Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Busking For Ones Dinner

Monday night, I got into the Quarter and was getting off the trolley just as another musician, who usually plays on Royal Street across from the Hotel Monteleone was calling it a day and getting on the thing. An omen?
He plays the spot where Johnny B. used to play when he was here. He is apparently still in New York.
The spot, which used to be Johnny B's has had its gate closed, so one can no longer go into the alcove where Johnny once stood, and where skeezers skeezed and left vomit and dog food behind. The blues guy just sits in front of the gate (obstructing the sidewalk to a degree).
He is only about 20 years old, uses open tunings and just kind of slides to each open chord without much trickery.
I walked a pretty deserted Royal Street and got to the Lilly Pad at about 10 PM, and played for a couple of hours and was happy to make about 15 bucks.
I had started out with nothing at all, after having made 25 on Saturday and then watched football with Howard on Sunday instead of busking. I paid Howard back 7 of the 12 dollars that I owed him, then ran to the store for a 4 dollar bottle of wine in time to hit the Ideal Market, where I unloaded another 5 dollars on food, while putting the balance on my food card. A pack of smokes, a trolley ride and a half pint of whiskey had me starting out broke on a Monday night.
I did learn a bit about the effect of interacting with tourists when, at one point, after hearing the piano guy inside Lafitts playing the oft requested "Piano Man," by Billy Joel and seeing a couple young ladies approaching; I broke into that song and substituted something like: "It's 11:30 on a Monday...the regular crowd is home in bed..."
Which caused them to stop and throw me 2 or 3 of the 15 that I made in the entire 2 hours.
I made it to Rouses Market in time to throw 5 dollars cash on some ground turkey, frozen condensed grape juice and a can of Becks beer, putting the balance of about 3 dollars on my food card. At this rate, the food card will run out with about a week left in the "month."
I guess there is something exciting about literally busking for ones dinner.
A pack of smokes and a trolley ride had me arriving home with provisions but just enough cash to do the same thing in about an hour: starting out with an empty tip jar, but with fully charged spotlights, new strings, cigarettes; and whatever else I might find just laying out on Bourbon, as I will walk that more direct route to my spot, for that very purpose.
I usually walk Royal Street in order to avoid skeezers. Out of sight; out of mind. They won't think: "Hey, why don't we try jumping him?" if they never see me.

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