Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Starting The New Year Broke


"Towards evening, the lazy man begins to be busy." _Ger. Pr._


I left the apartment Saturday night, New Years Day, and walked into the quarter after having had a bad New Years Eve, after I had forgotten my harmonica at home.


I have a checklist of things to run through before I set out each day, but had forgone it for some reason. 
  • Harmonica
  • tip jar
  • tiposaurus with its sign
  • maraca
  • performing hat
  • spotlight
  • extra batteries
  • guitar with pick and tuner...
are all checked off before I leave; along with making sure my pockets contain 
  • lighter and cigarettes (if available) 
  • cell phone, 
  • food card and key card for the building,
  • the keys for my apartment door.
I don't think things happen by accident, and I'm sure that I was subconsciously sabotaging myself because I didn't want to start out the New Year stumbling drunk.

I got to the Lilly Pad to see swarms of tourists milling about, making enough noise through their conversations alone to cause me to lament the absence of the harmonica which can cut through such a din.


I debated upon whether or not to even play.


A Friday night, New Years Eve to boot, and unseasonably warm weather seemed to be a recipe for a great night.


Instead I had about a 12 dollar night, as I only started to get tips after things had started to slow down; well after the ball had dropped and all had shouted "Happy New Year!"


It was a gloriously missed opportunity, and the little bit of money that I made disappeared at the Unique Grocery Store, as I bought cigarettes and brandy and stumbled home, where I found the harmonica underneath a newspaper that was spread open on the couch.


Coffee For Cash


The first day of 2016, I walked into the Quarter, having spent my trolley fare on a can of malt liquor.


I wasn't able to get the cashier at the Unique Store to extend me credit on a can of Micky's Ale, but had the brainstorm to run to Starbucks where I found a couple who let me buy their coffee for them with my gift card (thanks to the Lidgleys of London) and who gave me 12 dollars while only taking about 10 off of it.


A Man Buys Me A Beer


I went back to Uniques, suddenly 12 dollars richer and instantly was approached by a guy who asked my about the guitar on my back and what kind of music I played, and could he buy me a beer?


"Sure, a Mickeys Ale would be fine."


I took that across the street to drink while watching a football game through the window, chatted some more with the couple, who were from not far away in northern Louisianna, and then, since I hadn't even tapped into my 12 dollars; went back into Uniques for another (my third) can of ale.


Steering Clear Of Louise


I walked past Louise, and could feel her judgmental stare boring into me after I had decided against switching the ale to my other hand where it would have been out of her sight.


When she last left my place, after taking the last of her stuff, she had called me "selfish," "a sociopath," "spoiled rotten," (because my mom had sent me money for Christmas; which she knew about and which most likely prompted her to bury her wallet and re-neg on her promise to give me 20 bucks upon retrieval of the last of her stuff) and a slew of other things, as she toted her cart down the sidewalk. I didn't offer to pull it for her (so she could have added "inconsiderate" to the mix) because I really wanted to get away from her.


As I distanced myself from her, one of the last things I heard her say was "You were probably going to rape me!"


Wow.


Almost every physical aspect of her repulses me but, being the sociopath that she seems to be, she probably couldn't fathom my initially inviting her to stay out of friendship alone.


I was a good 200 yards ahead of her, yet could still hear her yelling like a Tourette's Syndrome victim as she ambled along; walking much better than she had been a couple days prior, when she showed up almost demanding to sleep on my couch, limping so slowly that the thought of turning her away and having to limp her all the way back to the front door seemed daunting.


In front of the corner store, I ran into another musician who plays slide guitar and sings blues. He stopped his bike and said "You must live around here."


We made some small talk before I told him that I wanted to get away from the crazy lady who was approaching and still cussing me out at the top of her lungs.


"I'd better get out of here too, said the blues guy," as he rode off.


Jay, the really loud singer had advised me to stay clear of Louise, warning me that she might just call the police and make up some b.s. allegation against me, as she had done against Johnny B., who was coincidentally my last house guest.


He had had to go to court, where Louise dropped the charges because her "borderline personality" had flipped that way on that particular day.


I am pretty sure that the officers know that she cries wolf all the time, and that I have been here 4+ years without a complaint; but I am staying clear of Louise.


But, I wasn't going to hide my ale from her. Let her add "alcoholic" to my list of atrocities. I was on the other side of Royal Street, as far over on the sidewalk as I could be without scraping against the wrought iron fence that runs in front of the Supreme Court building.


The Spoiled Brat Generation

Dogs Welcome

I had 3 ales in me, but wasn't quite in the mood to hit the Lilly Pad.


I instead headed for the "neutral ground," across (where the One Way sign is pointing in photo left) from Checkpoint Charlie (bar) where traveling kids, Rainbow kids and skeezers et. al. hang out with their dogs, as they beleive that the police have no jurisdiction there because of its "neutrality" which somehow goes back to when the British and the Spanish would meet there to sign treaties or whatever they needed to do; the land being owned by neither, and still not anybody's to this day, except the skeezer's.


There were about 6 dogs and about a dozen kids there, one of which offered to run across the street and get me a 5 dollar sack of weed.


While he was gone, I took my guitar out of the case to show it to another kid who had his own, but not much of one -miniature in size and (of course) missing a string.


He seemed like a pretty decent guy, and I even let him try my guitar out.


