- 26 Dollar Saturday
- 23 Dollar Sunday
- Dog Gone Cat Gone
Saturday night, I didn't make it to the Lilly Pad until almost 11 Pm.
I had stayed up the entire previous night, after having stayed in Friday to work on things other than busking.
Howard had visited Friday morning for a while and left his backpack leaning against the back of my couch.
Neither one of us noticed it on our way out. I guess I have become so accostomed to the clutter of my place as to only notice things that are absent from their normal place.
In the morning, the sun came up and, the longer Howards backpack sat there; the more I wondered if he would take it upon himself to show up to reclaim it; choosing early morning as the time that I would most likely be there.
I eventually decided to just call the guy; I had his number from when he left it with security the time he called to arrange our viewing of the Patriots and Broncos game about a month ago.
"Well, I take Howard's calls because he can't hear very well..."
I told Ken that I would try to make it over there with Howard's backpack. Inside, it contained two books and pad covered with his mostly illegible scrawlings. Howard is writing a novel.
There were also pill type bottles in the front pockets, but I ascertained that they didn't contain any essential daily medications, or otherwise I would have called sooner, I told him.
Ken is the guy who lives at the house with "Berta," whose 2nd husband has pretty recently passed away.
They are apparently the couple that had taken an interest in Howard and started inviting him over there for Sunday dinners after they all had gone to a church somewhere.
I would find out, upon meeting Ken later on, that he was the guy who had stayed in the woods with Howard, by the river and had "taught him how to camp."
I remember encountering him in that same woods once, when I had been looking for Howard for some reason, and he had been very protective and had even kind of warned me not to mess with Howard.
It was about 10 AM when I first called.
Ken called back around noon to check upon my progress; see if I were lost, and to inform me that he was about to embark upon walking the dogs; in case I were on track to arrive very shortly. He would probably have told me where to find Howard, and not to worry about the turkey. More on that subject ahead.
Owls And Turkeys, Oh, My!
I got across the river by around 1 PM, after having sat and began reading one of the books from Howard's pack while waiting for the "Algiers Owl," to arrive at the stop. It is called the Owl, ostensibly because it runs late, if until midnight does justice to owls. I found the house where Howard is staying.
I was greeted at the front gate by the two little dogs that had been walked.It is a one story, fairly large house (not appearing to be so from the front which has a small face, but with sides that stretch on back almost 100 feet) with a fairly large yard around, and mostly behind it.
There was a domesticated turkey, which turned out to be the one that I had once taken a picture of when I encountered it not far from where Howard and Ken had lived in the woods. It had been in a pen there, as it was here; and had been in public view having its cage right in the front yard, as it was here, having its cage abutting the fence from the neighboring lot where stood a bar of some sorts.
I joked to Howard about why he hadn't just told me that his house was next door to said bar and that I would have then been able, to locate them right away. Seeing the turkey accounted for one of those "It's a small world" moments.
When I had taken the picture of it, I had been at the Algiers Point Bar, where Christina Friis had been performing with a guitarist friend, and had walked a couple blocks down the sidewalk and spotted the thing that Howard would wind up living with.
I visited until about nightfall, having had it insisted that I join them for a dinner of a casserole, tater tots, and bread rolls with real butter, which I ate, fully expecting that it might revisit me in the form of an itchy scalp or maybe a slight headache around the temples, but, as long as I didn't decide to drink alcohol to diminish those symptoms, I would be alright, as I worked upon my 41st day "dry."
Howards housemates were drinkers ("from sunup to sundown, but they're never mean, he had told me during the visit when he had left his pack) and Berta had offered me "something to drink," upon my arrival. Howard had stepped in and told her that he hadn't done the same because I was trying to quit drinking.
The topic then moved to the turkey and I was given an almost tour guide style lecture upon the keeping of turkeys as domestic pets in general, "I don't know why more people don't..." and some interesting specifics such as that the turkey's head feathers changed colors between red white and blue "It's a very patriotic turkey, said Berta," and that, periodically the turkey lost all its feathers before growing them back into the beautiful array that the goldish brown bird before us sported.
