- Thursday Night Off To Heal
- Friday Night I Find 40 Dollars On The Ground To Make A 54 Dollar Outing
- Saturday I Buy A Bike For 15 Dollars
I reminded myself of the dismal record that such people in the past have posted. Somewhere around 0% of them actually followed through and posted a video; at least where I could find it, using the Facebook names that I scrawl onto something with my Sharpie.
I realize that people who are feeling really good and enjoying a song might be overcome with a wave of emotion and promise to personally call a friend of theirs who lives in Nashville and who knows Willie Nelson, and was Johnny Cash' paper boy, first thing in the morning and put me on the fast track "You're too talented to be playing here on the sidewalk!"
And then, after waking up and wishing they could forget most of the evening, refusing to believe that they really puked in a mailbox, they see the video and think, "Oh, yeah (now) I remember this guy, I'll have to post this up to Youtube, along with the Jackson Park video of Connie dancing with the big Sponge Bob, and the one of the parade that went by on Royal Street...yeah, I'll have to get that as soon as I have the time..."
|I am on good footing with the Quartermaster|
Friday, I did the same thing; sleep all day and into the night, that is...
Waking up so late that I had only a hope of reaching the Lilly Pad before midnight, I still embarked; a little weak after the second day of living on grape juice, but a lot less achy and more patient with people and not having a lot of stress to make money because all I had to purchase was water and a can of cat food. I had about 6 dollars.
I got to the Quartermaster, where I have an agreement with the staff that I can take a milk crate each night and then return it when I am done playing. In response to the ones that come up missing through other agents, I also place there the ones that I find on the way to the Lilly Pad, after using them, thereby giving myself a "plus" ratio of milk crates taken vs. ones returned to that establishment.
I came across a guy who gave me a little raisin sized bud of some of the "Girlscout cookie" weed that I smoked before starting to play.
I made 14 bucks, playing from about 12:15 AM until 2:30 AM.
Then, I started my long, slow, 11 block walk back to Canal Street and the trolley. Seemingly long and definitely slow. It was the 88 degree heat, combined with the fact that I hadn't had anything but water and that the really good Girl Scout Cookie weed had, at that point sunk in and saturated my brain so that I was in the "super relaxed to the point of being dopey" stage of the "high."
I got to the corner across from which Troy plays the electric slide guitar and the harmonica on the side of the restaurant where Lilly's daughters work.
There were the usual prostitutes and pimps and skeezers who have claimed certain turf, one of which sits nightly about 20 feet down from the ATM on the corner. I was at that corner, as were a couple other people, when I looked down at what I was pretty sure was one of those bible tracks that look like a (usually 100 dollar) bill folded over, on the back of which is written scripture about the love of money being the root of all evil. I almost didn't pick it up; it looked so phony; and I believe that it had been overlooked by at least one of the people milling about. Some people are trying to maintain certain appearances, and should they be projecting a "millionaire" image to whomever they might be trying to impress, they might see the money and say something like "I don't need to pick money up out of the gutter; I'm Nelson T Glenville III!*" and leave it there.
But it was two 20 dollar bills, folded together; and I realized that it was the particular shade of neon light that had been hitting it where it lay on the ground from a nearby sign that had made it look "not quite" real. I knew better, on the block of Iberville and Royal to hold it up and shout: "Did anybody drop this?," because I would most likely discover then that 3 or 4 people on that block had just dropped 40 bucks, and were ready to fight each other over it; go figure...
So, I felt like the money was a gift from God; a reward for having achieved 2 days of fasting; and further food for thought on the matter may have been served by David Greenwell, who is a resident at Sacred Heart Apartments and who was trying to sell a bike this morning "All I want is 20 bucks, but I'll take 15," was the tough bargain that Dave was pushing.
And so the bike will immediately begin saving me $2.50 a day on trolley fares (giving me the $15 back in one week) and it is an almost brand new bike of the kind in the photo above, which sells for right around $99.99 at Wal-Mart and which I'm sure I could get 50 bucks for, as is, by shopping it in the Hispanic part of the neighborhood.
When I first found the 40 bucks, giving me a 54 dollar Friday night, I saw it as a cue to begin my journey north to see family and friends. Buying the bike was a step in the opposite direction; an investment in staying here and busking and saving money on trolley fares.
But, I go out again tonight. It is Saturday night. I will be at the Lilly Pad at around 10:30 PM.
Maybe the Brooklyn people will come around "We tried to come back the next two nights but wound up getting too busy," or maybe I will have a good money night that will render mute my concerns about having plunked down 15 dollars on a bike that is "worth" 5 times that...