Friday morning, I was in so much pain after laying my hand down upon the Southern Flannel Moth at about 4 a.m. that I never fell back to sleep.
At about 7 a.m., I walked over to the Walgreens on Tulane, to get some Goody's Powder. It didn't open until 7:30, and I was told so by the vendor with the dollys loaded with soft drinks, who was waiting to get in and who spoke with a heavy New Orleans accent.
A heavy New Orleans accent sounds like someone talking with a heavy New Jersey accent with a crawfish in his mouth.
He told me to take Benadryl instead of aspirin for the nasty infection caused by the moth.
He also told me that the other nearby Walgreens on Canal Street was open, but after I walked there and discovered that it too didn't open until 7:30, I figured he was most likely wrong about the Benadryl too, and so, went in and got some Advil type stuff and took 4 of them.
Listed on the back of the box were its applications; fever, body aches, toothaches, Southern Flannel Moth bites.
I'll Be Back Once More, To Return The Fake Book
Then, I headed for the Westin Hotel, to post yesterday's post and then to run into Sue, who was sitting at one of the outside tables, talking to a guitar player dude and his friend, who were telling her that they had only been in New Orleans for a couple days and couldn't wait to get out of there, because "something is wrong with the place," something they couldn't put their fingers on, unlike a note on a fretboard.Sue and I talked for a while.
It turns out that she reads this blog (oops!) and has been doing so for a while, at least long enough so that she knew to expect my arrival the previous Friday.
Then, the whacky farce began.
She walked with me to the bus stop at the library, where I was just a few minutes too late to catch the 3:25 p.m. bus.
I decided to use the time before the 4:25 p.m. departure to run to the music store on Decatur, where I discovered that the price of Martin SP extra light gauge strings, at $9.80 per set, after tax was 20 cents more than I had, after taking out 5 bucks for the ride to Baton Rouge.
I was regretting buying the pack of cigarettes and the beer the night before.
$9.80 A Set, What Are You, Crazy??
I would have to take the bus to Baton Rouge and then busk using the rusty, dingy strings that I had on, and then hope to get a fresh set the next day.
I got back to Tulane Street to see the bus already sitting at the stop, and Sue (who had been watching my stuff so that I could run to the store and back faster) talking to the driver, trying to delay her.
I gave Sue a hug, threw my stuff in the underneath compartment and got on the bus.
The bus wasn't very crowded at all. The bus arriving FROM Baton Rouge had been packed.
It pulled away.
Kicked Off In Sorrento
The driver never gave the usual spiel about "no smoking, no alcohol, no illegal drugs, no weapons."
I started to read, as we pulled away from New Orleans, but soon found myself falling asleep.
I decided that I would recline upon the seat and sleep, since I had it all to myself.
First I wanted to use the restroom, so that I could sleep without being uninterrupted by the urge later on.
I don't know if it was lack of sleep, which made me feel groggy, or being bitten by a venomous moth that made me feel disoriented, or having been out most of the day in the 100 degree heat that made me kind of dopey, or the fact that, every other time that I had ridden the LA Swift, I had taken a few drags off a cigarette in the restroom about half way through the trip; and had gotten away with it; but; I decided to take a few drags off a cigarette while in there.
I actually took a few more drags than usual, and that might be what set off some kind of cigarette detector which probably caused the symbol of a cigarette to start flashing red on the dash board of the driver, but, after I came out, and before I even had gotten to my seat, which I had all to myself, she called me "You, sir!" to the front of the bus.
She said "You know there's no smoking on the bus, and so, this next exit coming up is where you will be getting off."I was too tired and dopey and groggy to argue, although I could have played ignorant; mentioned the fact that she never gave the spiel about smoking, told her that I had never ridden the LA Swift bus before (I had actually attempted to slide my 5 dollars into the wrong slot, before being corrected by her) or even told her that that was my last 5 dollars and that my 12 year old daughter, whom I have custody of over the weekends was all alone at the terminal in downtown Baton Rouge, expecting me to arrive on the bus, and if I didn't she was going to freak out and become terrified. ...and if anything happens to her there in cracktown while she is waiting into the night hoping that there will be another bus and that I will be on it; I will sue Hotard Bus Lines for all they are worth, and name her as a defendant and will find a witness to testify that the warning about smoking was never given.
