Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Sunday

I guess the blessings of Easter Sunday started in the evening when I was writing yesterday's post and someone came in the building and gave me his all day bus pass, which would be good until 5 in the morning.
I could now go into the Quarter and make absolutely nothing, and then return on the free pass.
I went into the Quarter, getting to the Lilly Spot at the reasonably early hour of 9:45 PM.
I have switched back to the E flat harmonica, as I have already blown a reed out of the newest Marine Band, the one that the Lidgleys of London had sent me.
I am embarrassed to have to report that.
I tried to follow the prescription of playing it softly over a period of time to break it in and then refraining from playing it while sipping on sugary drinks, which can gum them up.
Perhaps I just get to playing too loudly at times when the volume swells around the Lilly Pad.
I played and had some good feedback. The tips were more like cigarettes and alcoholic drinks that I had no use for, than cash.
I wound up with about 15 bucks when I knocked off just before midnight.
Then, I spent 9 of it on food in Rouses Market, and got to the Unique Store, determined not to spend any money on cigarettes.
As I was walking in, a young black kid in a bright pink shirt and white slacks held out a pack of Newport cigarettes. "Do you want this?" he asked.
"Sure." I took the cigarettes and then mumbled "Well that solves THAT problem (of what to do about tobacco).
After I left the store, I opened the box to reveal only two cigarettes, but also a blunt laying in the bottom of the box, which I determined, by smelling, to be the "mojo," or synthetic pot which some kids have become infamous for dying after smoking, recently.
I tried the mojo about 6 years ago when I was in Mobile, Alabama, and I am still alive, so I bent my steps towards David the water jug player.
He has been annoying the past few times that I had encountered him, for being so drunk that, one time after I left for a couple minutes to use the restroom and returned, he greeted me the same way he had 2 minutes prior, as if a whole day had passed since he had seen me.
And, he has resumed his habit of asking me for weed as soon as he sees me. "Hey, Daniel! Where ya' at? How ya' doin'? Please tell me you have some weed!"
And it had started to annoy me, but I had thought about it; and put myself in his shoes and figured that that was just the only way he knew how to ask for weed.
What I would respond to is hearing a person say (to nobody in particular) "Man, I wish I had some bud..."
That would give me the freedom to decide if I wanted to smoke him up or not; rather than being asked directly when the easiest way out is often to lie, and say you don't have any. Then, that makes a liar out of you.
So, I headed towards David, who was sitting in his usual spot with his water jug.
This time, he greeted me and didn't ask for weed, but rather began to fish in his little change purse thing, as if possibly looking for some bud that he had.
I still offered the blunt, telling him that someone had just handed me the pack.
He made a big deal out of the fact that someone had "blessed" me.
He makes a big deal out of the fact that someone had "blessed" me with the Takamine guitar that I now play.
I then turned around and gave him the blue guitar that I had been playing prior to the Takamine.
He thanks me profusely over having given him that guitar, almost to the point of embarrassing me; just about kissing my hand in gratitude.
And don't get him started over the apartment that I am living in under "permanent assisted housing," as, after I moved into it, David never stopped reminding me of how "blessed" I had been to get it. And, he kind of adopted the attitude that I should always have weed on me, because; what other bills do I have? "You got a free apartment; you get food stamps; and you can't keep a sack of weed on you?!?"
So, I just lit up the blunt and passed it to David, who was thrilled. "Oh, this is good; I can tell already, this is the mojo!"
He told him that I wanted to save most of it for when I got home, but to go ahead and get a couple hits.
He jested (I think) about keeping the rest of it for himself.
One never knows how serious the street people are, or if they are testing you in some way by making such requests. If I refused him, he could have taken the stance that I should be ashamed of myself for being so greedy after someone had just handed me the thing in the first place. That is one of the flaws in the skeezer mentality; they get accustomed to thinking that everyone is just handed everything and that anyone who then doesn't share is a stingy, greedy etc.
"No, I want to have some for when I get up in the morning to practice my scales and such."
David just took a couple hits and handed it back. I did the same and then put it out and put it back in the Newport box with the now one cigarette in there.
Soon, along came the young kid in the pink shirt and white pants, with a young, well dressed girl in tow.
"Where's that box I gave you?" he demanded.
"I put it in my pocket."
"Let me see it," he demanded.
It was probably due to the mellowing out nature of the mojo that I didn't bother trying to argue that he had given it to me and thus, that it was no longer his. I was trying to take a cue from David the water jug player.
He was just sitting alongside me, not saying anything at all.
I took the box and handed it to the kid, who immediately dumped the contents into his hand, showed the blunt to the girl, who smiled, replaced the cigarette, and then returned it to me, before they walked off.
David stayed silent.
There was either the idea of: The kid blessed me with a couple of cigarettes, and David and I had both gotten a couple hits off the blunt; easy come, easy go.
Or there was the idea that I could have lied: "I smoked one of the cigarettes and then gave my friend here the other one and then tossed the pack in that trash can over there," Then, I would have been able to disappear while he was trying to dig through the trash in his white pants and pink shirt, but that would have made me a liar, all over a little blunt that I never paid for.
Or the situation could have gone in any of several directions.
The fact that he had handed the thing to me might have been because it was Easter Sunday, and like the guy who had given me a few high quality cigarettes at the Lilly Pad, and the one who had handed me food, and the one who had given me the all day bus pass, he may have been full of the Easter Spirit.
And, full of the mojo, which made him forget that the blunt was in the box.
Yes, it would have been ironic if he wound up shooting me over what started out as him deciding to bless someone on Easter Sunday.
"Oh, you hit my shit!," he said, after seeing the burned end of the blunt. But, he said it as they were walking off, apparently content to still have enough left to get the two of them baked twice.
I have a second guitar, which was given to me by Tim, my caseworker, who is also the caseworker of another resident who plays guitar and who destroys them by falling down drunk on top of them.
The other resident had already gotten a replacement guitar through a generous brother who came into town on a visit, so Tim gave me the thing.
I contemplate blessing David the water jug player with it, after having a little work done on it (David has fallen down drunk upon the blue guitar, basically destroying it) but my biggest hesitancy actually comes when thinking about how profusely he will thank me for it every time he sees me in the future.
And, should something happen to the Takamine, I would have a backup, should I keep it.
I have been gradually improving with newer strings each night, newer harmonicas and better and cleaner clothes, etc. Having a spare guitar might be something that a responsible person who makes his living on the street playing a guitar might want to hold on to.
I would mention that another street musician keeps a spare $6,000 violin with her while playing, but the source of her coldness towards me recently might be related to my posting of such information on the blog. It might be perceived that it places her in unnecessary danger. "People don't need to know such things." She can always chain it to something...


alex carter said...

Hey a carbon fiber violin worth playing is going to cost that much, everyone knows that.

However they're pretty rare so if anyone stole it, they'd have a hard time fencing it.

My computer died, so I went out and bought a "new used" one lol. The guy I work for will keep me in computers but they seem to be OLD ones I can't get work done with.

Blogger said...

Are you paying over $5 per pack of cigarettes? I'm buying my cigs from Duty Free Depot and I save over 60% from cigs.