Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Most Empowering Thought of All

It's Tuesday.
I went to sleep as the sun was coming up; opening my blinds to let the rising sun shine upon my plants.
Harold the cat has fallen into a routine of being hungry enough at 2 AM, when I return from busking and let him in; to polish off a whole 5.5 ounce can of food on top of a Grandma's Cookie sized pad of dry food.
Once he eats, he cleans himself on the couch, and then wants to be petted.
At about 2 PM, he will come onto the bed with me in an attempt to wake me up, so that I put a little more food out for him and then let him outside, after he eats it and before he goes to use his litter box. This shunting of  him to the outside door has kept the litter box pretty much pristine for months the past few months.
It was raining for most of the day, during which I woke up at different times, all related to when I would wake up in the past.
At 10:30 AM, when the calliope begins to play, 3 miles away on the riverbank, from off of the Natchez steamboat; I still wake up, as this was my alarm clock for over a year down there.
1:30 PM seems to be a common time to stir, also.
I think that might be when the sun is at the very top of its arc in this time zone; so my body can sense the Arcadian rhythm and that it is starting to go down.
I am very broke, out of food card money, have an empty refrigerator and cupboards...and won't even be able to feed Harold the Cat, unless something happens like myself going out and making something.
I have kind of gotten sick of pot and the time distortion effect of it; and so am almost glad to be out of it, also.
It all starts with the French Quarter, though. There I might find cat food just sitting somewhere; (from a cat skeezer for whom a bag of food was purchased in lieu of money and who left the food sitting there because the cat already has plenty of food and the skeezer had only wanted money to begin with)  money on the ground, tobacco half smoked everywhere, etc.
I'm learning how to push away the voice of negativity: "What if you don't make a cent, what will you eat? What will you do?"
Well, I could always go back to the bag of Popeye's Chicken that they throw out at closing time , containing everything that was on the grill ready to be sold during the last half hour of operation; they cook it up about an hour before closing and then keep it on the heat rack; ready to pull the required items from it; wing here, breast there.
This allows them to be able to wipe down and clean the whole restaurant, so that when 10 PM comes they can just snap the lights off, lock the door behind them and go home.
I always experienced this in every Dominos Pizza place that I used to work at, during the 14 or so years that I was a pizza deliveryman/musician.
I don't know why it is so crucial for these people to reduce the amount of time taken after closing to clean the place up and get out of there; leaving at 10:18 PM, instead of 10:40 PM; I mean, they are still on the clock and getting paid. It almost makes it seem like the sweeping and mopping and wiping down of counter tops is the hardest work that they do all night.
At one Dominos Pizza that I worked at, back in 1996, the manager, at about 2 hours before closing time would put all the ingredients away in the cooler and then wipe down all the stainless steel, wash all the utensils, sweep and mop the floor and be ready to leave at exactly closing time.
If someone ordered a pizza; he would go into the cooler and basically make the pizza in there, come out and send it through the oven in a pristine store, then wash the peal and the pie cutter after scooping it out of the oven, then cutting it. A pain in the ass way to make one pizza, but less of a pain in the ass than spending 45 minutes after closing to clean the store.

And there is always the trash cans outside of The Country Flame, which is kind of a Cuban place that serves burritos and other things in huge portions and at reasonable prices. It is one of the places that the hospitality workers from within a few blocks go on their lunch breaks; a "local secret."
They also spray their trash cans clean at the start of each day, and when they throw out their baked potatoes at the end of the night, they are tightly wrapped in tin foil -the potatoes, not the employees- tin foil that has other uses; and the burritos that get tossed "...I forgot to tell you no tomatoes, I'm so sorry.... they are just as tightly wrapped and still warm, usually.
The potatoes are known about by most of the street skeezers and are ignored by them. A man would have to be actually hungry (and not just drunk and bored) to eat a plain baked potato, right?
There are so many ways to doctor them up, though, that may be beyond the comprehension of the garden variety skeezers.

I have the ability to fast for up to 21 days at a time; which is the most empowering thought of all.
I just found a one pound bag of oatmeal in my cabinet when I went back there to grab a cup of coffee, and so there will be a large mug or two of oat milk waiting for me, if nothing else tonight.
There is some kind of food bank that a lot of the residents here avail themselves to; apparently needing only a copy of their lease in order to get a box of stuff, most of which needs to be "cooked," and as such is passed over by the homeless and stove-less and those not imaginative enough to build a flame out in the country.


alex carter said...

You could definitely eat for free there, apparently. I guess I could eat for free here too. My own busking paid enough to keep me in food, booze, and bus fare, and that's doing better than 50% of the population here in San Jose lol.

It's a funny economy here. Right near the college (San Jose State) there are barbershops that charge $40 or more for a cut; I walked by one today. A bunch of young fat guys with beards were hanging out in front. I asked how much they charged for a cut, and they said "$45 but it's full-service" by which they meant a shave too. I looked shocked and they asked if I just wanted a buzz, and I said I'd just gotten one (I did a couple of days ago) over on San Carlos street "where everyone has a bike, or a pit bull, or both" (and those are the higher-class citizens of that area) for $9 and the place "up by the pool hall" charges $7. "Yeah, but this place does shaves", they argued in its favor, and I said I've not used up the razors I have yet, to which they asked what kind, and I said, "The best kind, the kind where it's night time and a black guy with a trench coat comes up and wants to sell you stuff, and he had some packs of razors, and I'm like, 'damn, I keep forgetting to buy razors' and I trade the guy a bottle of vodka for them" - this is all God's honest truth.

We have techies, a very few, and students who think they're going to become techies, and they make huge money (and anything over $30k is huge money here) and then there are the rest, who are living 13 to a house and each making $12k a year if they're lucky. So some are getting $40 haircuts and some are getting $9 haircuts.

Daniel McKenna said...

Nowhere is the chasm wider than here in New Orleans where people walking past me have paid as much as I will make the whole night just to park their car -I'm sorry- to have their car parked for them, I mean...
This is why the skeezers skeeze; because the 45 dollar haircut person really can get them drunk all night with the scraps that fall off his table. "Wow, 10 bucks! Oh, thank you, oh bless you, oh bless your children! Could I get another 10? 'preciate it!!"
When I was in college I had my head up my ass so far, financially, that I would order a certain eggplant sub delivered, and would tip the guy 6 bucks because my apartment was at the outer edge of their delivery area. So, I was the 45 dollar haircut guy. But it was full service (i.e. Once the deliverymen knew there was a 6 dollar tip in it; they started to drop my sub off first, and hot, and then hit the houses closer to the business that never tipped, on the way back).

alex carter said...

Yeah I know the feeling, when I was an electronics repair tech, I was able to rent a small apartment in Costa Mesa, California, pay for a motorcycle, never cooked at home, made the payments on my student loans, and I thought I was poor!