After we ate, I was instructed where to wait for the bus back to Canal Street, so that I could capitalize upon a Saturday night, and Valentines Day to boot, to busk.
I went there and waited an hour and a half past the time that Howard had specified before boarding one. It was Saturday, and Howard may have been overlooking a "weekend" appendix to the schedule.
I got back to the Quarter at about 8 PM, took a streetcar to get my stuff at the apartment and didn't make it to the Lilly Pad until the 11PM mentioned above.
I made 26 bucks in about 2 hours, returning to the apartment to stay up from about 3 AM until 6 AM, beore laying down my body which hadn't slept for 48 hours.
I slept for 12 hours.
I felt a little tired still, but blamed it upon the casserole which undoubtedly had a lot of hydrogenated soybean oil in it, which seems to tax my digestive system.
I had a dream about Karrie in the late afternoon.
In it, she had somehow "made it" in the world and was wearing the finest type of clothing and had her hair all shiny and styled and had expensive sunglasses on her forehead. We were on a bus, and I tried to talk to her and she was giving me that distant type of interactions that a guy gets from strippers, part of whose job it is to be friendly, and who will call every guy who walks in the place, "honey," or "sweetie."
She was being nice, in a standoffish kind of way, sort of like Tanya Huang is capable of, and the emotion of the dream was mingled with my real life experience of having left Karrie behind when I lit out for Mobile, Alabama, and a better life, back in 2009.
At the time, I thought that she was just too big a drunk for me to want to deal with, and I was foreseeing myself watching her
deteriorate physically and mentally, and decided to part company with her before I might become so deeply in love with her that it would torture me to see that happen.
Ironically, upon arriving in Mobile, I set about becoming the biggest drunk in my 48 year old history; stooping to drinking such cheap but strong delights such as Steel Reserve Lager, and Earthquake Lager.
Here I was dreaming the dream on the night of my 41st day without a drop, and I think the meaning has to do with the fact that I had left Karrie for a better and more sober life; and the fact that Tanya kind of represents that better life, as far as what a musician can acheive through sober practicing.
But the fact that I was tossing and turning with the dream was probably attributable to haven eaten a lot of soy oil.
2 Hours of playing Sunday night, yeilded the above amount.
I had one young lady tell me that I sounded nice who tipped 10 dollars, and the rest were singles.
I had been determned to be there sooner than the 11 PM of the previous night, but only managed to arrive a half hour sooner.
Having woken up at 6 PM, after 12 hours of rest and a dream about Karrie, I was considering blogging for a couple hours here at the computer room.
But, I also wanted to do my quarter mile run, getting a "morning" energy drink at the store at the other end of the run, and perhaps checking for weed at the Banks Meat store. That would be better done first, I thought.
I ran the course in 2:13 which is very average, blaming the amount of food that I had eaten, along with a sore feeling in my ankles for the mediocrity.
I got an energy drink and went to the Banks Meat parking lot, where only crack was available. I told the crack guy that I wanted to wait until I had more money to spend than 5 bucks before "checking out" his product. I don't know why I said that, unless it was to test his nobility. If he had tried to get my 5 dollars by offering some ridiculously huge piece of something that surely wouldn't be crack, then I would know that he was a scam; and file it away on the back burner.
I was able, 10 years ago now, to convince myself to just never do crack again, after having had about a 3 month "affair" with the drug, back in 2006; an experience which I determined to be getting progressively worse as time went along.
I had 11 dollars on me and had to pass on the experience of arriving at the Lilly Pad totally broke and, although working on 42 days without drinking; instead "tweeking" as I came down off of 10 hard earned dollars worth of crack; grinding my teeth and having had any sense of confidence and self worth depleted from my brain and staring tourists in the eye with a look to match the best of skeezers and playing music while harboring a paranoia that "they can all hear that I smoked crack." No, thanks...
So, I started a half hour earlier, at 10:30. I had run into David The Waterjug Player, after stepping off the trolley at about 10PM, who smoked a joint with me, rather than asking me if I had any weed (which he does about 90% of the time) and arrived at the spot with an Arizona Energy drink to place beside me and fresh batteries for the spotlight.
