Thursday, July 31, 2014

Near Death Experience

A Sigh Of Relief
Touro Infirmary; Not bad....
I am breathing somewhat normally right now, about 12 hours after thinking that I was a goner.
I just came from Wal-Greens, where I was able to fill 2 out of the 4 prescriptions (thanks to the people at The Rebuild Center, who bent their policy of not taking any new prescription requests) which the hospital gave me this morning, before they unceremoniously discharged me.
It was a different hospital than the one that I had gone to on Friday.
An Ambulance Ride
But it was the one which the ambulance took me to at about 3 a.m. this morning; from the spot on the side of Decatur Street, where I had been slumped over; hugging my guitar and fighting to get as much air into my lungs as possible (while trying to relax at the same time) like a fish out of water.
I was in the back with an IV tube in my arm giving me steroids; and a mask over my face giving me something else; so I left the choice of hospitals and the driving; to them.
It had been called for by a cop whom I had flagged down.
I had endured his slightly skeptical looks as I panted out the information that I could hardly breath and felt like I was on the verge of fainting when I tried to walk. I had caught the "Are you sure you didn't just take too big a hit of crack?" expression flash across his face briefly.
After I had gotten on the gurney in the back of the ambulance, and repeated my complaint to the medical people, my voice still trembling with the fear of death; they had a brief pow-wow, during which I heard the older, female, one say to the guy, whose name turned out to be Josh: "I don't think this one's faking." It was then that they decided upon the medications and hooked me up..

Viruses Worsen As The Day Wears On
 
It began in the afternoon at the VA Center, after I had finished a long, hot shower and discovered afterwards; that my chest had tightened up, rather than loosened, in the steam.
This abated while I sat and watched TV, until the place closed at 3:30 in the afternoon; and I started to think that I could keep the thing in check by staying calm.
I went to the sign spot around 4 p.m., where I meditated and sipped on a gallon of distilled water laced with cayenne pepper; and felt as good as I had in a while..
I even fell asleep for a while, with my pack and guitar secured to a small tree; waking after sun-down.
Walking down Canal Street, though; I felt the weakness and shortness of breath returning. I was walking more slowly than is normal for me. It was about 9 in the evening.
I decided not to busk for a second night, but, rather to spend one of the 11 dollars left on my food card on a gallon of water and then go under the dock, where I had instant oatmeal and honey waiting, along with a loaf of 9 grain bread (earmarked for the rats; as it is a mucous producing food).
I headed towards Rouses Market, thinking about how viral infections "can last 10-14 days," but about how mine was on its 18th day.
I had to pause half way there to put my load down and catch my breath. I had never had to do that in the past.
Lungs Have Always Been Strong
I thought about how I used to play a game called "shark and fish" with the youngsters whom I babysat back in 1994, in Florida, and how I used to hang on to a 10 pound weight before submerging myself as "the shark," and could stay under for over 2 minutes... 21 years ago.
I wondered if I was capable of holding my breath for even 20 seconds as I sat there.
I thought about the construction job which I worked at in 2004, when I swung a pick-ax with all my might in the 98 degree Florida heat; in a rotation of a half dozen guys, each one swinging it until he was winded and then passing it on; each one outweighing me by at least 30 pounds...10 years ago. 

Then, up walked Lilly and Angelique, around 10 p.m., on their way to pick up Chantilly at the restaurant where the two girls work (at landing rich husbands -Lilly makes no bones about that) to chaperone her home.
As they passed in front of me, Angelique gave me kind of a prolonged look; making me wonder if I looked as bad as I felt.
Sitting there and resting had calmed my breathing down; but it was still shallow. 
Lilly told me that I needed to go to the hospital.
I'm Ill Prepared For This
I told her that I already had, but, couldn't afford the medications which they prescribed. I tried to say it in a way which wouldn't sound as if I was skeezing her for money.
Of course, had I known the nature of health care in this country; I would have already gotten my state ID and gotten myself on medicaide; but years of good health had gotten me to turn a blind eye to the whole fiasco.
Not Even Hungry Enough To Forage
I got to Rouses, and bought the gallon of water; leaving me less than 10 dollars to stretch over the next 5 days. I wasn't hungry enough to wait around for them to put any food out.
I headed for the dock; hoping that I could calm down and get to sleep, if I sat there quietly for a while before lying down.
I had to stop a couple times to put my stuff, now with the additional weight of the water, down to catch my breath.
Each time that I stopped, I was able to recover somewhat normal breathing; although it was shallow and choppy.
When I got to the river walk, the security guys just happened along in their golf cart. One of them said "It's after 10 o' clock, this area is closed. I need you to exit through the Toulouse Street exit! Now!"
I did so, but, daunted by the idea of carrying all that weight the mile and a half to the sign spot; I waited for them to disappear, and then returned and went under.
That decision almost killed me.
Hot, Stuffy Air
I got under the dock, took the water out of my pack, took off my shoes and sat there, waiting for my breathing to return to normal, but it didn't.
It started to worsen.
The air felt unusually hot and suffocating; even though the forecast had called for temperatures in the 60's for a second consecutive night.
My chest had expanded so much that my rib cage felt as hard as a rock with no flexibility to it.
I started to realistically fear that I might die under there.
I decided that I had to get out from under there and call 911 as soon as possible, and place myself in their care. What is 911 for, otherwise? I hate to tie up community resources; and God knows I would be running up a debt which my paying back would be speculative at best; but it was getting harder to breath each minute; and the idea of eating oatmeal and reading by candlelight and then resting peacefully seemed to not be plausible.
It was like I was racing against time. Had I made the decision too late to seek help?
The effort that I was putting into just breathing was winding me; in a macabre sort of Cath-22.
The position that I had to assume to put each shoe on and hastily tie it seemed to be squeezing air out of me.
My whole body felt deprived of oxygen; my arms and legs had a sickening tingling in them.
I had visions of rats being drowned by the bird in my head; the bird making them flail their limbs in vain to get them worked up, so that when she dunked them under; they wouldn't be able to hold their breaths.
I felt like I was breathing in bird down; picturing it floating everywhere; stuffing my lungs and triggering the inflammation and swelling.
Just being so afraid was making me want to breath harder.

