Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Glad Tuesday's Gone

The Implosion

Yesterday, Tuesday was a wasted day, both literally and figuratively.

I had woken up in the morning with half a bottle of Fish Eye Cabernet sitting upon my dresser, which I soon tapped into, after having had a brief coffee wake up.

I was up early enough to go to the church on the corner for their Tuesday morning (9-11 AM) food bank distribution, where I talked to the volunteers, whom I hadn't seen in a few months, then left with a bag containing spaghetti, sauce and 2 cans of vegetables.

They also gave me a container of organic soy milk.

I had been planning upon embarking upon a juice fast, one which would culminate upon the new moon which falls upon my birthday this year. I figured that I could settle the matter of whether I am intolerant of soybeans in general, or just the partially hydrogenated oil, or just the non organic beans, which might be grown in some unique pesticide that bothers me. After a 5 or 6 days juice fast, the reaction to the introduction of  organic soy milk, as my first "food," should be pretty definitive.
 
The rest of  the events of Tuesday kind of sealed the deal and convinced me to embark upon the juice fast, which I started this morning, and which is important in regards to the quitting of alcohol consumption that goes along with it.

I want to have a CD ready to mail to friends and family for Christmas this year; that is my goal; and I think I will accomplish it; even if the disc only has 2 songs on it.

I had gone to the church for food after having consumed the half bottle of wine, and had slight tinges of guilt over them smelling it on me and figuring that I could have spent the same money on food, rather than wine, and that they were enabling me.

Leaving there, I walked the almost mile to the Eat Well Market, to get a half pint of brandy, planning upon working on music all afternoon, and then going out to busk at night.

There were two men sitting in front of the Eat Well Market, one of which was Carlos, whose apartment is diagonally across the hall from mine, and whom I am civil with.

The other guy was someone whom I didn't recognize as being a French Quarter skeezer, until he re-enacted the skeeze that I had seen before.

I don't know if he has moved into our building or not, but he was sitting there with Carlos, and when I walked up to them, Carlos extended his hand to me and we shook. Then the other guy who looked kind of Latino, but had eyes that seemed to be the wrong color, either too blue or too green, extended his hand to me.

When I shook it, he pulled me towards him, in an unsettling gesture, that had me shifting my feet to maintain my balance.

Carlos and he made small talk with me, with his friend referring to the bag of food in my hand. "Oh, you got yourself a food bag, good," he said.

In retrospect, I think he was saying this as a ploy; trying to remind me that I had just been the recipient of charity to mentally prepare me to be skeezed.
Carlos took a sip off of a half pint of some liquor.

I had reached the point where I figured that I had better things to do than to continue and stand there, talking to them, and I guess Carlos' buddy sensed this, and lowering his voice, as if taking me into his confidence asked me if I could help he and Carlos to get a half pint, as if I hadn't noticed that Carlos was already sipping off one. He added "I hate to beg."

"Sorry," I told him "I went out yesterday and bought new guitar strings and then stayed in and watched football; I'm pretty tapped out," I told him.

Then he reminded me of where I had seen him before when he raised his voice, no longer trying to take me into his confidence and exclaimed "You're not going to help us?!?" as if this shocked him, even though I had told him that I was low on cash and had caught him lying about needing a half pint of liquor (a second or third one, maybe).
I went into the store and got my own half pint of brandy, which I poured into an Arizona Energy drink before exiting.

Then, the guy made his signature gesture of holding his hands out to his sides with the palms upturned, while boring into me with his eyes with an expression on his face which read "Where's my money?!?"

"What's up?," he asked as I walked past them.

"Just, this," I replied, referring to the fact that myself walking up the sidewalk was what was "up."
Then, he erased all doubt in my mind that he was the skeezer who used to sit on the corner of Iberville and Royal Streets in the Quarter when he started hurling insults and cusses at my back as I walked away.

There Are Three
He is actually the third guy who lives at Sacred Heart Apartments, or who hangs out there, who does exactly that -beg for money and then cuss the guy up and down if he declines.

Carlos must have told him that I make great money busking, as he is one of the people that I had told the story to about the couple that tipped me 140 bucks, and then started to change their minds and ask for some back, a couple months ago.

I'm sure that Carlos' only take on that whole situation was: "People be givin' him hundreds of dollars."
That would make me the biggest jerk in the world for not helping the lying skeezer, I guess.

Then, back at my apartment, I was visited by Tim, my caseworker whom I played some of my recent recordings for; ones that I am not satisfied with, personally, because I can hear the drunkenness in which state I had recorded them. I sipped the brandy while talking to him.

Then, as I was escorting him out the door, in the hallway was another skeezer, who has done a similar thing (telling me to step outside the building and fight after he had asked -excuse me; told- me to give him a couple dollars). "I need a beer!" he had said, that time, in a tone that implied that this was a very serious condition for him; and that I should cut the crap and hand him 2 (of the 48) dollars that he had caught a glimpse of me counting.

