Saturday, May 27, 2017

Like A Machine

Like A Machine
Friday night ends now, I guess, as I sit at the laptop to recount it.

Return After 5 Nights Off Yields $8.50/hr
Tanya and Dorise Are Ending Their Collaboration
Ears at about 38%

I got back from busking with a can of cat food for Harold, who devoured it in such a way to make me think that I should have plunked down $1.60 on two cans, out of the 17 bucks that I had made.
I was busking on the "improvement after two days," that I was supposed to notice in my hearing, I guess.

The older, white haired guy who works at the Quartermaster and whom I hardly ever see because I hardly ever knock off as early as I did, said that he had the same ear infection and that antibiotics were the only solution after he had endured almost total deafness for almost a month before seeking medical help. He had been hitting it with some kind of drops, which had been ineffective, as it had been a "middle ear" infection, which the drops can't get to, past the ear drum.

It had taken a week before his ears suddenly "popped," as he put it.

I left Starbucks after posting to the blog (and doing some minor messing around with its layout) and was at the Lilly Pad and playing less than an hour later, so, I would say that I played from about 9 PM, until 11 PM, and made 17 bucks, mostly off of the harmonica.

I was able to sing, somewhat, by listening very closely for my own voice, specifically, the mid range notes that were coming in my ears and being all but drowned out by the humming heard through the bones in my head. But, by 11 PM, I think the noise, which might even have made healthy ears ring a little, was enough to agravate them a bit.

I knocked off, thinking that 17 bucks, under the circumstances was OK. There were a lot of tourists on Bourbon Street, and I had to weave my way through them, on my way home; an agonizing sight. I could only tell myself that tomorrow (Saturday) I will be one more day into the antibiotic therapy, and will hopefully reach the point where I can hear well enough to sing.

On the way home, I passed an ambulance with its lights flashing, and the EMT's administering to a young black woman right along "heroin row," with the cops on the scene yelling: "Do you know her, are you a medical doctor? ...then move along!"

Tim Todd, Violinist
Then I encountered Tim Todd playing his electric violin in front of Rouses Market on the corner of Royal and St. Peters street. We chatted a bit about ear infections. His last one was 20 years ago, but it was pretty severe.

He said that "one side" of the amp that I sold him about 2 years ago now, had died. I told him that, since it isn't a stereo amp, and basically has two speakers projecting the same signal, that the problem is either the speaker, or the connection to it. It would be like if he had a Marshall "stack" amplifier with a 4 speaker cabinet, and one speaker went out, and him thinking that one quarter of the amp had fried. It's the speaker, I told Tim. Funny how the amp that he never fully paid me for would have one side go out right about the same time the first of my ears became plugged up.
Then, I encountered Tanya Huang, who was just packing up for the night and seemed to be surrounded with the street types that had attached themselves to Tanya and Dorise, mostly through the agency of the latter, I assume. There was a bee-hive of activity around her, as one skinny old drunk guy was hauling one of her amplifiers towards her vehicle, like the ant lifting the rock 10 times its weight, assuring Tanya that he "had" it and that she knew him and knew he could carry the amp and that she could trust him to bring it to the vehicle. And there were others forming a veritable human shield around her, as she scooped the money out of the basket and wisked it into a leather duffel bag, planning to unfold it and count it at home, without a veritable human shield around her.

I had stopped and was going to speak to her, briefly, maybe to apologize for the way I had been shunning her, and maybe to lay the foundation for speaking to her again.

But, Tanya was using the shield pretty effectively to avoid having to look my way.
I have most likely violated whatever the Chinese people call "face," as in "saving face," and maybe Tanya is saving face by not talking to me.

I might send her a message on SavingFaceBook or something.

But, really the thing I would be interested in is someday playing with her, after I get the electronics required to play on Royal Street. But, I might have to start vying for spots and becoming a known musical quantity on Royal Street before it seems apt that the combination of us be tried, as an experiment.

There is a magic between her and Dorise that, I'm assuming, she hasn't been able yet to replicate. The super talented musicians that can "keep up with her" on one level don't improve the overall sound enough to garner double the tip amount. The money that a virtuoso violinist will make with nondescript accompaniment is about the same as with a pre recorded backing track, so, why not use the track and keep all the money?