I decided to just leave my backpack there; laptop and harmonicas and all; suddenly it didn't seem so important. I just wanted to get out into the open where an emergency crew could spot me; should I be laying unconscious. I thought about that movie where some kind of vessel laden with gold bars was sinking; and some were drowning; trying to swim to the surface, taking a bar with them...
I got both of my shoes on and had only made it a few feet; after grabbing only my guitar; when I had to stop and sit down and breath with all my might. But I was further down the bank of rocks and closer to the river and the air seemed a little less stifling.
I decided to pray; and said something simple like "God help me," in between gasps of air. As I did so, a voice, in something like the taunting tone of Leslie Thompson was almost palpably saying something like "Good luck with that!!" and recalling all my doubts about God into my mind, making me feel like it was "too late for that, now!"
But, no sooner than I had uttered it; thoughts came to mind of countless TV shows which I have seen where the medical personnel tell the victim to "just relax, relax."
I relaxed and felt a bit less suffocated; and was able to make another foray out from under the dock.
I sat down again; realizing that I would be within sight of anyone on the Natchez steamboat, but saw no one.
That is usually a welcome sight in my comings and goings but, now, I was prepared to yell "Help! Can you please call 911?!" to anyone who might appear and try to run me off.
Phone Fails Me
I took my own phone out and dialed 911.
I could see the timer ticking but heard nothing on the other end.
I hung up to try again; when they called me back.
There was still no sound coming from my phones speakers.
I gave my location and said that I needed an ambulance, anyway; in case they could hear me; but I not them. I would have sounded like I had a sucking chest wound if they could.
Nobody was showing up, and, after another minute of laying there; I had the "strength" to mount the bank of rocks to the river walk.
There was a thin, kind of homeless looking black guy passing by; the first person that I had seen after coming out from under the dock.
"Can you call 911 for me?" I asked.
He told me that he didn't have a phone, but then told me that my phone should "automatically" dial 911, even if out of minutes, which is true.
I explained the problem with the speaker.
He said "Let me see?" and I handed him the phone.
He looked it over as if trying to find a button to turn the speaker back on; and/or weighing if he wanted to walk off with it; with me hunched over and laboring to breath. But he handed it back.
I then tried to call Lilly, in my desperation; without any luck.
The air seemed a bit cleaner up on the river walk; and I eventually; after the guy promised to call 911 for me, once he got to the casino; was able to make it to Decatur Street and flag down the cop as already detailed above; by walking very slowly and taking huge, wheezing breaths along the way.
Diagnosis
The people at the hospital were friendly and tested me every which way.
I had hyper-extended lungs, according to the lung doctor, who was female. She said that my lungs were already quite expanded; and "that's why it's so hard to breath out, but why you breath in so quickly."
They took almost a dozen tubes of my blood; gave me a cat scan, regular chest x-rays and kept periodically taking my blood pressure and putting the mask on my face, full of vapors.
The cat scan guy asked me if I had ever "had iodine" before. I wasn't sure, I said. I am positive now that I would have remembered if I had ever had iodine. What a nasty sensation it was; which I could feel in my lungs and in my testicles. His test showed nothing about my lungs which wasn't normal for a guy who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years. 
They concluded that I had had a "flare up of COPD" (which means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and that, yes,
it could have been triggered by inhaling the down from the bird; as I have never had such a flare up in my life; and I have never had a bird flapping its wings in my face in my life. The timing of the onset matches with the arrival of the bird. I would like to blame it on something; otherwise I will live in fear of it recurring at some random time and place.
They unplugged me in the morning and showed me the door, after handing me prescriptions for 4 different medications.
Again, I told them that I hadn't played music all week because of the condition and had no money.
They reiterated that the door was right there....sorry, we don't know what to say about that.
Fortunately The Rebuild Center gave me a voucher for 2 of the 4 medications -one of the more expensive ones; and one of the cheaper ones; but 2 of the more effective ones, according to the nun, who is also a nurse.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 17 Of Bronchitis

My health is still the headline.
I have not been what I would call "sick" since February of 2005. I certainly haven't been this sick.

