Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Go Fish

47 Dollar Sunday
I just invented an exercise called "the mattress slide."
It works like this: I grab my mattress and slide it forward, using my arm and shoulder muscles, and then pull it back towards me; it is just heavy enough and there is just enough friction in trying to move it back and forth over the box spring; that it is a great arm and shoulder and forearm workout.


I just placed a 17 fluid ounce bottle of olive oil, and a can of coconut milk on my kitchen counter; this after having poured a mug full of instantly brewed coffee out of a saucepan in which I had brewed the very item on my stove top; and had taken a sip off of the brew and then instantly spat it onto the floor and some of it on my socks.

I had ignored the fact that the pan with the water and the two heaping teaspoons of instant coffee had sat on the burner on a setting of about 6 for maybe 2 or 3 minutes and had not come to a boil, the roils of which would have alerted me to the danger; but I really wasn't thinking, I was daydreaming, after having walked the 2 miles home after having missed the last trolley because I sat with a guy named Joe, whom I met at the spot where I played tonight, and we talked until just about exactly 1:50 AM, acording to my phone, and this is just about exactly when the last trolley departs from Royal and Canal Streets.

I didn't burn my tongue; but I would guess that the coffee was about 170 degrees; not quite as hot as the stuff that comes out of a car radiator when it boils over, but hotter than chicken that has been cooked to the recomended temperature of 165 degrees, according to a meat thermometer.

I have a good sized bottle of "agave syrup," which has the information on its reverse label that it is x times sweeter than sugar. I know nothing about this syrup which comes from Mexican blue agave plants; and I can't Google it until the computer room opens in the morning; but I do remember flipping through one of those health related "Prevention" type magazines in a waiting room or something and seeing some kind of article which bashed a whole lot of sweeteners; and recall a heading to the effect of "why agave syrup is even worse," but I gambled upon the purchase of a bottle because I am lacking any kind of sweetener, and I am planning upon mixing up a bunch of oolong tea and sweetening up half gallons of it to take along when I busk. That would kill a lot of birds with one stone.

I will be getting the "liter of oolong tea per day" which Japanese tradition prescribes as a cure for eczema; and I will be getting the caffeine which is one of my best friends as I busk without the company of alcohol; and I will be saving what I spend per day on energy drinks (minus the cost of mass produced oolong tea) and...it will wire me up so much that I will pull the head off the first bird that I see...

13 Dollar Saturday

Saturday (last) night, I did make 13 bucks in about 2 and a half hours; after the night started out eerily similar to Friday night, when I didn't make anything.

There were swarms of homosexuals, all apparently so into each other that they didn't even seem to see nor hear me.

Luckily a couple of them, who were not really tricked out in Village People mode, but still spoke with lisps; stopped by me and gave me the first dollar of the night, which was already a half hour old for me.

I had stopped playing and was just sitting with my guitar. I had made a sign which read: "Can I at least have one dollar for the whole weekend?" and that is what they were reacting to.

I had planned upon altering my approach for this Saturday night, after having laied a goose egg the previous night.

I was going to try to engage as many of "them" as possible in conversation and ask their opinions about why none of "them" were tipping me.

"I don't know; you should play" said young gay number two, and I decided to take his advice; and am pretty sure that is where the 13 bucks stemmed from.

Not Counted Yet Sunday

I took all that I had learned from the 13 dollar Saturday and modified, or tweaked if you will, my approach further for the night that I just finished.

I noticed how most of my tips came after things had quieted down and people were able to hear me from up to 15 feet away.
Queer Acoustics
The sound of 150 gay guys in one place is loud enough to spar with the volume of an acoustic guitar, and even after Lafitts turned off a loudspeaker which had been aimed toward the street, the din of gay conversation was something that I should have been more proactive about and I should have moved further down Bourbon Street to katty corner of The Quartermaster, which is well lit and heavily trafficked and has been packed to the gills with "them" all weekend.

It wasn't until the throng, some of them in thongs, thinned out to about 75 queers that I started having people actually stop and listen.

One couple, a tall thin young black kid, and another heavyset young black kid, who was sitting on the curb so I couldn't tell if he too was tall; asked me to play "Best Of My Love," by the Eagles in its entirety; after I had played only a section of it and then blasted a long harmonica solo which never came back to the song.

Another guy sat on Lilly's stoop and said "That was awesome," after I did "Like A Rolling Stone" by bob Dylan, with a mad harmonica solo. *note: Rolling Stone Magazine lists "Like A Rolling Stone" number one on its list of "The 500 Greatest Rock and Roll Songs Of All Time, by the way.

So, I interacted more, and I gleaned a connection between the ambient volume and my success with just an acoustic guitar and my voice and my harmonica. Even though the harp might cut through, without the backing chords; who the hell knows what it was saying....


So, tonight, on the last night of the Southern Decadence Festival, I headed into the Quarter at a reasonable hour, thinking that if the participants had been saving their money for the last fling, then they might fling me some; especially if they had seen me each night, but not heard me singing verses such as:

"Oh, that magic feeling...a guys d*** up your a**!!" -From "Queers Never Give Me No Money (they only walk by in funny ways, yeah) -which I only broke into after 3 hours of playing and not one tip Friday night. (a great display of self discipline on my part to go that long, I thought.

