have been a dime hiding behind the nickel (I put in 2 dimes and 1 nickel) so I turned around to go back and get the card, thinking that there might be 5 cents on it.

The lady went off on me: "What are you doing, that isn't your change! You put a dollar 25 in there! You know you did! Why are you trying to get money that isn't yours!"

Then a guy who was sitting up front told her: "He thought that he accidentally dropped an extra coin in there."

"No, he knows how much he dropped in there; he's just trying to get over!," said the trolley lady.

It really bothers me when anybody presumes to know what I am thinking; that may be an issue that I could work out in therapy someday; but for now it really bugs me to hear someone say "He knows what he's doing" about me.

I said something to the effect of: "Why did the machine tell me that I had change, if I didn't?"
She said that she had pressed "the button" and that's why a change card had come out.

"Are you questioning my integrity," I asked.

"Are you questioning mine?" she asked.

I pulled a dime out of my pocket, and said: "Do you want a dime? I'll give you a dime if a nickel is so important to you!"

"You're the one trying to get over on a nickel," she said.

I was actually getting pretty pissed off at her and on the verge of saying something like: "Just shut up and push stop and go, can you handle that?"

We got to my stop and, as I went to exit, I'm sure she was prepared for me to say something snide or flip her off on my way out.

Instead, I pointed to the Sacred Heart building and said: "There's my free apartment, have a good one!"

She was saying something that I didn't catch as I walked off.

It could very well be that she is just struggling to make ends meet by pushing stop and go; and the thought of me living in a free apartment and going into the Quarter and making twice as much per hour as she playing music infuriates her.

How she would know all that is because gossip and rumors abound along the trolley lines. 

The drivers seem to pass the time by delving into the business of the passengers that they see every day. Some people are just gossips; I hear them telling stories about other people whenever their mouths are moving.
The story of the couple who were high on coke and tipped me $125 that one night -a story which I (unwittingly) told a few people; may have taken on a life of it's own and become exaggerated, so that perhaps after I got off the trolley one night, and she mused out loud to one of her gossip buddy riders, fishing for gossip: "He rides almost every night with that guitar on his back..."

He could have responded with something like: "Oh, he makes bank! I heard that he gets 150 dollar tips; and he don't pay no bills at all; he's in the veterans apartments."

At which point, she could have decided that the best she could do would be to provoke me verbally in hopes that she could get me barred from riding the trolley, should I lose me cool and verbally assault her.

Some people think that way; but I'm not presumptuous enough to say that I'm sure that she thinks that way; like she is sure that I was trying to get a change card (for a nickel) that I wasn't entitled to.

It could also be that she was headed for the station on her last run of the night and wanted a soda from the machine there, and didn't have enough change, and so, hit the change button in order to steal it from the company. I could have told her that I knew that that was what she was up to; to give her a taste of her own medicine.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Man that's one thing I sure don't miss about where I grew up, Hawaii, constantly being given shit for being white.

Sounds like new Orleans works about the same way, If you're white you're gonna work harder for less money and get given shit, from petty shit up to having your life in danger, for being white.

That's reason enough for me to never go there.