About a year and a half ago; I had that sudden cramping in my neck which ultimately affected my tonsils; and then produced the same kind of symptoms of the "bronchitis" which I have now.
The tonsil thing (which was probably "quinsy" as Alex In California had suggested) persisted for more than 6 weeks; but the coughing up of metallic tasting yellowish-green stuff only lasted a few days.
That time, I was checked by the doctor at The Rebuild Center who, I don't even think prescribed me anything. 
Nine and a half years of health have spoiled me, perhaps; but it is over.
I took a long hot shower at the VA this afternoon; and found that to be a big mistake.
My lungs got so tight afterwards; that I sat down in the air conditioned TV room and gave it 10 or 15 minutes before I planned to call 911 for an ambulance. They could chose the emergency room because they would be the ones driving.
It was that bad. I could envision myself passing out; and those jokers there; not knowing what to do...
Wide World of Shorts
I guess I have met my match in New Orleans which features half-smoked cigarette butts (or, "shorts") laying everywhere, "spanning the globe" to bring us a constant variety of micro-organisms.
The joy of victory; when an already lit American Spirit rolls towards you on the sidewalk after being flicked by someone whom has had all of her shots...
And the agony of defeat; when you finish a cigarette that someone flicked at the trolley stop, before getting on board; and you immediately notice a scratchiness behind your Adams Apple, which proceeds to a dry cough and points south.
I assume that is where this whole thing started.
It's too bad. I had just finished another juice fast/cleanse of about 5 days; and had cut way back on tobacco. To only a few puffs here and there off a butt at the trolley stop, for example...
Too Sick To Pick?
I exchanged text messages with Lilly at about 9:45 last night from outside the Wal-Greens on Canal Street:
Me: "I am not going to play tonight, because I am still feeling weak and tired and I want to get to sleep early at the sign spot, so I can get to the Rebuild Center early in the morning to see their free doctor, who might give me the same medications, but for free.
Lilly: "OK. Text me any time if you need me; and I will respond."
Me: "Do you have any aspirin?"
Me: "Only if you are headed this way..."
Lilly: "I am headed towards home."
Me: "OK, going to sleep!"
And, with that, I went to the sign spot with a half gallon of orange juice and I lied down and slept poorly.
It got downright cold, dropping into the 60's and I had to get up and put a long sleeve shirt over my tee shirt.
Standing up for just a few seconds sent me into a coughing fit; and it took me a half hour to get to sleep again.
I woke up coughing my brains out; as a lady from the apartments across the street stood nearby, holding her poodle (named "Lady") on a leash.
I have seen the duo about every one of the mornings; these past 3 years that I have slept at the sign spot; originally with Sue, The Colombian Lady, and now just whenever I have early morning business in that area; such as doing laundry at the VA Center; going to The Rebuild Center, or giving the dock spot a strategic night off, randomly, so as to throw skeezers off of my trail....I don't think he sleeps by the river; last night I saw him headed the other way....type of thing.
Lady Out Of Habit Shows More Concern Than Lady Walking Lady Out Of Habit
After kind of shaking my head a bit over how the lady who is in the habit of walking the poodle named Lady each morning; but whom has offered only a couple waves over the coarse of 3 years could see me face-down in the mulch, coughing and wheezing my brains out and sucking air; but not even asking me "Are you alright?," I went to the VA Center, put my clothes in; and then made it to The Rebuild Center, just as they were composing the list to see the doctor.

The lady who was functioning as receptionist showed great concern after I asked to be put on the doctors list "because I can hardly breath."
I don't know if she is a nun or a lay worker.
It's hard to tell the difference these days because the nuns have fallen out of the habit of wearing the habit anymore...
She urged me to sit down and to relax and told me that I would certainly be seen by the doctor.
She even came by, as I sat reading and waiting, to ask me if I was alright; and laid a hand on one of my shoulders.
The doctor concluded that my lungs sounded terrible; and told me to go to the very same emergency room where I had already been; so that I could have more extensive tests than were possible there, at Rebuild.
I don't know why I didn't tell him that I had already been there. I didn't want him to think that I was using him as a second opinion, I guess?
I really should have spoken up and been honest and said; I already was examined but can't afford the medicine; so I came here.....
I will return to Rebuild on Friday, holding the same prescriptions and write-ups which were given me last Friday at that emergency room as if I had gotten them AFTER seeing the Rebuild doctor instead of BEFORE. Oh, what tangled webs we weave; when we practice to deceive!
This will delay my getting the pills by another 2 days; unless I go out and have a stellar busking night tonight and just pay cash for them afterwards; assuming I can breath well enough to sing well enough...

