Monday, June 29, 2009

And Now, Henry Black

Henry Black, age 72 and only 3 hours out of jail yesterday, was found dead yesterday, in a spot where he sleeps often.
Henry was a friend, and the guy mentioned in the "lost blog" a few times. He would sit and listen to music by Larry or myself, drinking, and eventually passing out at the foot of the musician. He was old enough to remember the "Old South" and all that culture back then, down here, and as such, had an interesting perspective on life.
The first time I saw Henry, he was using his cane to retrieve coins from out of a wishing-well type of fountain, one of many in this Oldest City. I remember handing him 50 cents and telling him, "you don't even have to dry these off."
Henry sat next to me a few times and was very appreciative of the music, and for my part, I found it really easy to relax and do music that was bizarre and funny, knowing that Henry practically laughed "at everything."
Henry will be missed, especially by Larry, who, though he wouldn't perhaps admit it, liked Henry and "put up with him" a lot.
By the end of yesterday, there were a bunch of cards and flowers laid by the porch and secret (wink wink) spot, where Henry has slept many times.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Millions Could Not Save Him

I just happened to have my cheap AM radio on shortly after the report hit the cheap airwaves about the passing of Michael Jackson, at the age of 50.
He must have been in pretty good shape at one point in his life. I would hate to think that I only have 4 years left, the dancer that I once was...
I didn't know what to think. He was probably the last really big star ever. Now there are 57 varieties of music and so many outlets that if is possible that no two people are listening to the same artist at any given time.
The world has caught up with Michael in its bizarrenes. Look at poor Ronald Reagan, thinking: "Well, he's an entertainer, and as such, you've got to be a little...umm, well, different..."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Like a Panderer

A Magna bike,which is similar to mine, though mine is not a "girls" bike, like the one in the photo. Mine is usually parked in the grass like this one, though.
Today, I am going to see the Assistant State Attorney about doing community service, in lieu of paying 100 bucks for the open container ticket that I got, when cops crept up on me in an alley behind a building, where no tourist would see me and become offended. The rains and the fact that my bike got stolen means that I have not done one minute of community service. It is better to keep in contact with them, rather than wait for them to approach you and arrest you at the most inconvenient time. It is always when you have just gotten food and are ready to eat it. When you get to the jail, they just throw it out. It is always when you have just 20 bucks in your pocket, which they take for their "administrative surcharge," so that when you get out, you are totally broke and have to walk the 5 miles from the jail back into town.
So, that is the order of the day. If I am still ambitious, I will go to social security and get yet another copy of my ss card. They don't really weather floods well...
I am ready to get on a garbage truck and run behind it all day for 75 bucks...
I might try to enlist the help of Chelsea and friends up in Jacksonville in order to find any kind of job. The street musician thing is magical, but, when money is tight it forces one to play things that make one feel like a panderer...
Here is a picture from about a year ago. There is a cat and an angel and a portable radio in it, if you look closely enough! That cat knew how to "blend in."

