Thursday, December 8, 2016

Night Moves

335 Days Without A Drink

11 months and a couple days sober, and I am looking forward to getting up tomorrow and mailing off the picture that I drew to Jennifer.

I just got back from the dollar store, where I bought, for one dollar, an amount of bubble wrap. It is a slick enough plastic that I can't see it smearing the drawing, especially if I pack it so that there is no wiggle room for the drawing to rub against it every time the Fed Ex truck hits a pothole.

This marks some kind of milestone in my sobriety.

The ability to become inspired to do something: "I should make a drawing off of one of Jennifers's Facebook pictures and send it to her as a Christmas gift," then to actually follow through on it by being awake and sober enough to complete it.

Then, to be able to go out on a night like last (Wednesday) night, needing to make money to cover postage, plus bubble wrap, and to do so.

"These are baby steps, but they are very important in your recovery," a counselor that I was paying 80 bucks per session would tell me before giving me a congratulatory hug; if I had one.

25 Dollar Wednesday

Travis, the guy who had crashed at my place for 10 days, called, just as I was preparing to go out and busk. He said that he had "cabin fever" because he had been in his apartment, working, for a few contiguous days, and that he had to get out.
More accurately, he had to get out and have some sort of human interaction, I read between the lines. The fact that he had been "working" also implied that he would have money, and most likely would want to get some weed.

I was on guard against having my time usurped in any way. I didn't want to meet him anywhere except at my busking spot. So I gave him the exact address (933 Bourbon Street) where I told him I would be sitting and busking and "hopefully I'll be plucking my first note there in 45 minutes."
I got to the spot at 9:40 PM, and began to play. 

It was very dead, as there was the slight threat of rain, and it was chilly in the esteem of a lot of people, at 53 degrees or so. It would be Canadian or Scandinavian tourists whom I would hope to see the arrival of; wearing light sweaters and talking about how beautiful a night it was

 I had made only a couple bucks when Travis arrived and sat on Lilly's stoop. I hadn't turned my head to see who it was when he first sat down, but rather kept playing, trying to push away thoughts that it was a skeezer who was waiting for me to stop playing so he could try to beg for one or both of the dollars that I had made.

Travis hung out for a while as I played mostly for his benefit. At about 11:30, when some tourist traffic began, he was open to the suggestion that he leave for about 45 minutes and take a stroll, while I tried to attract someone to sit where he was sitting and listen to me.

It worked out well. After Travis walked off, a couple who were from Ohio sat and listened and then tipped me 10 bucks.

Then, after requesting a couple of songs that I told them I didn't play, but were on my short list of stuff to learn, the guy conjured up the chords and lyrics to them on his phone. Then, with him scrolling through with his thumb, I sightread and performed "Turn The Page," by Bob Seger, followed by "Down On Main Street," also by him, and then "Wild Horses," by the Rolling Stones.
"You did really good for reading it off a phone," said the guy, before handing me another 15 bucks.
Travis returned while they were still there, and stood nearby.

Having reeled in the big tuna, I decided not to troll any more for minnows. With that 25 bucks, plus 2 other singles, I called it a night; thankful to have made 27 bucks off of just 3 tips. And happy to have pretty much cemented those 3 songs into my repertoire (I was intrigued by seeing what the actually words were to the Stone's song that I have heard a million times; it has quite a few verses to it...).

Then, Travis did indeed want to find some weed.

We walked to the spot where he had bought some through David the water jug player, to find that person standing in the very same spot.

Your Move, David

I was amused by how David had gotten the weed. 

After Travis handed him the money -"He's not going anywhere" being my answer to the tacit question posed by his flicking his eyes to mine after David said "Let me have the money"- David went and sat down at one of the "street chess' player's tables to "play chess" with him.

They were hunched over the board, studying it, while a large black cop with Sergent stripes on his sleeves stood 10 feet away; their hands out of sight under the table.

In short order, the chess guy moved a piece and said "checkmate!" loudly. David exclaimed "Oh, you got me. You got me fair and square! Here you go!" and then handed him the money, before returning to us with the weed. I thought that was very clever, and Davids stock went up in my esteem. The officer was never the wiser.


alex carter said...

This post reminded me that there are sort of nicknames for various bills, like a $20 a tuna, and I used to know the one for a $5 but can't think of it now. The reason I ought to look these up is, I have a funny "performance art" thing I'd like to try in Santa Cruz, where I get one of those fishing vests and hats with fishing flies all over the had, a cartoon fishing license, one of those short poles kids use, and a sort of an outline of a boat made out of cardboard to put around me, and a sort of sign showing the different bills as fish, and a cup on the end of my line, that people can put tips into, and I can make a big show of reeling them in, the bigger the amount, the more the show of course. And a large sign saying something like "FISHING FOR DONATIONS". It'd be best to get my film school buddy to get it on video which is why I haven't done it yet.

Daniel McKenna said...

A five is a fin, which suddenly brings the tuna into perspective; so, yeah. A thousand bucks has become a "stack," in modern coloquy...

The fishing thing is brilliant! I would only suggest that you lose the sign so that people can pat themselves on the back for "getting" it; nudge their buddies, "look at that!" as kind of a affirmation that they are of kindred intelligence and then, you will be able to enact the tuna show, to the delight of every tourist within sight, attracting them like chum in the could have a bucket and ladle with red-dyed water that you can, at your discretion, splash on the ground around you...

I've been here 5 years and seen 'em all; that, on Bourbon Street would net you, at the base level, just for being able to stand up into the night and do it; at least minimum wage;
By contrast to the heroin addicts who are nodding over their signs, you would be a fireball, and "the hardest working guy in show biz" and, you would be competing with a guy who has trained his dog to play dead so well that he places it on its back in a dog sized casket and has a sign asking for donations for a proper burial...he is a top earner, and a nice guy, for a poor guy whose dog just died LOL
Oh, I got the package; was going to blog about it, so as not to be redundant, thanks, though and more on the blog about it