Monday, February 1, 2016

Room For Fish To Grow

28 Days Sober Reached
Today was the first day, it is Monday the 1st of February by the way, that I thought that I would go to the store and buy liquor and drink it.I think it was because of the most recent additions to my diet; the diet that started off with no alcohol, but, yet, with only apple juice and spring water. This kept me sober and I was full of energy and vigor.
Then, of course I added foods slowly in; always on the alert for some food that would make me crave a drink to go with it; and then, I finally got to the first point, through the whole ordeal when I didn't feel absolutely great and full of vigor.
I was even feeling anger over slights from a long time ago; wishing I had just punched that clown in the face 17 years ago, and things.
I misplaced my transparent tape; sort of.
I used it to reinforce the tape job done already on the subwoofer speaker that the cat tore up; and then I couldn't find it for a long time.
I was going for a drink; but talked myself out of it. I ;have entered the talking myself out of it phase.
The Parcel From The Land Not Too Far From The Land Of Sheep And Tourists


So weird, so cosmic; the parcel.


I got an early morning call from the front desk, telling me that I had a package "from Amazon." "...Do I know anybody from the rainforest? Maybe it's from Sue, the Colombian lady..."


It was Saturday morning, I had busked Friday night, making 25 dollars that had seemed to trickle in, over the 2 and a half hours that I played, and having only 11 of it left, by the time I had spent 12 bucks on food, 3 on the trolley, another 4 on instant coffee and a newspaper that I could read instantly over a cup of it; as well as having run into Brian Hudson and taken that opportunity to give him 3 bucks for a set of strings of the kind that he gets online for that same ridiculously low price (the same would be close to 10 bucks at Louisiana Music Facory, where they are rude to me).


I already had an odd assortment of strings, given to me by a girl on Frenchmen Street, who must have been around 17 years old and was dressed in a way to paint herself as a train hopping "travelling kid."


She was refreshingly not a skeezer. She showed me to a guy who was selling weed, and who sold me a 5 dollar sack, and then she politely afforded me the opportunity to offer her a bowl of it, in the way of thanks, rather than immediately hounding me for it.


It was while we were partaking of this that she mentioned that she had some new guitar strings on her that she no longer needed, having "lost" her instruments. Travelling kids seem to lose their instruments a lot.


It was quite an assortment, to include some Elixir® brand, which are 16 dollars a set, on average.


I was able to cull a full set of out of what she had, including an Elixir® to hold down the bass, as the bottom E string.


Elixirs are touted as being able to sound good for 6 months, as opposed to garden variety strings which can dull by the end of one week; because they are coated with some kind of space age material, perhaps that which prevents spacecraft from burning up when re-entering the earths atmosphere, and that explains why they are twice as expensive as other strings .


The reason I don't pay the 16 bucks for them is because, the one time I did, they sounded fantastic for about 3 weeks, and then snapped, not one, but 2 of them; on the same night. They may have gone on to sound good for 6 months had I played them with a light touch and not in an attempt to reach people 50 feet away with my volume.


The thing about the cheap strings is that, even after they lose their "brilliance," they still play, for up to 3 weeks or more. They just sound more like the piano that your grandfather has in his basement that used to be the focal point of the parties that he threw when he was younger, but now just collects dust and hasn't been tuned in 40 years. And a little better than that, after you tune them.


And nobody probably complained about the sound of that piano when they were busy singing "Aulde Lang Syne," snookered on mint juleps.


But now I can put an Elixer on my guitar as the bottom string and the sky will be the limit as far as the bass tone that I might be able to get. Of course that string would be the only thing left of my instrument, should I have to re-enter the atmosphere with it; but I'll be incinerated and won't really care.


Factor the weed into the 33 bucks that I would spend the entire Friday.


But subtract any alcohol purchases; and note the one 20 dollar tip that I would wind up getting as a result of playing at a level commensurate with sobriety; and then add a full set of new strings, plus the 8 bucks that I saved in going through Brian Hudson for the other set; and I would conclude that it was a good day money-wise; even though money isn't exactly accumulating on my coffee table at home.


The fact that I had run out of food stamp money with 13 days to go in my "month" has effected me financially; along with the fact that I have been deciding to treat myself to a darned good meal each night; rather than pick through the dumpster outside Popeyes Chicken, looking for the bag of stuff that sat on the grill until closing time without being sold -and which is free, but dry and stringy and sometimes has to be contended over with skeezers.


