Friday, December 9, 2016

May Your Noise Be White

I slept with music looping continuously in the background.

I have always suspected that the highest "quality" of sleep is to be obtained surrounded by the closest thing to absolute silence possible, and not by the sound of a radio, or especially a TV.

That is, of course, limited by the sounds of your own heart, breathing, and blood flowing in the area of the ear drum, etc.

Closely behind this would be having any noise be "white" noise, such as was the case when I used to sleep on the grounds of a machine shop, and the steady howl of the machinery became something that I could block out, because any noise other than it would stand out, such as the sound of a machine shop employee approaching, who might tell me that I can't sleep there.

But, I had gone to sleep relatively early (2 AM) with "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by J.S. Bach on repeat. It repeated, and I slept, monitoring my state of rest each time I did wake up during the early morning, for signs that I might not be getting a good rest because of the Bach playing in the background.

Harold the cat slept like a baby, with nary a twitch of his ears, as his recommendation of Johann's music.
Thumbs down (on the music to sleep to thing...)
After a pretty restful 6 hours or so, I pushed the track button on my CD player, and  David Bowie began to sing "Life On Mars" over and over.

During the next couple hours of sleep, after it had become light outside, I had a dream that I was working in like a supermarket and had found some money (a hundred and a fifty) while I was cleaning way under the registers, which looked like they hadn't been cleaned in ages, with thick dust stuck to God knows what on the floor, electrical wiring, and a crisp fresh hundred and fi'tty bucks!

In the dream, I pocketed it and then felt guilty. I felt like I had tainted myself and made a choice that was going to render inconsequential every act of honesty and truth throughout my entire life up until then. I thought that I was no better than all the skeezers that, in the dream, also worked at that supermarket.

Then, I was transported by dream rail to a spot where I was busking.

I was doing "Life On Mars," by David Bowie, and had nailed the first verse and discovered that the notes were comfortably in my range, and then, suddenly I was standing in front of a huge black pickup truck as I busked, and just then, as I was gathering up my energy to try to nail the next verse in the song, a young lady, wearing leather boots, having a scarf around her neck and a long tweed coat threw 2 large bills, which were caught by the wind before they landed in what might have been my tiposaurus jar and instead, they blew into these square stainless steel accessories on the back of the truck. They could have been the female ends of a trailer hitch.

They were side by side, about 3 feet apart, a foot off the ground and just basically attached to the back of the truck, chrome and polished. One bill fluttered into each of them, coming to rest in my view at the back of the "tubes." I reached in and took them. It was a lot of dream money. Then, it gets hazy, as I might have tried to thank the young lady...

I woke up, and shut the CD player with David Bowie singing "Life on Mars" over and over, off, and then decided to get up and drink some coffee and start my day, should the coffee be worth its salt.

It was a big day. I was going to mail the portrait off to Jennifer in Aurora, Illinois.

Sure, I was.

...To Wrap Around Your Dreams...

But, first the dream interpretation.

The large bills were the ones that the couple from Ohio had tipped me on Wednesday night. The guy had spread them out in his hand to show me that they were a 10 and a 5. These became the 100 and the 50 in my dream. I guess when I dream big I magnify them times 10.

The guilt over having pocketed it and becoming just like the skeezers that I worked with, was the guilt that I felt after a skeezer tried to skeeze me at the Lilly Pad after the couple had tipped me 25 bucks, which I had pocketed.

As I pedaled home that night, I told myself something like: "You know, when you get a 25 dollar tip, it probably wouldn't kill you to give a skeezer a dollar and say "Merry Christmas," or something. And that was the guilt.

The fact that I had had to lift the heavy cash register console and slide it over (which represented the trash can that I often have to lift and slide over at the Lilly Pad when its right in front of where I sit) represented my feeling that I was working hard and had nothing to feel guilty over
The lady throwing the tip was a combination of the wife of the guy who tipped me 25 bucks and my friend Becca from Mobile, Alabama who is coming here to run in the "Rock and Roll Marathon," and who, like the wife of the guy, likes "The Carcass Song," one of my originals.

The truck was Dave Matthews' (The Dave Matthews Band) truck.

He came into the gas station where I worked overnight in Charlottesville, Virginia, one night.

I didn't recognize him, and, only later found out that it was he, after I had seen a poster at the record store.

He had gotten out of his truck and walked around it, buffing and shining it.

We had had a pretty good conversation. He was probably glad that I was talking about normal things, and not gushing: "Oh, my god, I have all your CD's!"

And that is why the truck in the dream was so shiny, and represented the element whereby I had gotten a good tip from some people whom I had conversed with at length in addition to playing music for them; it kind of ties in to Dave, who had told me during our conversation: "One thing's for sure, you won't starve to death here (Charlottesville)." The truck represented me putting effort into polishing up my craft, as well as the (cash) value of conversation.

I counted it as a plus that I had risen after just the required amount of sleep, rather than lazing about, getting superfluous rest. I set about working on the problem of mailing the portrait.

Murphy's Jacket Law

I rode my bike down to the dollar store, thinking that I would buy some packing tape for a dollar and then would search their dumpster for a couple pieces of stiff cardboard. I already had the bubble wrap.

Then, I remembered that I had some packing tape at the apartment that just needed un-mangling.

I have really taken an interest in getting this portrait sent in time for Christmas, and there is no need to wait another day.

I soon had the thing secured and ready to mail. The project was so close to completion, with only that step remaining to be done.