Do you have any aspirin? (Only if you are headed this way).
Lilly answered: "I am headed towards home."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Still Gasping

I went to Walgreens and gasped when they asked for 29 dollars to fill the prescription which I had gotten from the Interim LSU medical center. I had $2.21 on me.
The A/C In Starbucks Helps...
The funny thing is that I can't seem to make any money at all busking; perhaps because I know that I am not at my best because of my breathing problems; so I don't even try. Plus, feeling sick is not the feeling that a busker is trying to put out there....
I spent this early morning gasping for air, again; after sleeping fitfully most of the night. Lilly had given me a couple of candles; but they were citronella candles; and I wondered if they were not making matters worse on my lungs.
I had played at the Lilly Spot, where there were hardly any tourists out.
Lilly came out and wound up talking to me for a while, after I texted her to tell her that it hurt my feelings when she and her daughters sneak by me into their house without acknowledging me.
She has been having her own problems; with her vehicle, for one, but was sympathetic about my health issues.
I didn't make any money. At all.
I went to Rouses Market around half past midnight; where 2 guys had already started to dig into the trash and had a veritable banquet arrayed along the sidewalk.
I grabbed some salads and a loaf of 9 grain bread; to go along with a cannister of oatmeal and some honey which I had bought earlier with my food card.
I had spent my last cent on a 24 ounce Steel Reserve 'blackberry' beer; and it only made me ornery and cantankerous; and prone to become bothered by little things like Lilly not saying hello.
I got under the dock and lit a candle and was preparing to eat something when I found my breathing becoming labored.
There might be something about the humidity under there which contributes to the bronchitis; lying down never helps; as it seems to allow fluid up into my throat area.
I slept fitfully; and in the morning; positively suffered as I struggled to get oxygen. It felt like I could only take in a handful of air; and even when I forced as much air into my lungs as I could; it felt like I wasn't absorbing it.
As soon as the boat left, I sat up and meditated and was able to find some relief. As soon as I shouldered my backpack and guitar and took a few steps though, I felt winded as if I had climbed a flight of stairs and my heart was pounding the way it would after I had fasted for 10 or more days in the past. In a sense, I have been fasting; with my appetite being so dismal, commensurate with the bronchitis.
Walgreens wanted about 30 bucks to fill the prescription which the doctors at the hospital (which isn't free) gave me.
One of the drugs was for allergies (Claritin) and the other was apparently a cough suppressant.
I didn't see how these would help me breath; plus I am a cheapskate.
Plus, there has to be a natural, dietary solution. It could be that the 24 ounce Steel Reserve "blackberry" beer has something in it which is inflaming my lungs. 
I wouldn't know; because I have managed to have at least one each night with the exception of Sunday; when I never came out from under the dock....
I am thinking of trying to see the doctor at The Rebuild Center; who IS free; and whose prescribed medications are, I believe also free. How are the clientele there going to be able to afford 30 bucks for a couple bottles of pills?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Starting From Scratch

I feel like I am starting from scratch. And, in a way, I am. Down to about 2 dollars; still shaking off the bronchitis; 2 days without cigarettes or alcohol...

Saturday, after my visit to the emergency room, I drank beer on an empty stomach and on whatever the pill was which they gave me as a cough suppressant; and I wound up pissed off at everyone and every thing.
It kind of crept up on me.
My spotlight was dim at the Lilly Spot, my voice was compromised by the bronchitis a bit; and, after seeing Lilly and her daughters slipping through their gate sneakily as if they were hoping that I wasn't going to notice them; my attitude went downhill.
It is a wonder that I didn't wind up in jail or attacked by someone.
I was literally singing things like "I hate your guts; all of you, I hope you die painful deaths..." knowing that I wasn't going to get any tips but not really caring because I really was that angry.
I had discovered that day that the battery on my laptop had crapped out; and had to digest what that was going to mean to me...
Lilly

