Saturday, September 3, 2016

I Stay Up

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  • 5 Dollar Wednesday
  • 3 Dollar Thursday
  • 21 Dollar Friday

Thursday night, I made just 3 bucks, on the first official night of the Southern Decadence Festival, watched a couple movies and then slept until the middle of Friday afternoon.

And then, letting Harold the cat outside while drinking my "morning" coffee (because there is no litter in his box and I know his "business" schedule by now) I ran into Rose and Ed, the latter asking me for the 40 dollars for the TV which they had sold me.
I was actually kind of in the mood to go back out there and play, last (Friday) night.

It is just after 8 AM now, Saturday morning, and I have most of the 21 dollars that I made playing for the same multitudes of gay and lesbian and transgender revelers last night; having found it within myself to continue going and enjoying myself, despite long stretches where no money went into the tip jar.

Finding a way to make it a positive experience was indeed challenging. At first I pretended that I was acting in a movie and my instructions were to be playing my ass off, as if on stage in front of a stadium full of people, even though all the queers were walking by ignoring me.

Thursday night, I had become angry while busking for the first time since I had quit drinking, more than 6 months ago. I felt like I had nothing to lose in switching my lyrics to things like "How long would you play if you were being ignored?" directed at each person walking past. I had the urge to go in The Unique Grocery and buy an alcoholic drink. That is when I was seriously wondering if Southern Decadence had allowed an evil spirit into the city -and wondering if I actually believed in evil spirits.

Last night, perhaps because I had slept a full 8 hours, and had set my subconscious mind to solving the riddle, I was able to find a silver lining in the cloud, after a realization dawned upon me:
If the people walking past me are "totally" ignoring me, well, then doesn't that give me license to do whatever I wanted? And, if I offended anyone, couldn't my defense be: "I really didn't think anyone was listening; everyone is walking past ignoring me and not even turning their heads my way..."


I picked up a milk crate at The Quartermaster and paused briefly at the spot across the street diagonally from it. I remembered last year, having made a quick 25 or 30 bucks there, from people who had left the crowded scene around Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern, to go to the Quartermaster, and buy stuff.
This last detail is important, as it demarcated them as having money.

I still harbor the notion that a lot of the Southern Decadence celebrants while, in the lament of a tarot card reader whom I see walk past almost nightly, are only interested in getting drunk and having sex with other men, are pretty much broke. Their theme song for the weekend, being "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" they are the younger ones who might have used all of their gas, both literally and figuratively, just to make the event. They perhaps arrive hoping to trade in their looks; in hopes of finding lodging in the hotel rooms of old gray out of shape gays, and having food and drinks bought for them by the same. You know; homoskeezuals.

While Lafitt's Blacksmith Shop Tavern is normally patronized by those who haven't been filtered out somewhere along Bourbon Street after having run out of funds, during the festival, the dynamic is different, as all are welcome and "you don't need a pinhead just to hang around." Enter the homoskeezuals.

This is contrary to yesterday's theory that every one of them is wealthy; through their connection with The Gay Community and the cronyism inherent in it.

I tend to believe the first theory because I think that young intoxicated people with a lot of money on them would be throwing it around, even towards a musician, just out of lack of inhibition.

So, I decided to play the Lilly Pad again, rather than the spot where I had made 25 or 30 bucks rather quickly last year, all from guys my age. I'm not a glutton for punishment, but had a morbid curiosity about just how unaware of my existence a large group of supposed "individuals" can be.

As soon as I had sat down, up walked the Jesus people with their huge signs: "Homosexuality is a sin!" "The wages of sin is death," etc. and stopped directly in front of me, as their leader began squawking through a megaphone.

He seemed to have upped his game some from last year.

"You know the gospel, but you choose to ignore the gospel!"

"Why do you think you're dying of A.I.D.S!?!"

"Why do you have pain in your rectum!?!" (yeah, he really said that)

Of course, bare chested gays alternately got in his face and yelled; with "Judge not that ye be not judged," being popular, and "You're the biggest pain in the ass out here," going over well.

"God say's I have to love you, but I don't have to like you," shot back from the megaphone.

I picked on a few notes and warmed up while this was going on.

Then, the megaphone guy may have pushed it a bit by making reference to the Pulse Club in Orlando and the recent mass murder there. "What are you going to do when the gunman shows up here?!"
I have to admit, I had been fantasizing about the same thing the night before, after I had become angered.

Then, I guess in the spirit of pushing limits, a small gaggle of gays began to chant: "Jesus loves penis!"

Soon a couple cops were on the scene, a black guy and a black lady.

"You beat your wife!" yelled at the megaphone guy brought a smile to their faces.

The megaphone went silent at that point, and the group left with their signs and huge balsa wood cross.

I then was able to experiment with singing whatever popped into my head, and composed kind of random poetry and got a few tips while doing so. I learned how to simmer way down, in order to play for a full 4 hours; this allowed me to be at least playing something, while using a lot less energy.
21 bucks in 4 hours.

Now I have to deal with Rose and Ed wanting the full 40 bucks for the TV yesterday.

We hadn't discussed a payment schedule. I knew that they got money on the first of the month and assumed they wouldn't need it right away.

If I were to give them the first 40 bucks that I make, I would then have to go out and play every night next week, just to keep myself in strings, batteries, cat food, scotch tape, dish washing soap, a light bulb, a thesaurus...and I would kind of like to get a VHS movie or two at the Goodwill, since they are probably in the $1 bin.

There is a box containing 5 jigsaw puzzles, 500 pieces each, at Walgreen's for $8.49.

Whatever I make tonight will have a bearing upon how I will approach the Rose and Ed situation with the TV.

If they truly had some bad luck, then I would put myself out a bit, (maybe wait upon buying the jigsaw puzzles).

Another option would be to avoid them.

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