Learning from Saturday night, I went down to the corner opposite the Quartermaster and set up under the light of an art gallery window.

It was so quiet, compared to the Lilly Pad that it was like singing in the shower.

I got many tips and many complements; and nods of approval from the staff of The Quartermaster, whom have seen me walk in almost nightly with a guitar on my back and with whom I have had several interesting conversations. I had made probably about 25 bucks between 10 PM and 11:15 PM, when I knocked off, feeling as though I had just finished a blistering set and needed a break, to go to Rouses Market to get food for the day, along with olive oil and blue agave syrup.

I planned upon returning to the Quartermaster spot for another set, which would run from midnight until at least 1 AM, when that store closes.

Back to the syrup, quickly: I think the article in the Prevention type magazine was bashing the syrup because it's "even worse than sugar" in the department of keeping weight off of the obese people that might be reading the magazine. I think they were arguing that it somehow was easy to binge upon; to consume more of it in order to get the same sugar high. Anyways, I bought some.

When I was in Rouses Market, Tony the manager and Gloria, an employee were working by me, as I fished for my dinner among the fresh fish for sale; and one of the pedicab drivers, a young guy with curly hair and an almost European style and manner about him, said hello, knocked elbows with me "I would shake your hand but mine are all grimy" and told me that he had heard me a lot and that I was an asset to the Quarter and one of the reasons that tourists come here to see and hear interesting things.

That was cool to have happen within earshot of Tony and Gloria.

The whole staff at Rouses kind of warmed up to me after the last night, probably a year ago now, that I played the spot in front of it.

That spot is the equivalent of "Boardwalk" on the Monopoly board. Playing there, I kind of feel like I would if I was allowed into Fenway Park, where the Red Sox play, to toss a baseball around with a buddy. You know; slide into home base...have your buddy throw one that you can catch on the warning track, or better yet, have to jump up in front of "the green monster" (the wall in left field which is painted green and over which historic home runs were hit) to snag.

While I didn't have the volume that time to match a Doreen's Jazz Band or a Tanya and Dorise, I was heard by Tony, who had stepped outside for a smoke; and I had a group of 3 or 4 young tourists sitting in front of me.
Go Fish
To finally address the heading of "Go Fish" above: A guy walked up around 2 AM, after I had played for 2 hours and done pretty well; most notably when a group of about 6 young people who looked Indian or Pakistani walked up right after I had smoke a bud that a guy came by and sold me for 2 bucks, and was doing one of my latest originals; which is a reworking of a song called PaulaLution Number 9; which is something that I recorded the first demo of before I had the Snowball microphone and that I am redoing, having become enamored of the original recording through repeated listening that have allowed me to hear the song through all the noise.

It is a rather crude song about a time that I was invited by my sister to her house when I was about 19, and wound up alone there with one of her friends (named Paula, you guessed it) after she ran out on some kind of errand. I strongly suspected that that arrangement was planned by my sister and her; as a means of helping me out of my then virginity.

Paula was drinking.

At the time, though, I had something really important like a job interview to attend to, and could only stay for a short time.

Paula's reaction to my departure fed my suspicions; she acted surprised and kind of disappointed...

And that is what the song is about, and it is pretty graphic; and I had a real decision to make when the group of young Pakistani's formed a semi-circle around me with smiling faces turned my way and dollar bills going into the tiposaurus jar; should I continue to sing about losing my virginity; or switch up to something a little more "popular."

I decided to switch to some pop and was able to get a couple more 5 dollar bills and a few ones from them with a Cat Stevens song and a Beatles song, both of which they seemed to know and sang along to. I couldn't imagine them singing along with "f***ing Paula..."
So, this guy walks up around 2 AM and asks me about the sharks around my tiposaurs jar. I explained that they make the artistic statement that; where there is money there are figurative sharks circling it.

Then he asked about the tiposaurus and I explained that it looks like it is guarding the money in the jar against theft; but that he "rarely" bites those that are adding money to the jar. I further explained that the use of the word rarely is meant to instill fear into the tourists that will think: "rarely, maybe, but that means that it does bite" and to dare them to tip me, if only for the thrill of it and the satiation of the inner daredevil in all of us.

His name is Joe and we then talked for a while, touching upon our mutual puzzlement over the 1,000 gays that are in town for the festival; and talking about skeezers. The fact that it took Joe a while to warm up to me was evidence that he had had close encounters of the skeezing kind.

He gave me about 15 bucks for cigarettes and something to eat, and he invited me to go fishing with him Tuesday morning.

He said that he has never really fished before but that he and a buddy who are here from Ohio, have rented a boat, piloted by a professional fisherman and that even if the three of us don't catch any red fish or trout, the professional fisherman should; and that we get to take home the catch and put it in our freezers.
Joe said the boat rental was 800 dollars; so I guess we should be able to keep the fish that we catch.
We exchanged phone numbers and I should get a call from him before Tuesday morning; unless he was just so drunk that he invited me fishing and is going to wake up all hung over and read the fine print on the contract for the boat rental and see that no more than 2 people were allowed on the voyage...

You've just read: 2370 words.

1 comment:

alex carter said...

Get a "Chemex" coffee maker, best coffee evar and easy peasy cleanup.