He is a medium built black a bit on the lanky side about an inch taller than me and in his early 30's or so.

He was accompanied by another guy who lives on the 4th floor, named Darren, who once told me that if I gave him one of my cigarettes, he would run up to his room and then return with 50 cents to give me for it.

It wasn't so much the amount of the money, but the feeling that I had been had that bothered me after he didn't return.

"He is going to tell me, the next time that he sees me that he had come back with the 50 cents, but had just missed me; no matter how long was the time that I had waited for him. And, now I had happened to catch him without 50 cents" Is what I thought about Darren.

After he had left the computer room, where he had accosted me with his deal, another computer room patron told me: "He ain't coming back with no 50 cents. He always say's that. The money is always up in his room. He's gotten me a few times with that; but not no more..."
A Petty Skeezer
What a petty skeezer (...the worst kind) I thought.

I still grab whole bags of dog food off Royal Street when I see them, and leave them (anonymously...well, maybe not anymore now....) outside of Darren's door late at night; for he has a dog.

The whole, unopened bags of good dog food are left there by dog skeezers, who make so much money sitting there all day with their dogs and their signs that they can't be bothered toting the stuff.
Some tourists actually run into Rouses Market and spend good money on it, and then present it to the skeezers, as gifts to the dogs, that they think might otherwise not get fed if they gave them money instead.

Along with all the Styrofoams of "people food," that they accumulate, and the bottle of liquor that they will pick up on their way to the hotel, with their "homeless, hungry and broke," signs tucked under their arms -it's just too much for them to carry.

Maybe their dogs have become finicky, and they have plenty of the kind of food that the dog loves at the hotel; who knows; but there have been a few unopened bags of Alpo or Purina dog food out there lately and I have taken 20 seconds to stop and stuff them my backpack. I have left them outside Darren's door
Talk about "Love your enemy..."

But, back to the Skeezer Story:

I have a gallon bottle of Absolut Vodka which is full of water, and which I use as a doorstop.
As those two worthies had stopped to wait for the elevator and were chatting with Tim, I couldn't help testing them, in a way.

I grabbed the vodka bottle full of water and, stepping out my door just far enough so they could see me, hoisted it to my lips and pretended to take a swig and to be listening to the conversation between them and Tim.

Neither one of them diverted their gaze to the bottle, maybe so that the caseworker wouldn't catch them fixating upon it, so the could perpetrate the fraud that they aren't drunks, perhaps.

But, then Tim left by the staircase, the 2 got on the elevator, and I returned inside my apartment.
2 minutes later there was a knock at my door.I opened it to come face to face with Darren, who actually put one hand on my door, as if to prevent me from closing it upon him, and who asked me if I minded if he came in and "hung out" for a few minutes -wanted to see what I had done with the apartment; couldn't wait to hear me play my guitar in the acoustics of the apartment...whatever, it seemed.

"I'm kinda pressed for time, I talked to Tim for a while and now I have to get going..."

Then, Darren cut to the chase: "Hey, can I get a pull?"
 
"I have the shakes," he lied.

I had seen him drinking malt liquor earlier, and he had even told me that he was "loaded," and so this obvious lie recalled to me the previous skeeze with the cigarette, and I shook my head in disbelief and said something like: "No, man!" and closed the door on him.

It serves him right.

But, to put a positive spin on the events of the day, I became firm in my resolve to go on the fast and abstinence just seeing how petty people can be.

Tiposaurus Robbed 

And, then, at night, at the Lilly Pad, and after only about 45 minutes of playing, some young black kid in a group of 4 or 5 people, snatched the money (about 8 bucks) out of my jar and ran down the street, while the other members of his group made feeble efforts to act as if they were no party to it. "Why you want to do that to the man?' asked one female who could have been his older sister.

As outraged over his actions as she and the rest of the group may have been, none of them returned with any money or any apologies or any excuses for him "He needs to learn not to do that..."
The final straw had been laid upon the camels back at that point.

I was drunk enough, after having finished the brandy; that I just felt like I couldn't play any longer. I tried a few songs, but just kept stopping and trying to calm myself down.

I eventually started telling people "Some little  n**** ran off with my money..."

That was definitely the hard liquor talking; and some people merely replied "niggers come in all colors," or words to that effect. I was burning with rage, but in the back of my mind, I knew my best course would be to continue as if nothing had happened, and soon I would have recovered the 8 dollars; but it was too high a hill to climb. I suppose that is the mental state of the skeezers that cuss people up and down over not giving them booze money.

I knew, at least, that it was time to just get the hell out of there with the 3 bucks that I still had left.
I wasn't going to be doing any stirring rendition of "Everything Is Beautiful," at that point, and I had just enough sense to know that I was drunk and angry, my playing had become sloppy, and I risked  embarrassing myself to the point that I might need to exercise damage control the next day; or would have gotten myself attacked.


The up side is that I have no desire to get drunk on this my first day sober (again). I could use a cigarette but that is another animal.

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