Chantilly
 Tried to slip through the gate unnoticed....
Angelique
I hadn't slept much nor eaten and then drank on top of the medication. It was a state of dementia, similar to the one that Leslie Thompson used to frequently go into; when he would cuss out anyone who he encountered.
After that terrible night, when I spent one of the 4 dollars that I had made on one last totally unnecessary beer before going under the dock, I woke up Sunday afternoon and decided to continue sleeping into the evening and through the night.
I had a 32 ounce Gatorade and a gallon of distilled water; some almonds, some bran muffins and instant coffee.
The black capped night heron was active throughout most of the night; seemingly unconcerned with me as it practically stood on me and waited for mice to emerge in quest of the bran muffin crumbs which I might have dropped. She (as it was the female one) caught a couple and was able to snap their spines with quick jerks of her beak and swallow them without having to run them down to the river and drown them.
There was something cosmic about the situation when my bronchitis was at its worse and I felt like I was drowning in the fluid in my lungs; I kept envisioning being held by my tail and dipped into the river like a tea bag while I flailed my arms in a vain attempt to keep my head above water.
Cosmic Thing #2:
I was walking towards Rouses Market about a week ago; and a tobacco shop caught my eye. I had walked past it 100 times, but never had read the sign. I figured that their prices would be high.
The next day I went to Downtown Music to buy a guitar string.
Across the street from them was another tobacco (and coffee) shop.
The guy from the store had stepped out for a cigarette after selling me a string. I stopped to pick a snipe off the sidewalk, explaining to him that I didn't want to buy a whole pack because I could feel what would turn out to be the bronchitis coming on and didn't want a whole pack.
"She sells singles for 50 cents," he said, pointing to the shop.
I went in and bought a single cigarette from a the lady, who turned out to be very interested in me as a musician and as an English major. I wound up talking to her at length and she gave me a free cup of coffee in the process.
Her name is Ester, which she explained was the same as the "queen in the bible."
We talked about how the name Stella means "star" and I told her the Russian word for star, pronounced: Zveesda, and how mars had to do with the ocean, which was La Mer in french and El Mar in Spanish.
She asked me if a nightmare had to do with the ocean; and I told her, no, I thought that it had to do with a young horse, or mare, which just ran any which way, not being broken yet; taking one on a scary ride which one had no control over, just like the dream.
All the while, Ester was taking notes in Hebrew.
She gave me the suggestion that I could make little works of art to display alongside of me as I busked, saying that they didn't have to be "professional," and showed me some cigar boxes that she had fancied up by painting little flowers and things upon, and then signing, along with "New Orleans, 2014." She sold such things for "whatever I can get..."
She invited me to stop by and see her again at the tobacco and cigar shop.

Cosmic Thing #3:
I had run into an artist, who was painting a scene on the very far end of Bourbon Street one afternoon about a week before meeting Ester.
We had a conversation.
He gave me a DVD and told me to watch it apropos of that conversation. He asked me if I was going to watch it "Otherwise give it back to me and I'll give it to someone else!" he said.
I promised to watch it. "It's only 30 minutes, he said."
About 10 days later, when I was in the throes of the worse of the bronchitis, and hadn't slept much that whole night, I was standing on Canal Street right after sunup, looking for some direction. I still had the DVD in my guitar case.
A guy who sits in a wheelchair greeting people (never skeezing them; just saying "Good morning, have a nice day") on the corner across from the CVS that I was standing next to took my picture. He showed it to me the next day as I walked past on my way to the emergency room.
"Look, you were asleep standing up!," he said.
No, I hadn't been asleep standing up, I was just kind of in a trance; waiting for some kind of inspiration to strike. At one point, I began to stare at the church down the street, which is sandwiched between two much taller, much more modern buildings.
One of those was a bank building and my gaze fell upon the very top of it, which was a crown shaped dome featuring Greek style columns and decorated with all kinds of things.
I stared at the thing until I had become hypnotized by it (though, I'm pretty sure I wasn't asleep standing up).
Well, after going to the emergency room where I fried the battery to my laptop by plugging it into the waiting room socket; then unplugging it after being called 5 minutes later; then plugging it back in for a short time before being called again; etc. which, I suspect is how I ruined the thing; I went to the library.
I hadn't discovered that the battery was no good; and so I got on a library computer to burn some music off a CD which I could transfer to the laptop to hopefully listen to under the dock at night.
I figured that I would pop the DVD in, which the artist had given to me.
I wanted to watch it before I ran into him somewhere and he called me to task over my promise to do so.
The DVD was about "Illuminati Symbols in New Orleans," and was capped off (excuse the pun) by the turret on top of the bank building that I had stared at, in a trance, the day before.
*(the Twilight Zone theme can play in your head, now, reader)*
Cosmic thing #4:
There isn't one, yet.
Tanya and Dorise have left without me for points north.
In their defense, they weren't trying to ditch me; they were just going to Ohio and Iowa and not very close to Massachusetts this year....


