Friday, December 2, 2016

Running On Empty

  • Money Runs Out
  • Travis Calls
  • 6 Dollar Thursday
  • Harmonica Hasn't Arrived
  • Pencil Sketch In Works

I went out last (Thursday) night, after having psyched myself up to do so, with the fact that I was totally out of cat food being the clincher.

I have enough lentils and pasta and other beans, plus a dozen eggs, to make it through the next 54 hours until my food card becomes loaded.

It is a sign of progress that I am not forced to eat anything on my forbidden list over the next couple days, out of hunger. If I eat the eggs, it will be out of lust of the palate, as I really love sunny side up eggs, especially with some kind of toast to sop up the yolk. I will have to weigh the pleasure of eating them against the itchy scalp and dandruff that would follow, over the ensuing couple of days.

I'm amazed at how some people will use dandruff shampoo daily to control a problem that is rooted in their diets. I once worked with a guy who was on a steady regime of "sinus" medication. He would hock up phlegm at intervals and spit it into the trash can at work, in between making pizzas, despite the sinus "tabs" that he was constantly running to the pharmacy to replenish. He would regularly make the hocking sound, whether spitting afterwards or not.

Of course the medication produced side effects, and he probably became inordinately blitzed off the 6 pack of beer that he carried home with him after work, and was probably a pretty drowsy guy in general; perhaps woke up in the middle of the night parched...

And I would guess that one of his favorite foods (that he could never do without) was the cause of all his sinus problems -maybe the wheat gluten in the crust of the pizzas that he would take home every night to go with the 6 pack.

I woke up, for the final time Thursday at about 4 PM.

My body was dragging from having eaten a whole box of wheat bran flakes the night before, in water instead of milk. It had tasted like Raisin Bran without the raisins, and I had sweetened it further with some coffee sweetener type stuff. "Corn syrup" was listed in the ingredients, but way down the list, right before salt. Still, it was the first corn I have ingested since having come off my last water fast, and I woke up pretty stiff, and didn't exactly jump out of bed.

Travis, the guy who had crashed at my place for 10 days called.

He wanted to meet me somewhere to get something to eat before I was to go out and busk. "Then I can go with you to your spot and listen to you play for a while," he said.

All I could think about was us getting something to eat somewhere, which he did offer to pay for, and then myself watching the clock tick and my opportunity to busk slip away, as I sat there listening to him talk pretty much non-stop.

I have a feeling that he has difficulty making friends.

He comes across as a pretty "cool" guy. He dresses the part, as defined by his generation. He has a couple prerequisite to coolness tattoos; and is fluent in the millennial lingo, with "no worries," being a common refrain with him.

But I imagine that he is the type of guy that you could ask: "Dude, do you ever shut up?," which would only prompt him to deliver of himself a 20 minute non-stop dissertation on the subject of shutting up, which would essentially answer your question.

I envisioned sitting somwhere, after we ate, and listening and nodding, glancing at the clock occasionally, and inserting a "yeah" into the "conversation" every once in a while until, at some point, I would have to leave him to go out and play, so that the free meal that he had bought me wouldn't wind up costing me the whole night's earnings.

This would entail waiting for a second of silence into which I would have to inject something like: "Well, I'd better get out there, my spot's probably getting busy by now," which would be received by him like an insult and/or a slap in the face, no matter how I managed to say it. He would invariably be right at the most riveting point of whatever he was trying to say, no matter when I managed to get that in.

Then we would walk to the Lilly Pad while he talked all along the way.

Then I would set up my stuff and sit there with the guitar in my lap while he talked.

I would say something like: "Well, let me see if I can get warmed up and make some money off these tourists, to which he might respond with something like: "Go ahead and do your thing, man. Don't let me distract you." But, I imagine he would be a distraction if simply for the fact that his trying to sit there quietly would tax him to the point where his strain would be palpable, and his silence would feel "stony," or like a "wall" of it.

The biggest issue that I take with him is that, it comes across that he really doesn't care what I think or feel or about other aspects of me.

"That was a cool song, I've always liked the Beatles, and that lady threw a couple bucks in your thing, that was cool...but what I forgot to mention about the early comic book artists; and don't start playing yet, this is important, was...." type of thing.

I feel guilty, as if I am a bigger man than most and should show some compassion to a guy who is obviously alone in a strange new town, and who just needs someone who will listen; that's all, just listen. That can mean a lot to someone.

I made 6 bucks in about an hour last night. I bought cat food and a lighter, and played my Pick 3 number for 50 cents.

Now I go out broke again to play on a Friday night. The harmonica that I ordered did not come. I'll be playing the crappy one. How can someone with my life feel as depressed as I do sometimes.


alex carter said...

Techies are notorious for not being able to make friends; there's almost always a post on Reddit about this. San Jose is called "Man Jose" because there are slightly more guys than gals in the 20-something "tech-bro" age group, so the tech-bros blame it on all the *other* tech-bros being competition, but in reality they're just not good at relating to anything but a computer.

Daniel McKenna said...

Yeah, after the guy takes a hit of weed, it's off to the races; taking the first thought that pops into his head and running with it...
Funny, when we went to see David the Water Jug Player and we smoked a bowl, Travis took something David said, something trivial which didn't really warrant further discussion, and started to rant; something about David's new cane and him (David) wondering what it is made out of (because it's pretty heavy) and then Travis embarking upon a history of the cane as a defensive weapon "Everybody's heard about the Samari (sp?) fighters, but I found this book in this bookstore in New York, and this book store...first I have to tell you about this bookstore, it's in the basement of a house to begin with and, how I chanced upon the the store is a strange enough story; I had this friend named Kip, who never read at all, and at the same time, I was reading like 3 books a day; which is strange because you would think that someone that read so much wouldn't really connect with someone who basically hasn't read a book in 5 years, know what I mean? (are you still listening?) but anyways, I'll get back to canes as a weapon in a minute, but this bookstore; you have to understand; I lived in the Bronx and this store was all the way in the Village; but I used to ride my skateboard, I would take my skateboard almost every where in New York; I had a hand made skateboard that this guy in California made; and you've probably never heard of him, but if you read skateboard magazines and stuff, you'll see the guy's ads and he makes some boards that are a couple thousand bucks, mine was like fiberglass but it was a specially treated fiberglass, ever heard of...." etc. etc. etc. etc.
I remember thinking to myself: How is David going to deal with this?
I could almost see an intelligence pass over his (David's)face, as if he was thinking "Oh, another non stop talker type..." and he excused himself quickly to run over to the trash can or to catch a guy before he walked off or something, anything. And that broke Travis' spell before he could even name the person who purportedly once lived in the house that is now a bookstore (he may have been related to Alistair (sp?) Crowley)
I guess that's the answer, don't allow yourself to be imprisoned by him out of politeness; i.e. not wanting to interrupt him; just get the hell away from him as soon as he starts talking...
So, there is something to be learned from everyone, even David the Water Jug Player....LOL

alex carter said...

Geez. Yep it's always good to know how to get away from the non-stop lecturer.

See, his life as a little geeklet was perfect to prepare him to lecture in front of chalkboards all day, not so perfect for relating to regular people.