We Have A Praying Mantis Now

The other night, Jim turned on his light and observed a praying mantis, which was actively devouring bugs and things. He watched it for a while and then became bored when the insect took a lot of time to finish off a moth.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Since losing my blog because I used an infected computer at the homeless shelter, during a week of almost constant rainfall which relegated me to that place, as a "sensible" alternative to laying out at the campsite and getting saturated, events have been pretty much divisible into a few categories.
Nine days ago, my Mongoose was stolen from in front of the church where I play. I had gone behind the building to finish a beer, which I had consumed only half of, and, in the time that it took to accomplish that feat, the Mongoose had disappeared. It was probably stolen by one of the bums that sit across the street and listen to me play. Mongoose (right)
Faced with a 3 mile walk to the campsite at the end of every evening, I basically opted for finding a place to sleep nearby The Old City. The Old Fort proved to be comfortable enough with its ocean breezes, though, a few mosquitos and things that they call "noseeums" ('cause you can't see-um, but you can feel them biting you in places like the forehead) were able to out-muscle the sea breezes and find their way to my forehead, or my cheeks; both equally annoying.
Sleeping close to town meant that I was up with the sun, dodging the park rangers, and had nothing better to do than to set up and start playing on Hypolita St., for example, even before the first tourist had ventured forth from her bed and breakfast for a stroll through the oldest city. This was a source of consternation for Larry, who, I am sure, was always determined to beat me into the city every morning and set up on the "best" spot. It was the "best spot" for Larry, not so much such for the tourists whom might have wanted to hear good music...
I had the goal of making enough money to take the yellow bus up to Jacksonville to retrieve the racer, which Curtis had given me. Curtis gave it to me because the back tire kept going flat on him, creating complications surrounding his daily quest for a half gallon of whiskey. I found that there was indeed a problem with the rim, and had to buy special tubes, which cost dearly...
My plan was to take the yellow bus up to Jacksonville, take the L7 to Baymeadows, take the SS9 to the spot where the racer was hidden in the woods, take the back tire off of the racer which was hidden in the woods, using the wrench, which I bought at Big-Lots, which was hidden in the woods, and then carry the tire to the bike shop, buy the tube, take the tire to the Gate, insert the tube and then pump it up with free air, go back to the woods and attach the inflated tire, and then ride the 3 miles to where Bruce and Chelsea now have an apartment, hoping to spend at least a night.
Everything went according to plan, except that it wasn't Bruce and Chelsea, it was Bruce and Taylor. "Oh, Chelsea is history...I'm with a fox now," said Bruce, when I met him at his workplace, Lowes on Phillips Highway...
I can't remember the point now, but, losing the bike was both a hardship and a blessing.
I Try To Call Mom
After fixing the bike and riding it to Bruce's workplace and then having him toss it into the back of his pick-up truck ("I have a truck now, dude!") and drive us to his new apartment, and then spending the night with him and Taylor, whom I find to be less affable towards Bruce's older street musician friends than the nice Chelsea was, I awoke the next morning almost broke, having bought the cigarettes for the lot of us. Bruce works, but doesn't get paid "until Friday." There was a morning "ritual,' whereby Taylor picked clothing out for Bruce which she deemed "cute." Bruce was soon clad in white pants ("I don't know about white," said he) and his Ramones shirt. We were ready to show ourselves to the world outside.
I got a ride from them to the Barnes and Noble. They dropped me off and then went to go get money from Bruce's parents. Luckily, the Barnes and Noble patrons seemed to love me. They hadn't seen me in a couple of months. Money poured in, and, had I been of the mindset of Larry, for example, I would have played every minute and wrung about 100 dollars out of them. I was worried about the cop that arrested me last time, on the warrant of "failure to pay a fine." I imagined him coming up and telling me "I thought I told you not to come back here," who, though he didn't, not having grounds to do so, would have been in a position to assert his authority and make trouble for me. As soon as I made ten bucks, I took a break and then came back later and made another 20. I was hoping that the cop would show up, having gotten "wind" of me being there, probably from some other off-duty cop chowing down on steak and beer at the Ale House, and, not finding me there, would go off to find other downtrodden people to kick.
Then, I dialed my mom on a payphone. As soon as I dialed the number the phone ejected a bunch of change. I thought this was a sign, but she wasn't home and I got a bunch of static and could hardly hear the answering machine.
Now I am at the library in South Mandarin, consuming some of my tips and staying out of trouble. I might play at the Barnes and Noble after I leave here. It is almost 9pm, though.
I am faced with the ordeal of riding the racer back to St. Augustine sometime. The money is so good at Barnes and Noble that I might just extend my stay, even though it means sleeping "wherever I lay my head."

Retrieving the Racer

I am in Jacksonville to retrieve my racing bike. My green Mongoose was stolen in St. Augustine, after I turned my back on it for 5 minutes. I stayed with Bruce and Taylor (Chelsea is "gone") the first night here. I slept on a mattress, which fit nicely in a walk in closet type of thing. I was able to close the door and give Bruce and Taylor their "privacy," but, when I woke up in the morning, I was half in and half out of the closet. I had also rolled over on my glasses and broken them. Now, only the clip-on shades are holding them together. I got to take a hot shower in the morning, the tube replacement on the racer was sucessful, and then I went and played at the Barnes and Noble. Almost everyone tipped me; to the tune of about 30 bucks. I could have made more if I didn't take so many breaks.
I should have called Chelsea while I was there, but was actually too busy, if that makes sense for a homeless guy to be too busy...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Eat My Carcass

I'm going to have to put so much work into this thing to make it interesting. I am at the bottom of Mt. Everest, and, even though I know I spelled the name of the mountain wrong, I will climb it and have an interesting blog, or...maybe just die and let the animals eat my carcass....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Need To Regain My Tranquility

After losing my blog. It's going to take a while, like when you put a fish in a new aquarium and it just hovers there, pumping its gills