I got off the bus, and found myself in a bleak and barren spot where there were a couple of gas stations, a McDonalds and a Hotard Bus stop.
I had 7 dollars and change on me.
I went into the nearest store with my bus schedule to see if the last bus through actually stopped there. Not every bus stops at each stop.
I was informed that the last bus did stop there, and would do so in another 20 minutes.
About 15 minutes later, a bus stopped there, catching me by surprise.
I started to run towards it, taking a shortcut through a patch of tall grass, which turned out to be a patch of tall grass growing out of a puddle of mud and water into which I sank up to my knees, but managed to make it through.
I checked myself for southern flannel moths and then ran to the open door at the front of the bus, and saw none other than the same driver who had kicked me off the same bus.
I started to tell her that I needed to get to Baton Rouge and had rehearsed my story about my 14 year old daughter, who had had a couple birthdays since I first concocted the story, because what kind of father leaves a mere 12 year old alone at a bus terminal?
"Get on!" the driver, a 30 something year old black lady, said, before I could get another word out of my mouth.
"That stuff has to go underneath."
I got back on and started towards my seat, which I previously had all to myself.
"Wait a minute," the driver said, pointing to the money accepter.
I put my last 5 dollar bill into the correct slot ...what if I had been out of money? and went back to my seat.
I got to Baton Rouge, spent the rest of the money that I had on a Natural Ice 24 oz. beer out of disgust and a desire to say "f*** it all," drank it behind the trunk of a huge oak tree about half way downtown, and then proceeded to my spot.
I stopped and talked to the hot dog cart guy.
The topic of conversation was the outrageous volume with which the band that sucked in the club up the street was playing.
I went to the spot, unpacked and then found it hard to even hear myself playing over them.
Soon, the guy who had taken a couple of pictures of me and e-mailed them to me a couple weeks earlier showed up, riding a bicycle.
"Remember me?" he asked.
We talked for a while, as I packed up to move to the other spot up the street, where he joined me and we talked a while longer.
The topic of that conversation was the volume with which the other club near the other spot was cranking their prerecorded Hip Hop music.
I was tired, and hadn't made a dime, yet, took him up on his offer to eat and sleep at his place, which was about a mile away.
Along with being a photographer, I gathered from looking around his place that he was also a fisherman, a model rocket builder, a golfer, and a musician, as evidenced by his amplifiers, guitars -both electric and acoustic- and sundry other musical equipment, enough to start a band.
He let me play his electric guitar and I was able to impress him with my command of the key of E minor, and further amaze him by picking out some of the solo in the song "Freebird," by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and delight him by finding the chords in a Smashing Pumpkins song about a rat in a cage, after listening to it once.
Eating was forgotten about and I was soon very asleep on his couch, until well into the morning when he himself arose and began to make coffee.
I hung out there most of the day, talking about music and playing music and plugging in this laptop, so that he could read Alex in Californias comments about my recordings, and then hear a few of them, so he could see what the fuss was all about.
"To be honest with you; you need to modernize your sound. This stuff sounds kind of 70's -ish," he said, but then added that the "whistle" (Ocinero) in The Ballad of Richard Corey sounded pretty cool.
He let me play his acoustic guitar, which was an Ibanez and was bigger and heavier than mine, easier to tune than mine and sounded better than mine.After I handed it back to him and resumed playing mine, I noticed right away that mine sounded like garbage by comparison. The tuning machines rattled; and the top buzzed where I had put tape over the spot that had become damaged. And there is some "play" in the bridge, when the strings are struck.
I left at about sundown (an hour ago) and got a Rock Star energy drink at the store and then came here, across the street from Community Coffee to do this post.
I will shortly go to the playing spot where, starting out with one nickel, I will busk.Air Conditioned Recording Studio Complete With Golf Clubs
The photographer guy, whose name I never got, talked about me working with him on recording some music, and said that I could use his guitars and whatever other equipment that he had, notably a microphone, to record some stuff and to add myself to his recordings.