Thursday, August 4, 2016

Look-ee Here!

  • 24 Dollar Wednesday
  • Food Drop Imminent
  • The Oft Discussed Trip North

ess than 4 hours from right now, my food stamp money become available digitally.

This has been one of the smoothest months yet, as far as having used the food card money as the supplement, and not the sole subsistence, that it is earmarked to be.

It (the 194 bucks a month) could keep an individual in Ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches the entire month, with Cool Aid to wash it down but, as such, it would be a Trojan Horse, in the sense that it appears to be a gift of nutrition, left by the government as a trophy of victory over hunger, but inside it lurks a special force of "Greek soldiers," Hydrogenatis Oilus, Saltippus, Starchedes the Empty and Sugarolemus who, after you wheel it into your city, will emerge at night and open the gates to let in an army of diseases.

Fasting And Pedaling Keys
Having fasted on water the first week or so of the month had helped to stretch the funds over what was an historically low income month of busking that saw its share of 4 dollar nights.

Buying the bike (for 15 dollars) that has saved me 3 times that in trolley fares already, was another wise move.

It seems like I am stabilizing a bit after having been a year and a half in my apartment. There are drawers and closets that I have been opening and looking into for the first time since I moved in.

Trip Feels Like "Now Or Never"

After I get the food money on my card, and having made arrangements for the feeding of Harold for a few weeks, it appears that this might be the best chance to take a trip that will present itself in a while.

This will be that last "warm" month in Massachusetts, when the temperatures in the 80's during the day will start to drop to a downright chilly upper 50's at night.

It is almost guaranteed that I will make more money busking my way along the journey than I will playing through an August in New Orleans.

24 Dollars In An Hour And A Half

Last night I made 24 bucks, due essentially to an encounter with The Guy Who Gives You 20 Dollars To Let Him Play A Song On Your Guitar.

He had listened to one of my originals, which he seemed to like, before extending the 20 dollar bill towards me with the request of "Can I play a song?"

If not for him, it would have been yet another 4 dollar night, on August 3rd, 2016.

Skirting The Peninsula

I plan to formulate my plans for the trip; i.e. what to stuff in my backpack and how to travel (freight train out of Oliver Yard with Woody Guthrie smiling down on me? Gotta do it!).

One pain in the ass is the warrants in Saint Augustine, Florida that had accrued to me behind that city's unstated initiative to rid itself of the 1 out of 12 of its inhabitants that is homeless. Fault the mild winters; fault the numbers of groups who exist there to provide free meals; fault the numbers of tourists who go there because it is America's oldest city; fault the entitlement mentality that permeates this generation; but there were 1,300 homeless people counted in that city of 18,000 -counted, in large part, by offering free cellphones to "the homeless," and then identifying them that way.

If I get "caught" in Florida, the city that tries so hard to rid itself of the homeless will extradite me right back to there so they can lock me up in order to avail themselves to the government funding that they receive based upon the number of incarcerated that they are actively "correcting."

They will hope that I sit there for a good 6 months to atone for having urinated in public and drank beer behind buildings (but not out of sight of the officers who tip toed around the sides of) and they will hope that, by the end of those 6 months, I will be chanting the mantra of: "As soon as I get out of here; I'm getting the hell out of this city and I'm never coming back. 6 months for open container, that's ridiculous!!"

That means that it wouldn't be wise to busk in Florida, which is a shame because I know quite a few places where I had always done pretty well. Florida police are all about the ID as being the source of their omniscience, and will even ask for it when they know that the person has a legal right to his privacy; one that he might just not know he has.

It would behoove me to never mention the "h" word (homeless) to any officers who would surely write that on the arrest report before bringing me in front of a judge who might feel, in his judgement, that "It's gotta be better sleeping on a jail cot and getting a shower and 3 meals a day than being outdoors!"

The Florida criminal justice system is a model of the money making industry that its ilk has been accused of being.

Privately owned jails, the prime goal of which being to stay filled to capacity to reap maximum profit, etc. are just the tip of the iceberg floating in the sub tropical waters of Florida.

And it is the guy with the long hair, the pedestrian wardrobe, the guitar and backpack that is going to actuate the one cop to nudge his partner and say; "Look-ee here!"

So, it is Thursday night, which has usually been the first night of the week to show any economic signs of life. Monday through Wednesday has been feast or famine, subject to chance encounters with big tippers; or not.

I guess I will play from about 10 PM until midnight, when my food card loads up, and then I will be sure to get to the Walgreens that has raisins on sale, 2 boxes for $4, and olive oil, 17 ounce bottles 2 for $7 and instant coffee: $3.99, regularly $5.99.

A Job For The Likes Of Me

My next door neighbor, Wayne, who is a black guy of about my age; sits in his apartment on his computer and works as a "technical support," guy for Apple Computers, making $19 per hour and using the brand new Mac computer and i-phone that the company mailed to him.

He can get me a similar job, he said.

I gave him my e-mail address so he can enter it under the "refer a friend" section in the company website, and we will have to wait and see. That would be a nice thing to return from a visit to New England to -a job.

...and over, and over, and over...
I have determined that the joy that I get from busking comes from feeling a creative energy flowing through me, and though I see other buskers making a steady $150 to $200 per day, they are doing it by playing songs like "Turn The Page," by Bob Seger and "Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....

I might could* do that for one day, just to get the 150 dollars, but then the next night I would be right back to playing "Cavorting With Amy," with an extended harmonica solo, while watching group after group walk past before one guy emerges with a 10 dollar tip, saying: "I love original music, man. These people *sweeping all encompassing arm gesture* just don't have a clue. They want to hear friggin' "Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton. Give me a break. Keep doing your originals, dude!!"

*that's the way they talk down here, baby.

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