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Interim LSU Hospital

"...The Envelope, Please...It's BRONCHITIS!!"
I got up at around 4 this morning; and decided to put on the still damp jeans which had been hanging by my head to dry for about 16 hours (adding to my suspicion that it is very humid under the dock) and to go to the emergency room about my pneumonia or upper respiratory infection; or whatever they are finding now, as I sit here and wait for them to get back to me about my .
X-rays and my blood test.
I just picked this emergency room because I knew about its existence; not realizing that it is not free; and I will probably be billed hundreds of dollars at the address of The Rebuild Center, which is the only one that I could think of to give them.
Yesterday, things got so bad that I didn't think I had the strength to carry my 20 pound pack along with my guitar the 2 miles to get here; so I just lied down and ate nothing, but just drank distilled water.
Eating seemed to make the symptoms worse; a few hours afterwards. I suppose the body needs oxygen to digest food; and I wasn't getting enough into my lungs to do the job and keep me alive at the same time. That is my theory.
I thought about hiding my stuff under there and walking unencumbered; but, being aware of my own delirium bourn of dehydration, lack of sleep and lack of oxygen, I decided not to take the chance that I wasn't thinking clearly and opted not to make any major decision, other than to lie down.
It would take just one skeezer seeing me walking without my stuff who had nothing better to do than to spend an hour or two under the dock looking for something for free.
They are pretty much afraid to go under there after dark, due to the rumors about "rats the size of your head," spiders, and the newest attraction; which has been garnering attention and more than one rock thrower from the river walk; the 5 foot alligator.
When I go under there in the wee hours of the morning; I usually hear a loud splash. That would be the 5 foot terror running like hell at the sight of me. But the skeezers don't need to know that.
Let me wrap a bandage around my ankle one day; one soaked in blood from some raw meat; and answer "Gator got me"
But, I was able to actually get to sleep. I never went into the Quarter, staying under the dock for a whole 24 hours.
On one hand, my body seemed to need the sleep; but I wasn't hungry at all.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Over The Pneumonia

  • Friends Genuinely Concerned About My Health
  • I Am Impressed By The Self Control Shown By Nola Skeezers
  • As Soon As Pneumonia Subsides, I Am Traveling
I have had an outpouring o
f messages from Facebook friends who are generally concerned that if I have pneumonia, then it might just get worse.
At the same time, my cough has loosened up and it seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel and not just the stars that I see when I cough my hardest.
The whole time that I was sick, I hardly busked at all; but had people randomly hand me 20 dollar bills; after just striking up conversations with me.
I became a real asshole while ill, though; and spewed my venom upon any and all that came into my path.
For example, when I went past the Barely Legal club on Bourbon, and the girls were standing in the doorway trying to entice customers inside by looking "barely legal" i.e. just turned 18, I would say something like: "Do you have a younger sister?" and that is just mean; even though it would take at least 18 years just to tattoo their bodies such if the artists were working around the clock and high on cocaine.
I was merciless on beggars.
The funny thing is that, one would think that I should have provoked any one of them to rebuke me and take offense just upon general principle over the way that I talked to them.
I basically called them weak, ineffectual cowards and losers, who had no power to go out into the world and make their way and that they should be ashamed of themselves and that I was ashamed of them and that if God created man in His image then he surely is ashamed of them and that they made me sick and were disgusting, etc....
And, all of them just went about their way; not paying me any mind as if they encountered my type often and had deemed the best course to be just to walk away. There is plenty of money in skeezing and no good reason to jeopardize it by becoming belligerent with one guy; just move on to the next.
These are real professionals.
I was impressed, because my impression of African Americans is that you just cannot insult them. "Nobody talks to me like that!" has been a mantra which I have associated with them (even to a fault, such as in basic training in the army when a lot of them from places like Detroit just would not fall in line and be disciplined)
But  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I'm Dying To Go: Edited

I was feeling sick and (literally) tired when I wrote this original post, which I hardly remember doing...
I had to cut a lot out of it; I still haven't really slept; but I lied down this morning and I could actually breath and didn't feel like I was drowning.....
I am dying of some kind of respiratory thing in my upper chest; I cough and I see stars and I cough until it feels like vomiting and I can't sleep; because I can't get enough air in my chest unless I stay awake and work really hard at just breathing; when I lie down I can't get enough air and when I exhale the gurgling and whistling sounds are enough to keep me awake just by themselves.
It is getting worse; I thought that it couldn't, but last night I didn't sleep. I just laid there heaving and hoeing like a rower on a boat; feeling short of breath.
I roll onto my left side and cough as hard as I can; nothing comes up; I have to bury my face so that the night crew on the boat don't hear me; and then roll on to the other side and repeat it; all the while getting no sleep. Then, I sit up and lean forward with my forehead on the ground and cough; and I might dislodge a tiny bit of something yellowish green; which tastes more metallic than sucking on a penny. All the while, cussing.
The rats are waiting for the inevitable.
The black capped night heron is waiting to pounce upon the rats as they sally forth to rip at my rotting flesh; and the alligator might be disappointed because the herons won't be by the waterside what with all the rats available to eat around my carcass.
So that is basically how it is.

I haven't busked for 4 days; and I haven't had anything to offer. When I have taken my guitar out; all I have wanted to sing was offensive or hostile things. I want to provoke people and offend them. I am drinking again, by the way.
I Will Live
If my pneumonia or hepatitis or whatever is still as bad tonight; then I think I will go to the emergency room; even though I can't stand the sight of skeezers there who are just trying to skeeze narcotics.
That is what has been keeping me from going there.