I don't know what is happening to me. I am dressing in cleaner, nicer clothes, and have stopped picking through dumpsters for food. I hope I'm not getting away from the things that have made me the musician that I am today.


Harold, my cat has been eating gourmet stuff like Fancy Feast "Chicken Hearts and Liver [in gravy]" lately; and so I guess I am just keeping up with the Jones's...


"Harold, want some of this Popeyes Chicken?"


"Er, no thanks..."


I had been up all night, into Saturday morning; drinking coffee after coffee, and reading the newspaper just about from cover to cover.


I recorded about a 10 minute jam onto which I have layered about 4 extra voices, and have plans for selecting a section of it; erasing everything else except the drums, and then trying to put other songs leading into it and coming after it. Those would be main verses, and would make a bridge out of the section that I did last night. Which might be interesting; a section that started out as the first verse, but then became sandwiched between two other sections; as yet to be composed; so that it will then be a bridge between them...


All this had me up until just before 9 AM, when my intercom rang, and it was the guy (Mr. Stevens) who holds some kind of support group here at Sacred Heart Apartments, and it is apparently on Friday mornings at 10 AM.


I knew that I was going to busk, starting about 12 hours from then, and so I politely declined the offer from Mr. Stevens, who had probably had it suggested to him by some well meaning person that I might stand to benefit from the support group.


25 Days Sober


Sometime earlier that morning, when I was abusing coffee and trying to slow down on the cigarettes, I reached my 25th day without a drop of alcohol.


A support group can't hurt, unless I come away with the feeling that I have taken up the yolk of now having a bunch of guys that I can let down and disappoint and feel ashamed of myself in front of; should I just start drinking again.


I can imagine it: "Here's a toast to the dozen or so guys who have my back and are counting on me to do the right thing!" before shooting down some tequilla.


Some people (Brian Hudson, busker, for one) have told me that they have rarely ever met a person who had quit alcohol "on their own."


I might become another of them, though, because I am kind of a loner. The "social interaction" of a support group might just send me off on a beeline for the liquor store.


Maybe the reason few people have heard of anyone doing it on their own is that, it is accomplished by other loners and so, consequently, people like Brian rarely meet them.


Then, I got the call from the front desk informing me that the parcel had arrived.


I knew already that I was getting "a book" from the Lidgleys of London; and I thought that, if the package had indeed been shipped from Amazon, then, Amazon would have been a third party in the process, making me wonder how the Lidgleys would have been able to get the Starbucks card, which I was also aware of, into a package coming directly from Amazon, unless they had gone to the distribution Center and inserted it, somewhere between the conveyor belt and the delivery truck.


I went (nervously) this evening to pick it up.


I had woken up after dark, after having nodded off around 10 AM, after declining to go to the support group meeting; effectively throwing away a cash free trolley ride, as I had an all day pass that was going to expire at 5:40 PM, or sundown, as we also call it this time of year.


I awoke around 4 PM, but my body at that time was telling me that the whole steak that I had eaten, along with catfish nuggets, popcorn and a "midnight" snack of a bite off of a block of cheese; had taxed my system in the way of digesting it, perhaps, and I felt like the snake that has swallowed a large meal, and wants to curl up under a rock for a while.


I woke up still groggy and didn't think of the package right away, but rather, had left the apartment in the middle of a wake up cup of coffee that had me craving a cigarette, to go look in the ashtray in the smoking room to see if there were a couple puffs of nicotine in one of them (fat chance in a skeezer friendly apartment building, but...) and when I approached the mailboxes, it all came back to me; the phone call in the morning...and the fact that the Lidgeleys often include a couple packs of smokes in their parcels. I quickened my pace towards the front desk, noticing that there wasn't a single smokeable butt in the smoking room ashtrays as I passed.


As I walked, I was a little nervous.


I thought of the fact that the young lady who had called me in the morning about the package was no longer on duty; it would be the night crew now.


I wondered if the night crew were as honest and dutiful as the girl on morning shift. Would they steal my package and then affect some charade of looking around for it before telling me that they didn't see any package; and "I don't know what to tell you..." as they fought back smirks.


I got to the front desk and could see a box sitting in the area where they seem to hold such things; and it had the tell-tale "Royal Mail," sticker on it.


