Monday, April 10, 2017

When Their Appearance Was Miraculous

6 Dollar Saturday
16 Dollar Sunday

It is Monday, and I'm sitting at Starbucks.

I decided that the environment at Starbucks would be more conducive to blogging and other things, than the computer room at Sacred Heart Apartments.

I hadn't been here 10 minutes when, in walked one of the other Sacred Heart Apartment residents, who is now sitting right next to me just as he might be doing in the Sacred Heart Apartments computer room.

He just had all of his stuff stolen, he was telling me.

When I step out for a cigarette and he follows me outside, how will I be able to rufuse him a cigarette when he just had all his stuff stolen?

Sunday night, I arrived at the Lilly Pad at the decent hour of about 10:30 PM.

There was a guy standing up and playing a violin. He was in his early 20's, very skinny and with a huge Carlos Santana type of afro hairstyle, though he wasn't black, but rather probably whatever Carlos is.

I couldn't see the older white guy who was sitting down next to him until I approached to ask them if they had been there long.

"Yeah," said the violin guy.

The reason I asked is that, given a certain amount of time, one of the residents whose house they were in front of might have told them to move.

The kid told me something like "All I know is that this is New Orleans, and it's first come, first serve," and then acused me of trying to con them out the spot.
The older white guy was heavy-set and wearing a hat typical of a busker and had a guitar.

"I've been here for 20 years, and I've never seen you," said he.

They both began to assert that they were veterans of the scene and knew enough to hold their ground.

They doubted that I had been in the neighborhood for almost 5 years and that I knew the residents, and that it was even a residential block as I said.

"Come on, let's just play," said the older guy, and they began to.

Just then, I saw a young lady entering Lilly's gate. I thought that it was Angelique, one of her daughters.

I discovered that it was another young lady, whom I don't believe I have ever seen.

"Oh,...I thought you were Angelique," I said, which caused her to at least pause, instead of slamming the gate and locking it quickly.

"Do you know Lilly?"

"Yes," she said.

She had Lilly on the phone.

I explained the situation, adding that it was "only a Sunday," in way of telling her that not a whole lot was at stake.

The girl received some instructions from Lilly, whereupon she went across the street and, in a manner reminiscent of that personage, interacted with the 2 musicians who were gone 2 minutes later.

Soon after I started playing, the same young lady came back out of the house and walked past me, apparently not wanting any thanks, in the same way that Lilly seems to feel that I don't have to thank her for putting things in the order that she prefers anyways.

It was a 16 dollar night that the two guys perhaps were run away from.

I lent Rose and Ed 20 bucks after Friday night's 45 dollar outing, and that will come back double on the first of May. I guess I can start to think ahead to the first of May; maybe set a goal for that day; to have a CD, any CD, burned?

I think the cover and the related art is going to be the biggest hassle. I would like to have pages that fold out with all the lyrics and maybe long paragraphs about each of the songs.


The sound dampening project that I am contemplating for the apartment, has me currently thinking that I might just build a large bookshelf and then use the sound blocking capacities of the books, plus whatever cinder blocks and lumber I use to construct it, as sound dampening.

That way, I won't be bringing in materials for nothing more than their sound blocking abilities, I'll be building up a library and tackling the problem at the same time.
Where I got my first $5, while not even busking, 2007
I am thinking of laying down all the musical tracks for "The House of the Rising Sun," and then taking my portable rig somewhere that I can belt out the vocals, and then I can include that on my CD, so that I'll have the "traditional New Orleans music" category covered.

I don't want to try to record that in my apartment; people will think that I'm trying to show off. That song is an outlet for a singer to sing as loudly as she can.

David the water jug player is lurking around outside. I saw him earlier, but I don't think he saw me. I have a little tiny bit of bud, and I just want to go home and work on whatever I can, and maybe soak in the tub.

I'm not ready to have him greet me with: "Hey, Daniel, how's it going? Pleeese tell me you have some weed."

I'm not sure what the answer is.

What would a psychotherapist ask me?

"Why does it anger you when David asks you for weed as part of his greeting?"

Part of me wants to test him; to walk over to him just to see if he will do the same song and dance.

Part of me wants to tell him: "Look, for someone who apparently really loves to smoke weed, since it's the first thing you ask me about as soon as you see me, and who hangs out all night right on the block where weed is liquidated, you sure seem to never have any."

If I was truly his friend, I would enjoy seeking him out to smoke him up, just to hang out with him.

But, there is the insinuation that, because I have an apartment and get food stamps, I should naturally be a walking weed bank. What else do I have to spend money on, harmonicas and guitar strings?!?

I should keep myself a fat sack, since I can spend all my disposable income on it, and I shouldn't hesitate to bestow blessings of it upon those less fortunate (i.e. who have maneuvered themselves onto trolley stop beds at night as a consequence of decisions that they have consciously made in their lives) and in fact, I should walk up with a joint already going and say "Hey, David, how's it going?" through a puff of smoke.

A lot of the "magic" of David has worn off, now that I don't drink.
Before it was easy to buy into his philosophy that, by being homeless drunks, we were sacrificing our own creature comforts in order to remain true and authentic and be "the real deal" as artists who dig chicken out of Popeye's dumpster so we can spend $2.79 on vodka instead of chicken, and then sing about it; from the heart, and from personal experience.

Looking at this picture (left) taken 6 years ago, makes me feel 6 years older than I am now. Something to do with the aging effects of Steel Reserve 211 Malt Liquor, I think.

The little "cosmic" occurances that I may have imagined were somehow tied to David and attributable to whatever connection he has by way of whatever rastafarian religion (that allows heavy drinking) that he professes a belief in, have abated in recent months.

The occurances were mostly liquor related.
I would give David the last 63 cents in my pocket, for example, so he could get a half pint of vodka. He would thank me profusely and bless me, give me a sip and thank me again and bless me again; as I went on my way.

Then, I would get to the Lilly Pad and find a half pint of vodka with one sip off it just sitting there on the stoop, as if someone took a sip off it and then changed their mind about drinking straight vodka out of the bottle and going through "all that" again, and just left it there.

Or, because there is a benevolent spirit watching over us street musicians, salt of the earth that we are, and sending us comfort and watching over us, moving people's hearts to leave bottles on stoops, etc.

And, since I had been generous to David the Water Jug Player, who is steeped in the ways of, and lives in devotion to, the great spirit and has been for so long that he has attained the status of grand master, wizard or at least grand poobah of it; I got blessed in return.

Those things seemed to have cooled down since I stopped drinking; burning bushes have been pretty quiet, and now that I think of it; in the 450 days that I have gone without a drink, I have probably seen about the same number of vodka bottles with one sip off them sitting on Lilly's stoop as I did when their appearance was miraculous.


alex carter said...

Instead of fancy fold-outs and so on, you could simply have those files on the CD. Have the lyrics, maybe a paragraph about the song, a graphics file so they can print the cover out big if they want, that sort of thing.

Daniel McKenna said...

Ah, and then it would only need an excellent front and back cover; but doesn't that defeat the whole "physical thing" aspect whereby you can amuse yourself reading the lyrics while waiting for the ol' lady who's taking forever buying one pack of cigarettes, by the way, in some parking lot; maybe even making you want to find the song on it; and if someone just pops the disk in their car CD deck and drives around, they might never know that they have the lyrics available...that is unless all the new CD players aren't able to send the pictures to your phone over Bluetooth, which they might be; that is intriguing though