Dorise North
And, If I live, then I hope to travel along with Dorise Blackmon, (of Tanya and Dorise) to visit my family and friends in Massachusetts.
She takes an annual trip to Connecticut around this time of year; and she asked me last year; after I had told her of my failed attempt to hop a freight train headed north: "Why didn't you just ride with me?"
If I can; I will. I want to get out of here. I have pissing off a lot of people.. I went off and caused a scene in front of Brothers Market after the "Brothers Market" skeezer asked me for something.
"Yeah, sure I have a dollar...because I went out into this great big world like a man and did what I had to do to get a dollar!!...and I'll be damned if I'm just going to turn around and hand it to some weak little pussy who just stands here and begs like a dog. Be a man and get out there and do something to contribute and maybe you will have a dollar!"

Yeah...stuff like that; all weekend long. I can't remember the most of it; but it was all like that; and I think it was all geared towards me leaving here; by laying traps for myself  back here. I had better get out of town and let things blow over....


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Bird Strikes Again

9 Dollar Saturday
This Is Going To Be My Revolution 9
I woke up and it was about 7 in the evening.
I wasn't sure if it was 7 in the morning or not, because the light level would be about the same.
I had been up late and didn't get under the dock until daybreak.
It was not a great day money-wise; but  I found a way to fix the guitar by winding the thing totally backwards.
22 Dollar Friday
Friday night, I had sat out there with the broken guitar and endeavored to play the thing in that condition.
One young guy came by and produced a dollar and then; seemed embarrassed over the fact that he didn't know where to put it.
I had not set up the sharks or the case or the spotlight; or any of the trappings of a guy trying to make money playing music.
I had a broken guitar.
I explained to him; who was an Asian kid of about 18 that I wasn't even sure if I wanted to play or not, given that my guitar was broken.
He wound up giving me 20 more dollars to go with the first 2 that he had given me; after we had a conversation.
43 Dollar Sunday
Sunday was weird.
It started out with me running into a group that was in town to do missionary work. They were on Bourbon Street.
They asked me if it would be alright if they prayed over me.
I mentioned that I could pray over them; citing the fact that; as they were coming to pray over people then people might get the impression that they had all the answers and all the blessings and were walking around with halos around their heads; bringing prayer to all; and as a result nobody was going to pray for them....
I mean, how many people pray for Jesus...what would the prayer be; that he come to know himself?
They were holding bibles.
They asked me the usual questions.
I told them that I had a great relationship with Jesus and that Jesus had even "told" me to go ahead and read the Koran and the Bagavad Gita -pretty good reads; and a lot of valuable information in them, he said.
Well, that opened the floodgates for them to try to argue with me about salvation.
That morning, I had achieved a great tranquility by just staring at the rising suns reflection off the river and letting my mind go to the point which transcended thought itself.
There was wisdom there which was not of this world.
But then, these bible holders; well one of them actually said to me something which I paraphrase as:
It seems like you once came to know the Lord, but....what happened?
What happened????
"Why are you presuming that something happened?"
"Because I have holes in my pants; I must not be walking in the Way of the Lord?"
"Because I am holding this can of beer and on my way to play my guitar on the street, then you are gong to make the leap and assume that something has gone terribly wrong and I have fallen away from the Lord?"
I told them that I was going to pray for them to be less pretentious, and then walked away.
But I never shook it.
I broke another string; at a strange time; when I was singing some made-up lyric relating to the bible toters; and I struggled on.
I made no money and eventually sang "What a Goddam Waste of Time," in the key of E.
Well, a guy came along and sat next to me. He was from Europe.
He invited me to get a beer at a bar and we went off to do so.
He gave me 20 bucks after we parted ways because he wanted to go into a strip club and I totally did not want to because everything about me, down to my smelly, dirty clothes and my attitude said; "I am not the money bag that you girls wait to pounce upon like fleas with big tits."
Then, I walked up Canal Street, stopping to pick an ashtray and then being recruited to join a conversation between a young man an lady; to help illustrate a point which the guy was trying to make and which he thought I was the perfect person to help illustrate.
They gave me 20 dollars after we had had a pleasant conversation.
So, it will be Monday morning and I will wake up with almost 50 bucks after a night when I could hardly bring myself to play music after an encounter with evangelists who ruffled my feathers.
Enjoy the song at the top. It is in its infancy; but I love the kind of stuff that I intend it to be eventually.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Waaauuuuk!!!!!!