I haven't been in touch with Dorise, and don't even know how she is doing. She was having chemo-therapy, last I heard, and now she is absent more than she is present alongside Tanya.

I wonder if they think that, if I were a true friend of Dorise, I would at least call her to see how she is doing.

Maybe that's true to a degree, but I'm just not a phone type of person. I always feel like I'm going to be calling at a bad time.

And, really the sense of being a vulture perched nearby to pick upon Dorise' bones, moving in to try to claim her gig; is something I avoid.

This just in: Tanya and Dorise have split up as a musical act; as of April 25th, according to their Facebook page, where I went to get the photo above..

But, there are practical considerations, and a way to go about such things; like just ask Tanya if she wants to jam sometime; after I repair her face, that is....

Maybe we could play for 3 hours together on songs that we both know, once a week, to see how it goes. The question is: How much longer is Tanya going to want to play on the street at all, without Dorise?? 
How much longer will 38 year old Huang stay in the rat race??

Then, I rode back home after spending half of my nights earnings on a pack of cigarettes.
I think I could quit cigarettes using Kratom, the same way heroin addicts use it to kick that, especially when "subs" (another method) aren't working.

I only smoke about half as much when taking a moderate dose of Kratom, and the other night, after running out of cigarettes, I didn't want one bad enough to hop on my bike and ride the mile and back for some. I just kept on writing a story that I'm working on.

The next noon, I woke up and was very conscious of the stimuli that normally trigger the urge to smoke.

Like, after I took my first sip of coffee. What is normally an impulse to light up at that point, seemed almost like a phantom impulse, or just a suggestion. But, I was aware of it, enough to think: "this is when I always smoke," but to not be smoking. And then other thoughts like, which socks am I going to wear or something equally trivial; and my hand starts going for the pack.

Kratom seems to work on the "pleasure center," in such a way that it removes the anticipation of pleasure -the idea that a cigarette "would be" good right now kind of disappears. It's harder to "imagine a cigarette being good" when taking Kratom, easier to look at it very matter-of-fact-ly.
Maybe more like a machine.


alex carter said...

Maybe you seem just a bit too skeezy for Tanya to want you to hang around. Keep in mind if you're a target for (fellow) skeezers, think of how it must be for anyone who looks like they actually make some money.

alex carter said...

I think what Tanya could use is a solid "rhythm" guitarist, if you can keep the chords banging out who knows, she might hire you. I can see her basically paying a rhythm guitarist a flat $100 a day, and many jumping at the chance.

The only problem being, you'll not only have to be able to pound out the rhythm for hours on end, but you'll have to be utterly dependable, able to keep *her* hours, and it wouldn't hurt to get a haircut and some clean clothes and start taking baths regularly. And ..... frankly there are probably plenty of experienced rhythm guitarists already hovering around her, ready and willing to do all of this, besides provide a bit of "muscle" in case it's needed, keeping in mine Tanya is of slight build and attractive, and playing with a big pot of money nearby.

A lot of the buskers I know, OK well, pretty much all of them, don't like to play with others because they're just plain not good at it.

My new web page URL is sorry I keep changing the name but I think trumpet and I are sick of each other LOL.

alex carter said...

Here's another comment because I have to at least visit your blog to get to mine, and sometimes I have to comment too.

Daniel McKenna said...

Tanya is hard to figure out but I'm pretty sure it is important to her to make a lot of money; out of pride, as a validation of her discipline and work ethic; maybe because her father is a doctor (about whom she said "he sees a hundred patients a day" as her prime descriptor of him, which might be a clue) but, her biggest issue with me would be the fact that I play for 5 hours at the very most; and she is more of a 15 hours if it's busy, type of busker; that trumps any ability to play Hotel California be able just play the darn thing as well as 14 hours of other stuff...

alex carter said...

Tanya might be the biggest breadwinner in her family, too. The kind of doctor who sees 10 patients a day is probably working for a walk-in clinic or something. I'd not be surprised if Tanya had a whole constellation of family dependent on her tips (and she may feel she owes them, since her family sent her to violin lessons for a good 15 or so years).