- 34 Dollar Friday
- 50 Hours Sober
I woke up for the final time at 7 PM in the evening, after having been up the entire Thursday night, dealing with the insomnia which typically comes the first few nights that I am not heavily sedated upon laying down.
I wrote yesterdays blog post on my laptop, and then alternately watched episodes of "The Shield," a TV show that I have acquired the entire 4 seasons of, on my hard drive, and read a James Lee Burke novel, called "Last Car To Elysian Fields," which is set in New Orleans, and in which a certain character has an apartment not far from the Lilly Pad, on St. Ann street, near Basin (the guy gets "whacked" in about the 12th chapter) and reading an American History book that I have on my bed, which is quite comprehensive and almost the size of a bread box, commensurate with that fact.
I am up to 1826, and John Quincy Adams has just won the election over Andrew Jackson. I will have to slog my way through about 30 pages devoted to just the Civil War, but look forward to eventually getting to the final chapter, which introduces Lady Gaga, complete with color photos (it is not your grandfather's American History book, almost as big as a breadbox).
I was still feeling kind of depressed when I got up at 7 PM, but a cup of oolong tea got me motivated enough to run my data stick up to the computer room to post to this blog, and then out to the parking lot to grab my 2 solar powered lights from where they had gotten a good dose of radiation over the day that I had taken off, plus this day.
I then embarked upon the 2 mile walk to the Lilly Pad, with about 48 cents on me; driven by will power alone and without the incentive of "that first half pint of whiskey to get me going" waiting for me on Royal Street.
I arrived at the Lilly Pad at about 10:20 PM, set up my extra bright spotlights, placed the remains of a Monster Energy drink that I was drinking, by my side and started playing.
I could almost sense that it was going to be a pretty good night. As per my voice being a bit tight from having taken one night off from performing, the tips kind of croaked their way into the tiposaurus jar, and I had enough of a constant audience so that it was almost an hour before I deemed it prudent to even stop for a few puffs off a cigarette.
Then, along came a couple who sat on Lilly's stoop and who said that they had last heard me a few weeks ago when I had been somewhere along in the 24 day stretch of not drinking.
I had a feeling that they may have been disappointed in me, should I have had to report that I was back on the juice, but I was happy to tell them that I was sober, even if only on my second day of being such.
Another group came along and seemed to enjoy the Bob Dylan song that I played; tipped me well, and then one of them asked if he could play my guitar, and I would accompany him on the harmonica.
We did a rendition of "The Joker," by Steve Miller (in the C harmonica-unfriendly key of E major) and soon there had gathered a small crowd across the street of what turned out to be the group that the guy was with, in town together for something.
They made the unimaginative request for the ubiquitous busking song, known by traveling kids and guitar skeezers worldwide, which was written by Bob Dylan, but popularized by a group which plays the same guitars missing a string and banjos missing a string and tambourines missing a cymbal, which are fit for the likes of the ensembles of traveling kids and skeezers worldwide (called "The Old Crow Medicine Show," I believe...although it might have been "Mumford and Sons,") called "Wagon Wheel."
And, lo and behold, it was in the perfect key for my garden variety harmonica (and would have been even if it had been missing a note) and we nailed it to the satisfaction of his group of friends and about 10 of the 34 dollars which I would end up making went into the jar afterwards.
Another guy came along and sat and talked (for a little bit longer than the 4 or 5 dollars that he threw me warranted, but I enjoyed the conversation, and am equally at fault for starting a new thread of thought just when he was shaking my hand and telling me how he had enjoyed our conversation and was about to leave -my mention of the fact that I had just discovered the music of Tori Amos led to an additional 10 minutes of him gushing over the talents of that lady, especially her live performances).
It was a successful night.
I stopped and spent 75 cents on a Friday paper, 2 bucks on a bottle of iced tea, and then just missed the next trolley when I was inside CVS, getting a small jar of instant coffee, and so just decided to forego waiting a half hour for the next one, and instead spend the half hour walking home.
I fell in with a couple of young guys who were locals, but who also didn't want to wait for the trolley, who lived near me and who were in the movie industry.
We talked about movies, with them basically telling me that I hadn't missed a thing during the 19 years (from 1996 when I took a date to see "Waterworld" in Jacksonville, Florida until the recent past when my caseworker Tim unloaded a variety of movies, old and new, onto my hard drive) when I watched not a single movie.
"I see all of these tabloids in the checkout isle in the supermarket and realise that I have never even seen Angelina Jolie, nor Tom Cruise, nor Brad Pitt, nor Demi Moore, nor Johnny Depp; in "action," I said.
"You haven't missed a thing...just mass produced industrial garbage that cost millions of dollars to make yet fails to invoke a feeling in the moviegoer...plenty of explosions, though..." said one of them. He said he was into some kind of Italian art films "shot without actors, but just using scenes from real life to tell a story" (or words to that effect).
I parted with them at The Big Easy Market, where I bought a can of coconut milk for $3.26, bringing my total expenditures for the day to just under 8 dollars, and then I came here, where I have lentils slowly simmering and waiting for a coconut milk bath, and where I sip coffee and write this, not nodding off and drooling on myself between gathering my thoughts for the next sentence, and not kicking myself for having put tomorrows trolley fare towards the overkill of one more half pint of whiskey that I will only remember upon seeing the empty bottle sitting somewhere in the morning.
Postscript: The lentil/coconut soup is not bad, but needs one more ingredient; maybe some zesty Indian spices.
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