I got one guy to stop and sit beside me while I was playing "People Are Strange," by The Doors.
My harmonicas could use replacing, and it was reassuring to make money off of a song that doesn't include one, because of the key that the song is in, or the keys that the harmonicas are in, take your pick.
Replacing the harmonicas, along with other things -the headphones that only sound in one ear; the woofer speaker that the cat tore the foam rubber around; light bulbs, etc. is going to require me to just busk for longer each day than the 2 hours that I have been averageing lately -"lately" to include most of Mardi Gras.
I spent $3.50 on energy drinks, $2 on batteries, $2.50 on trolley rides and about $10 on food today, which is 18 out of the 21 that I made. Hardly a recipe for saving up for stuff...
But, at least I didn't spend it all on crack...
Dog Gone Cat Gone
For all intents and purposes, I no longer own a cat.
The cat disappears for days at a time now; it is going on 48 hours missing as I write this; and only wants to come inside to scarf down food, be petted and scratched behind the ears until I tire of it; and play "attack the hand," until I stop because I don't want scratches all over my hands; and then cry at the door to go out for another ? hours.
I'm not going to foot the bill to have the thing neutered soon, as it is nearly the age to begin "spraying" all over. And I don't want to be responsible for any veteranarian bills, should it become ill because of worms or anything else out there; all for a few minutes of attention each day and the disappearance of money into its bowl and its litter box.
It might feel cruel to just walk past it on my way into the apartment, leaving it crying at the door; but a couple instances of my doing that could effectively disown me of the critter, once and for all.
Just as it is for humans in New Orleans; there is so much food out there for a cat, between that which some people who live here at Sacred Heart Apartments and have been seeing it in the parking lot leave out for it; to that which is left in piles around nearby abandoned buildings that are not abandoned at all, if you consider cats.
I haven't put any identifying collar around Harold, and so there will be no paper trail if I just decide to let him follow his bliss and be a wild cat. He can't have it both ways.
He used to stay close enough to the door so that, if a rainstorm were to kick up, for example, he would be ready to make a dash to get inside as soon as I would open the door and call him. Now he has discovered the resource of abandoned buildings and the society of wild animals.
I missed him and worried about him the first few times that he wasn't around when I called him, but now I don't worry; and I have stopped calling for him. I guess a cat has got my tongue in that regard.
Now, I can begin the process of replacing things that have been torn up by the thing. I recorded it meowing at the door, eager to leave the other night. I can put that clip into a song that I wrote about the thing; so as to have something to show for its having been here.
My plan is to show up at the Lilly Pad earlier and earlier, until I am conditioned to busk for 5 hours a night. Only good things can come of that, financially.
Louise Set Up By Lilly Pad
When I had gotten to the Lilly Pad Sunday Night, at about 10:30 PM, the first thing that I noticed was Louise The Tarot Card Reader, set up under the lamp post where I first started playing, across from Barnaby's condo.
I didn't perceive a threat and played well, despite her vibe.
She came over and talked, saying that she had forgotten that I played there. Maybe....
Or, I might try to get a job through the "Labor Staffing" place a couple blocks down the street and use the money to make my next foray into busking behind amplifiers and microphones and effects to go after Royal Street money.
I wonder how many of the musicians who now greet me warmly, as I make my nightly trek to the Lilly Pad, will continue to do so after they begin to see me as yet another musician who might, on any given night, be at a spot on Royal Street that they kind of hoped would be available.
Maybe Dorise will throw my guitar in the street some night, if I set up on St. Louis and Royal in defiance of their chairs being locked to the light post there, marking their territory. They are nearly the talent level to begin spraying all over, I guess.
I got a rather cold reception from them earlier when I walked past them. It could just be because they had a group of about 50 tourists around them and were trying to send a message of "Not now, Daniel, we'll talk to you later," and figure that not smiling would get that across.
Or, they might be hearing from people that read this blog about stuff such as the above, or that I write about how much money they apparently make...who knows.
The beauty of the above plan would be that, after Royal Street kind of dies at around midnight, the Lilly Pad can be just picking up, and I might be able to match the nights take on Royal with a couple additional hours there, playing acoustically, of course...
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