It is funny that, since there is a "Mail Services" store on Royal Street which also is called "Royal Mail" (perhaps a play upon the British system) the security people might have thought that it just came from downtown -probably made it seem less important; less theft-worthy- If they knew that it came all the way from England, they would probably think that it was some kind of fancy imported item or even the Hopi Diamond, and might be more prone to steal it. right here in town.


I had to sign the package in and, as they fumbled to open the notebook to the right page and find the pen, I took the opportunity to slice the package open with my key, and in doing so, immediately saw the gold Benson & Hedges cigarette boxes.


I was then overcome with the urge to, I guess, flaunt the cigarettes, as I ejaculated "Yes, cigarettes!!" in front of the security people whom hadn't stolen my parcel.


But, there weren't any skeezer/residents in the lobby, and my furtive glance around before making the exclaimation, apparently to confirm that fact; was meant in the spirit of one working person being able to tell other working people that somehow fruits have come.


If I were a security person with my weekly pay tied to spending 40 hours at Sacred Heart apartments, I would probably come to resent the skeezers, just as I have as a busker.


So, I felt like a big shot. It was, let's call it a Johnny B. Moment; I felt like a pretty big fish in an actually pretty big pond; but one that has small fish; I think part of me wanted to flaunt the fact that I got packages from overseas with cigarettes and everything...and of course, that would indicate that I have a better character than these skeezers who have no friends at all, not even overseas friends.


With all the interesting people that you can meet, here in New Orleans, for them to have made no real friends only because they have been skeezing the whole the time; is sad.


But, there are those who have absolutely crossed over into a reality where some people have things and others don't; they put themselves in the don't category; and they rationalize to themselves that, if it were they who were the one that had; they would most certainly give to the beggar; and they go forward upon that principle.


It's just so frustrating to me that the opportunity never arrives to see if that is so.


I got the rest of the parcel to my room and, peaking inside, could see that there were indeed books and what appeared to be a calendar. I have at least 4 calendars on display in my apartment. I guess I am like people who like to have a clock in every room, so that they never have to leave a room to check the time. I am the same way with dates.


So, it was pretty cosmic getting a calendar, as I collect them.


And then, as if the strings that the travelling kid type girl traded to me plus the ones that I got from Brian weren't enough, there were 3 packs of Martin strings; and now I am set up to do some serious gigging.


I need to process this and post it within 10 minutes, bye for now.


What is below was written yesterday and should be redundant..but I need to post in a hurry...


I will leave them to speculate, as they sit there watching the monitors for suspicious doings in the hallways, about just what kind of "international" figure I am.


I should tell them that I am really famous in Great Britain


The tourists were being skeezed relentlessly; I myself was skeezed enough along my way to the Lilly Pad to surmise that they were most assuredly being skeezed left and right.


The Mardi Gras season has been slow compared to previous years and I think I will stay in a lot for a short period after the end of the carnival. If the whole carnival turns into a dud; many hustlers and losers and users and skeezers, who have been chanting the mantra of "Wait till Mardi Gras" throughout the unusually slow season leading up to it; will be devastated, to have seen their dreams of skeezing a great time with booze and drugs to spare end in disappointment, disallusionment and desperation,come Fat Tuesday.


So, I was dying for a cigarette when I got to the front desk where I signed for the package, and then immediately cut it open with my key, and opened one of the flaps, which revealed 2 packs of Benson & Hedges cigarettes.


I didn't contain my joy, and said out loud: "Yes, cigarettes!!" and for a second I felt like I was showing off. There were only the 2 security people in the lobby at the time, the female one was on the phone, and there was an "incident" report of some kind, open on their desk, in the process of being filled out. What I heard of the conversation involved the filling out of it, and I heard the police mentioned.


This is the last day of the month, and if I were a loan shark, I could probably do some business with the people here who get a "disability"check on the first of each month. The ones who are unable


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1 comment:

  1. Geetar center has specials on elixor strings, remember i was sending them to you. You might check online.

    What I see here from ground zero of the so called silicon valley is, the internet pipeline pinching down to the point t that it's not really!ly really really really worth it anymore to spend time on the on the on the on the on the thing.


    Work on your vocal technique, preferably out of books a hundred years old. Join a choir. Join a church, for the singing.



    I just wish I were as drunk as I read.


    Im'a working on sign painting, it can be done with mud. Low tech but only when you can't do no tech.

    You've talked about quitting this blog and I was sad, but I think it's a good idea. I'm about to hitch out there and sleep where the Natchez docks, to get away from the high tech financial black hole.


    High tech is a doomed religion


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