Saturday, March 18, 2017

Up Against It

So, it is Friday.

I counted 39 bucks last night, as I sat on the couch after having returned at the hour of about 3:45 AM, having played until the clock struck 3:09, and then having hung out, outside the Quartermaster, as I sipped coffee just hot enough to melt small chunks of Reese's Dark peanut butter cups.

I practice doing "quick rough sketches from memory"
The oil used in those cups is not soy, and there is no milk in "dark" chocolate, so I have given approval to myself to consume one (1) unit, per night with a cup of coffee. This is the only "sucrose" that I consume the whole day long, and it gives me a rush that I have described using the parlance of hardcore drug addicts, in previous posts.

I spent 77 cents on Harold, $1.14 for the Reese's cup, before making a beeline for the apartment, so I made 41 bucks; on a night when it could have been 61, had not a well dressed, well spoken man, who was also well lit, and who listened and conversed for almost an hour during which the music that I was playing for his benefit attracted only a couple other tip dollars, and who fumbled in his pockets thereafter (his loose cargo pants style pockets that must have looked like cornucopias to the couple of skeezers who had momentarily parked themselves next to him, a couple times) and then started to say what I paraphrase as "Aw, shucks, where is that 20 dollar bill that I wanted to leave you?"

He apologized for being so drunk that he had forgotten having spent his money in the bars.

"At least you got something for it, and didn't lose it; or have your pocket picked by one of those skeezers that sat next to you...that's what I call them..." I said, which led to a discussion on the topic of skeezers, during which I became convinced that the guy had sincerely thought that he had his money.

He may have realized after checking the pocket where he always keeps his money (and who doesn't have a pocket where they always keep their money?) which happened to have been on the side of his body closest to the skeezers, that he had indeed been had by one of the shoe shine guys, who had tried his shoe shine hustle on the guy, technically right on top of myself, who had already played music for the guy, and was in the middle of doing more of.

This was an older, smallish black guy, who gave the guy the Shoe Shine Lite version of the hustle, omitting the hand shaking and the welcoming to the City of New Orleans from none other than the official random drunken local slob, who was "born and raised" there.

And he didn't sell the shoe shine hustle very well, and I thought I heard a little protest from the guy after the tourist had handed him something, before returning the rest of the wad (including my never to come tip) into the loose side pocket of something which wound up facing the spot the hustler decided to sit and rest a bit at; after confirming that the tourist wouldn't "mind" if he did.
He didn't mind his money, either, perhaps. And I think he was embarrassed to admit that he had been gotten by a second tier, B-grade shoe shine hustler. H' e had handed me his business card at one point, and it bespoke of more savvy than that. But, he had been drunk; and he might be back tonight.

It is 9:53 PM, right now...

I talked for about 20 minutes to this young couple I met outside the Quartermaster as I sipped coffee.

I first noticed a thin girl who was skinny enough that it made her look tall by perspective, and I noticed how she had beamed a smile and spoken to a guy, whom I would have thought was a skeezer, except he didn't try to skeeze the pretty, black haired girl with almost Sinead O' Connor length hair which was jet black.

She and her husband, a young guy with long hair who soon emerged from the store, were traveling by van from California to Toronto and were "taking their time," as evidenced by their having just chosen to drive into New Orleans after seeing it on a sign.

They landed right at the Quartermaster, and I can now understand the wide eyed wonderment and fascination and lack of a reflex to be on guard against skeezers, that the girl, who had a British accent exuded.

She had immediately asked me about my guitar.

I was their first encounter with "New Orleans," I thought later.

We talked for a while on a variety of topics and they promised to stop by tonight to check me out, after I promised that I would be there from 1 minute ago right now, until "after 2."
Off I go...

1 comment:

alex carter said...

The skeezers who hang around are the worst. The worst time for me was when I was busking in front of "Easy Foods", a convenience store, in Mountain View and some big huge guy started hustling my listeners for change right in front of me. I was like, WTF? But it turned out once he had enough for a pint of beer he left so it wasn't so bad.