I had about 15 bucks. This, after having had a 25 dollar night, but then stayed in the following night, purchasing only cigarettes and cat food in the process.

Carrying the package, I stepped outside.

It was then that I determined that I could use even one more jacket or sweatshirt to go with the layers that I was already wearing. It was about 45 degrees, but felt like zero.

I went back into the apartment, where I made the critical error of switching the top jacket I had on with a heavier, goose down type one. It wasn't made any heavier, though, by the tiny slip of paper upon which I had written Jennifer's address. That was still in a pocket of the original jacket.

Unencumbered by its weight I practically flew to the post office with the portrait, making it there just before they were to close.

Realizing my blunder, I decided not to try to guess the zip code of Aurora, Illinois ('s 605 something; does that help you, Mr. postman?) and returned to the apartment, planning upon returning to try again tomorrow, between 10:30 AM, and 1:30 PM.

Package In, Package Out

I was informed by security that I had gotten a package, upon arriving back.

I was handed a box that felt like it was full of bricks. It was the package from Alex in California, a blog reader, to be sure. He had mentioned that it was to be about 10 pounds of "art supplies."

I opened it right there, which prompted a discussion about art in general and I would up showing the portrait of Jennifer and Jasmine to the front desk security lady, Charisse, or Chavelle, or Charelle.

She asked me if I drew stuff for money.

I wound up telling her that I would draw a picture for 20 bucks.

It wasn't until later that I realized I should have qualified that by specifying: "not a big one like this, but maybe a computer paper sized one." I will, the next time I see her. Then I will further have to tell her that I would draw a picture for her for 20 bucks, but for everyone else it would be 50.

I got back to my room and thought about a couple things.

First, I value hard and honest work and think that 10 bucks an hour is decent money for a couple hours of work on a drawing like that (small). But then, I thought that someone who just paid me 50 bucks for a drawing can feel better about hanging it on his wall and thinking that it was done by an artist whose stuff is worth 50 bucks.

If he were to tell someone "yeah, I only paid the guy 20 bucks to draw it," then the person looking at it would begin to do so with an eye for anything that might account for such a low price and suddenly the nose would start looking a little too pudgy, or something.

So, I need to tell Charelle that tomorrow, as I am on my way to the post office after having gone out and busked on this cold Friday night, or having stayed in and not spent the money that is earmarked for postage.

Art Aid From Alex In California

So, I got back to my room after having made a verbal contract to draw a picture for money, with a box full of art related materials.

There was an amount of paper which sat there and said; "You should draw more; a lot more. You should like do a ton of drawings!"

But there were very neat things like a black "sketching crayon" which could definitely fill the void created by the fact that pencil really only gets "so" dark when you apply it thickly. It doesn't really come near "absolute" black.

Neither does anything in nature (except unconsciousness) but, I try to use the technique of laying down a dark background and then basically using an eraser to draw; adding to the picture by taking away. This worked a bit on the last portrait; but I couldn't get things as dark as I wanted. They are definitely sitting out in the sun in the picture...

There were a couple of highly reflective neon green Velcro straps to tie my pant legs and keep them from jamming the chain on my bike as I ride. Cool.

And there was a bag containing fake money.
"OK, punk running off with
musician's money scene, take one!"

No note of explanation was needed on it. When I am busking, I can stuff my jar with the fake stuff, which looks real enough from a distance to encourage people to come over and add to it (this guy must be good) and fake enough up close so tourists wont think that I have already made a few hundred bucks and their 10 bucks won't be appreciated.

And funny enough that the little punk that grabs my jar and runs off can have a good chuckle when he discovers it. "Man, I thought I had my dope money but, I guess not, hee hee hee...that's funny"
I can pull the real money out and pocket it at intervals.

There was a Mel Bay harmonica method book which was up to Mel Bay standards, and I have learned something from it already...

I'm speechless with gratitude; and thinking that I can't be making nearly as much as Alex in California if he can drop almost 14 bucks on sending a package and I am pulling cardboard out of the dumpster to send mine. LOL
It's been a good day, and it is now 8 PM on a very cold Friday night. I need to at least go to the Lilly Pad and blow on my fingers a few times and see what happens....


alex carter said...

Yeah, I just threw a bunch of stuff in there, that I think you can use more than I can right now so why not.

LOL on the garlic clove, I had two like that minced fine in my scrambled eggs this morning.

alex carter said...

Oh, on being able to afford to send the stuff (never mind what I paid for it, Conte' crayons are very overpriced) I make $250 a week, it works out to about $35 a day, and just like you I have a free place to live - although yours is nicer what with your fancy running water and flush toilet and all that. So think about it: If you made up your mind to make $35 a day busking, instead of the maybe $10 a day you're making now, you could spend a lot less time digging in dumpsters.

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, I guess even when I worked the labor pool and brought "home" $49.63 every day, I still took Sat and Sun off; so there is the 35 buck per day average....

alex carter said...

Yep labor pool pays about $50 a day, which is huge money where I am. On $50 a day, I could actually rent a real room from a real person etc.

I dunno when I started in on this electronics surplus thing, the idea was that I'd gradually work up to making maybe $30k a year, which is really high pay in "silicon valley" but that's just not materialized.

It was fun to do for a while, and it's still kinda fun; I certainly get along well enough with Ken, the guy I work for here. But there's honestly no future in it.

I need to get something going that's at least a sort of "lifeboat", that will support me if something happens to this situation here.