Soon the weed arrived and I was in the process of preparing a bowl to share with the decent guy, who was telling me how nice he thought my guitar was, when arrived a tall-ish skinny kid with dark curly hair and an all-around traveling kid aspect.


He sat down next to the guy who was playing my guitar and said: "Let me see the guitar. I'm gonna make some money. Watch this!"


I immediately intercepted "the guitar" before he got it, pocketed the weed, aborting the bowl packing proceedings, and was zipping it back into the case when the curly haired kid started whining like a spoiled little brat.


He said "I so want to burn you right now!" ....great; a pyroskeeziac...


The decent seeming guy said something trying to calm him down.


"I just want to play one song on the guitar, and I'm going to be right there!," he said, pointing to a spot on Decatur.


Then he began to cuss me out left and right..."He won't let me play one song on his guitar; what an asshole!"


"I need to get to work, I'm late already," I said, before going across the street and into Checkpoint Charlie, effectively screwing the decent guy out of a few hits of weed.


I didn't even want to stick around there any longer wasting my breath even trying to set him straight about what the hell is wrong with his breed of spoiled brats who, in the first place, have been Rainbow children for so long that they think that everything is community property, just like it supposedly is on the big farms where they hold their big gatherings, that his ilk "travel" to, fueled by the generosity of anybody along the way.


His having called it "the" guitar is what pissed me off; like we were communists or something.


And, he had begun to insinuate himself into sharing "the bowl" (I suppose he thought it was) by having sat down right next to us after he saw that I was packing it.


Plus, I knew that there was no way that he was just going to play one song. I would probably have had to physically wrestle the thing out of his hands, especially if he were having fun, and then had to hear about how much of a jerk I was for depriving him of it, as I walked off.


I envisioned him attracting some kind of audience of a couple people and then bashing away on the Takamine, with one of the traveling kid favorites like "Wagon Wheel," or "Sweet Jane," and then either passing the guitar off to yet another kid (without asking my consent) or, most likely breaking the string which I would break myself shortly thereafter.


Any money that he made would probably go towards whiskey, that I would be given a token sip of; then I would get a lame apology for the broken string.


The whole Rainbow movement is well intended but is replete with what the faithful call "drainbows" who are there for the whole "sharing everything" scene, only they just never seem to bring anything to the table; except maybe offering entertainment in the form of a stirring version of "Sweet Jane," played on someone else's cherished instrument.

Pass me the guitar; what's your fucking problem?!?

The Grateful Dead had the same problem with kids showing up just because they knew that there would be free drugs floating around. I guess you would call them "drainheads?"


A Lady Buys Me Tequila


I didn't have long to stew over the incident. I fell in with a couple guys who were walking in the direction of Sydneys and struck up a conversation that started with "Can you believe that little spoiled brat is cussing me out and throwing a childish tantrum because I wouldn't let him have his way with my $400 guitar?"


They were both in agreement that I had done the right thing.


"Where is his guitar? If he loves to play so much, why doesn't he have one?"


"Precisely."


I never made it inside Sydneys.


After having gotten blitzed off one toke of what had turned out to be excellent Rainbow weed, I ran into a lady out front, for whom I played a song until I broke the string that the traveling kid would have broken and not cared about, and who bought me a pint of tequila.


I Am Struck By A Car


I blew off playing at the Lilly Pad, not wanting to do a string repair job, and finding myself becoming more impaired as the delicious tequila went down.
I got home somehow made it home.


In the morning I was baffled by the fact that I had a knot on my right knee that was very sore and turning black and blue, and that my left buttock was likewise bruised.


Then I remembered; a car had hit me. I couldn't remember exactly where but remembered that it had changed lanes quickly but was only probably doing 7 miles per hour.


The corner of the front bumper had dinged me on the knee, spinning me around and knocking me down. I had just jumped back up and given the driver a "don't worry about it" wave. My guitar had come out of it in one piece -thank God; that would have been too much Rainbow child karma, or Louise Hoo Doo if the thing had gotten smashed...


I Almost Break This Laptop The Next Morning


The next morning after discovering that I had bruises I took a few tentative steps away from my bed and towards the kitchen.


I stepped on the cord to this laptop, yanking it off of the table where it landed on its side, mangling a USB port and bending the power jack.


When I replaced it on the table, I knocked both the Snowball microphone onto the floor, along with the eighth of a bottle of tequila that had been left, that is, before most of it spilled out.


Talk about being "a little groggy" in the morning...


And So; I Quit Drinking


It was a good time to quit drinking. After having forgotten my harp at home that one night, and then the whole thing with the car, and almost, but not, smashing my guitar and then almost, but not, destroying my laptop and microphone, and d'oh! spilling the rest of the tequila, I figured that I should quit while I'm ahead; and that I may have caught some lucky breaks and don't want to push my luck. I will never know how narrowly I escaped being set on fire by a Rainbow kid.


I have made it through Monday without drinking and now am working on the 2nd day sober. And, hey; I'm already writing longer blog posts fueled by the extra mental energy!


"Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light."= _Victor Hugo._


An alcoholic binge is like a merry-go-round in that; only after jumping off does one realize that it was himself; and not the whole universe; who had been spinning around and going up and down.= _Me_


A danger foreseen is half avoided.= _Pr._
It is now Tuesday night, and I am staying in, juice fasting (though cheating with coffee) and approaching 2 days sober...


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