Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Water Skeezer

I cut a big twig off one of my plants, dried it in a frying pan on very low heat, and rolled it up; and soon was on my way to the Quarter at an early time for me. I was on the 9:12 PM.

India House lends splendor to Sacred Heart's Neighborhood
There were a few tourists on it, out of the nearby India House hostel which injects college aged kids into the neighborhood. It is usually easy to visually separate them from the Sacred Heart residents at the trolley stop.

I was on the first day of a juice fast, slightly weak, but content to just use less energy as I slowly walked to the Lilly Pad.

I started playing at 9:30. It was very slow, but not dead, as a group of 3 young people, whom I think said they were from Brooklyn after having first said "New York."

They offered me alcohol.

After I told them that I didn't drink, one of the young ladies, who turned out to be Elizabeth, as first seemed disappointed, as if she felt I must be missing out on one of the greatest joys in life, but then cheered up after I said "I just smoke weed now."

"That's what we do," she said.

Being on the first night of the juice fast, I didn't really need anything but that natural high.
I played one of my original songs called "Diana," at this point.

They seemed to like it, and promised to show up tonight and shoot a video of me performing it.
"It needs a middle part," I said.

After talking to them for about an hour and getting 6 of the 9 dollars that I would make, in 2 hours, I left "early" at 11:30 PM.

I felt very weak and walked very slowly, realizing that it WAS 88 degrees out and that would naturally account for some of the lethargy; along with being on my first day of grape juice alone.

At Rouses Market, I fulfilled all of my grocery needs with the purchase of one gallon of distilled water. Not a very mouth watering dinner, but I was happy that the fact that I had made only 9 dollars playing had become a mute point being as I only needed to buy the water and a trip home. No cigarettes, no weed, no food.

"Harold already has lamb at home," I said to Treva the cashier who usually asks: "You still have that cat, or did it run away yet?" before she could open her mouth about my not having bought cat food.

After I walked a couple blocks down Royal Street, away from Rouses Market, I stopped to pull the gallon of water out of my backpack and take a few gulps before continuing through the heat and humidity.

The Water Skeezer

Immediately, I heard the "Excuse me," of what I thought was undoubtedly a skeezer.
I thought about ignoring him, to see if he would figure out that I didn't want to be bothered, or if he would then raise his voice and yell "Excuse me," again.

Some skeezers will actually get right in your face and say: "Hey, I'm talking to you!  What are you deaf?!?" and then be obtuse enough to then try to get something for free at your expense.
I decided to have an open mind and turned to see what he wanted.

It was one of the young skeezers; a skateboard skeezer as that is what he rides around on, asking people to support him in that, I guess.

"Can I get some of your water?" he asked.

There was just enough of a mocking ring in his tone so that I formed the opinion that he was asking me that as a test of "where my heart" was.

Sure, I may have denied him money and cigarettes every time he has asked me for them in the past, but it is written right in the bible, something I paraphrase as:
"Deny not your brother a glass of water  should he thirst."
And so the skeezer saw the gallon jug of water as a golden opportunity, and he wanted me to pass it to him.

I have been similarly skeezed before.

Somehow they want to determine why they can't skeeze you; whether it is because you truly don't have an extra dollar, or because you are adverse to supporting other grown men. So, they will ask for something trivial: "Hey man, I need 5 cents...I'm 5 cents short of a beer!" and in this way, probe for where your heart "is."

But I think this skeezer had already determined that I was unskeezable and was already angry and was taking the opportunity to condemn me to hell -giving me enough rope to hang myself, or setting a trap for me. Let him deny me water in direct disobedience of God!

"Dude, first of all, I don't support other adult men. Second of all, the earth is 89% water, go get yourself some!," is what I told him.

Water is one of the things that you find everywhere in the Quarter with many people buying the gallon jug because it is half the price of the 16 oz. bottles, and then just leaving the rest where you can just skateboard up and grab it. If you are afraid, in that scenario, of germs; then how does approaching a street musician for a swig off his jug assuage that fear?

"Ok," he said, smugly, as if he had made his point to himself. I was going to hell. He rode off, satisfied.

I Talk To Louise

Then, I encountered Louise at the next corner and, since I am reading Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales," I will tell of that meeting in kind of a poem.

At the corner sat Louise
In the middle of a sneeze

Into a towel of blue she blew
She must have caught the flu
Being skeezed for water
had given me some fodder
for the story that I told her
as my anger still did smoulder
She agreed that I was right
to've told the skeezer "not tonight"
The world is 89% liquid
and you're asking for mine like some dick would
Or, perhaps you test to see if I
a glass of water would you deny
and so the scriptures I'd disobey
I asked Louise "Is this OK?"
She told me that God didn't say
for us to give our water away.
And that is when did end our talk
and I resumed my homeward walk
I shook my head when I did recall
that skeezer with no shame at all
A water skeezer, I thought, and grinned
who wanted to make me feel like I sinned.

I got home and was soon asleep, after having some white grape juice.
I slept pretty well and could almost feel a lot of muscles unwinding.
In the morning, I had phlegm and soreness in my upper chest and a loose cough, after just one day of (pretty much) not smoking and juicing it.

Tonight I will go out and busk; no pressure on me as I only need a gallon of water and trolley ride.


alex carter said...

The term "water skeezer" made me think of the Water Wiggle

A much-beloved toy brought to you by the same people who gave us lawn darts, cap guns, and the amazing Crosman 760 Pumpmaster pellet gun, "you'll put your eye out kid".

Daniel McKenna said...

I think the water wiggle was somewhere, and being used by the older kids, when I was about 7; the thing darted and struck me in the face so much faster than my little reflexes were, that I removed myself from the group of kids playing with the water wiggle. So, yeah, like a skeezer unpredictably and spasmodically shooting from tourist to tourist...There is that element to the skeezers because they have to react to unpredictable stumuli; random tourist movements almost like they're in a shooting gallery, "quick, on your left, coming out of the yogurt place...well dressed college girls: "excuse me; I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm hungry...etc"
I always hear in my head; a jazz drummer tinging away on the high hat in steady time throwing in snare hits in unpredictable syncopation with a walking upright bass line underneath; when I see those kind of water-wiggly skeezers

alex carter said...

My big disappointment was the slip'n'slide. It's a great idea, as long as you have a perfectly manicured lawn. Your results will vary if you have a typical lawn: the kind with buried nails, twigs, rocks, maybe the odd lost sprinkler head (the cast-metal kind that looks like Felix The Cat's head's shadow) the odd spark plug, etc. Then a slip'n'slide can just amount to pain.

Supposedly some of your skeezers out there are making hundreds a day, but if so, what do they do with it all? Is heroin that expensive?

What about your trumpet playing friend, who plays "eentsy weentsy spider", is he actually making the hundreds a day he says he is?