Wednesday, February 10, 2016

To Slow Down Time

Time seems to be moving faster than normal. It seems like 10 minutes goes by in 6 minutes.
Taken from my angle
When I had to wait about 10 days before my food card was to be charged with 194 bucks, I tried to take my mind off it and go out and busk; and I was literally playing for my dinner those nights, and it worked out well; maybe too well, as I was feasting upon 12 dollar meals and ruing the fact that the money wasn't piling up upon my coffee table.
I have become a coffee fiend.
I come home at around 2:30 AM, most nights and immediately begin to brew a strong cup of instant coffee, to go along with the daily newspaper that I am now coherent enough to read at that hour, as opposed to being blacked out drunk.
The Mardi Gras has come and gone in the blink of an eye, it seems. I managed the affair rather poorly.
There was money to be made; a lot more than I did.
Jay, the really loud singer said that he had made $1,600 "the past four days" when I saw him last night, after Fat Tuesday had concluded and the police had done their half ceremonial/ half serious "sweep" of Bourbon Street, riding horses and holding megaphones through which they made an announcement to the effect of: "Ladies and gentlemen, Mardi Gras is now over; please go home!" and then, closely behind them came vehicles equipped with hoses to spray down the street and sidewalks, symbolic of Mardi Gras having come to an end.
Woe be to the skeezer who is passed out on the sidewalk and isn't rousted by the sound of the bullhorns; and isn't wearing a raincoat. Oh, just let me man the hose for a few blocks; it would make my Mardi Gras!
Johnny B., whom I saw Sunday night, said that he had just reached the mark of $1,000 on that the 12th night of the festival.
I truthfully told him that I was averaging 30 bucks per hour, when he inquired; but left out the information that, on more than one occasion I had only played for about and hour and then just pocketed the average of 30 bucks, wanting only to pick up a good meal at Rouses Market, go home, eat, smoke a "j," drink coffee, read write, draw cartoons, record music, take a hot shower, etc.
The Lilly Pad became inhospitable throughout the last 4 days of the festival, as Lafitt's had amplified music pouring out into the street.
Wishes it was Mardi Gras year-round
Monday night, I had moved down to a spot diagonal from The Quartermaster, where I maintained my 30 dollar average by making about 47 bucks in an hour and a half before one of the residents from across the street opened her door and asked me if I could "shut it down," as she had people trying to sleep. Then, she added the almost obligatory observation that she did realize that she lived on Bourbon Street..."but do you see anybody else out here doing it?" she inquired.
No, I didn't, and I don't want to. I would prefer that she keep coming out and running off any musicians who try to set up there, as Lilly will do at my spot.
I thanked her for letting me play for an hour and a half and for not having called the police, but rather, asked me to stop. She seemed like she wanted to have a confrontation, though, because, as polite as I was -one of the blessings of being sober- she kept the tone of "It's almost midnight; this is ridiculous; I have children sleeping."
The next night, Fat Tuesday, I was planning upon playing there again, only starting earlier and knocking off before it became "ridiculous," but wound up walking around looking for an impossible to find sack of weed until it became just as late.
I actually waited until midnight and, after the police had swept Bourbon, knowing that they only swept as far as St. Ann Street, I set up under the lamp post where I first played about 3 years ago, and was able to make a quick 27 bucks in about an hour.
I am trying not the think about the money that I could have made, had I been psyched up to play and not picky about where to do it.
I am glad that the Lilly Pad will once again be quiet and cozy and that I will be the only busker within sight or sound there.
If I want to go after the thousand dollars next year, I will show up with a little Roland Street Cube amp and a microphone and reserve a spot on Royal by utilizing a sleeping bag to camp out there.
I haven't slept in almost 24 hours. It is Ash Wednesday, and I think I will use the 24 hour trolley pass to go into the Quarter and mail some Mardi Gras beads and a few newspaper clippings that I have been saving, to my mom in Massachusetts, and inquire at the same time about the price of shipping about a one pound package to the Lidgeleys in London. The contents of which I will reveal in a future post; not wanting to spoil the surprise.
Signs of the gay district...
I asked them to include a return address with their last parcel, and so they expect something and I am pretty sure that they think it will be my CD, but that is only about 20% complete.
I do expect to have it done within the next few months, as I have learned a lot of shortcuts in using the digital studio and am not spending nearly enough time as I was on each song.
It is important to just set up and play and sing and play the harmonica, as if I were at the Lilly Pad, and just place the microphone in the best place to capture a balanced sound.
It's funny how I can sing my butt off at the Lilly Pad, but in my own apartment, I am bracing myself for the neighbor to start banging on the other side of the wall with a broomstick, which makes for a tentative performance.
When I was shitfaced all the time, that wasn't a problem, as I probably would have composed a song called "You Wanna Know What You Can Do With That Broomstick?" and sang it unreservedly; but the problem would become apparent the next day when I played the tape back and heard what sounded like a drunk guy mumbling something about a broomstick over sloppily played guitar....that would be the problem there....
Off to the Royal Mail store....  

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