To say that this Thursday, July 17th, has not been a good day would not be accurate. It was probably about as good a day as one could have, who wakes up with 72 cents on him; swills down some instant coffee and honey and then leaves before the dimming light of nightfall would ma
ke doing so more difficult; in respect to finding and donning clean socks; finding hat and shoes stuffing the laptop into the backpack; tying it up; then making sure everything else is grabbed which might come in handy out there -the 72 cents; the flashlight the lighter -and the rest put out of sight; so that anyone on the boat who might want to train a multi candle power beam upon the place would see only the rocks and the rats about to be caught and drowned in the river by the night heron; and the alligtor at just the spot where the bird likes to do so; with only its eyes and nose showing above the water. And the trash bagged up, so that I, at least, would not have to worry about someone finding my camp and determining that I needed to be removed because I was making a mess.
I hope to leave the place to the turtle and the spiders and the rats and the mice and the bird and the gator; for a few months; maybe more.
The romance has gone out of busking for right now.
I had started drinking again; and had lost a sense of direction and purpose and had even lost track of my money; so that, when the tuning machine on my guitar malfunctioned (the same one that I had replaced the last time it happened) I found myself in a situation where the incom was going to immediately stop; and I was subconsciously glad of the fact.
I was going to quit all my bad habits; by default. I would suffer; but would shortly be asking myself things like: "Is your happiness really predicated upon being drunk and stoned and stuffing yourself with unhealthy food?"
And then I would go without all that. I wouldn't feel like playing music initially but, when the urge came back around, I would play at a heightened level and would make money which wasn't going to be at risk of being spent on liqour and weed and cigarettes; and maybe a candle for the place under the dock; although; somebody taught me how to make a simple one out of a small dish; some vegetable oil and a crude wick; which burns brightly enough to read by. Just one more corner to cut in the effort to direct funds towards dissipation, and away from other things. Wash your clothes under the water spout at the dock whenever it rains -save 5 more bucks for drinking and smoking....
Well, that first day I came out broke and with a broken guitar; and sat by Rouses Market.
Somebody came along and offfered me a dollar for 3 cigarettes; and even gave me one of them back; after a quick survey of myself; and an internal dialogue with himself.
I was soon on my way to Uniques for a 24 ounce malt liquor, even though I woke up broke.
I took it with me to the spot where I get wireless, across the street from the Courtyard Marriott. Soon, a guy came along, and stood nearby. I took him in and determined that he was the strangest looking skeezer that I had ever seen.
He was a small guy; white haired and wearing white clothing which seemed to reflect his white hair.
He spotted me there with my laptop and my guitar leaned up near me and he walked over towards me.
I was not in a very good mood, having had only one 24 ounce malt liquor, which made me feel like a grizzly bear which had been shot by a .22 pistol.
"He asked me if I played guitar, but in an Irish Broughe (which should have tipped me off that he wasn't a local skeezer, but at that point I was so sick and tired of skeezers thinking that I certainly had to give them a cigarette or a dollar because; how could I be sitting there with a laptop, just like the rich spoiled brat Tulane students; and look them in the eye and honestly tell them (each) that I couldn't spare (them each) one lousey dollar?!?"
"Sorry, I just spent my every last penny on this computer; saved for years to get it; I just don't have a dollar."
But, this guy asked me if I played guitar, as one was leaning up against the wall right by my head.
I had been in this situation before; and had found that the whole reference to the guitar and to music and to anything else was just part of a skeeze.
"Do I play guitar?, I echoed his question, like I couldn't believe that he had asked it. Then I turned slowly and stared at the guitar by my head with my best "No, I just carry one around with me, you moron?!?" look, said "Yeah, I play guitar."
He told me that he was leaving town and gave me a sack of what turned out to be very good weed, telling me "You can just throw this away, if you don't want it," and then had disappeared before I could either thank him; or appologize for my initial rudeness; and then detail how the local skeezers had turned me into such a curmudgeon.
I sampled the weed; some of it was already rolled; and then gulped down the rest of my beer. When I went to throw the empty away, there was a full Hand Grenade, ice not even melted, atop the trash.
I actually looked for the guy for a while, wanting to appologize for my rudeness and found a full, unopened pack of cigarettes just laying on the sidewalk as I searched for him.
So much for quitting all my bad habits by default because I woke up with only 72 cents....
The weed was so good that I walked the 11 blocks to the Lilly spot and played my broken guitar with only 5 strings and made a couple of bucks, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.
Then, I found all kinds of food; and went under the dock; ate; and slept fitfully.
Waaaauuckk ing pneumonia

The upper respiratory infection, or whatever it is keeps me up at night. I can't sleep because I have to make an effort to breath; like being in the gym and pumping weights. If I just lay there and hope to fall asleep, the natural breathing reflex will not be enough to pull enough air into my lungs. I need to lay there pulling air into me forcefully just to stave off the "winded" feeling. And there are all kinds of gurgling sounds and whistling sounds and sometimes musical notes coming from my chest.
When I am upright, i.e. walking around; it almost goes away entirely; but my lung capacity is noticeably diminished.
It started right at the point of my last juice fast when I switched to a mucous producing food (like cheese; I can't remember) abruptly; right out of the juice only phase; and soon had a little tickle in my throat.....now.....
It is much worse when I eat foods like the pizza that I had last night, and the whole box of Graham Crackers which I had washed down with almond milk the previous night.
Billy; The Goat?

It has crossed my mind that I have gotten something; probably from Billy, whom I have previously referred to as "smiley" in this blog because his face is frozen in a nervous tick type smile.
He was begging me to pass him my cigarette, as he sat by me one night.
Of course he was begging me.
I did (pass him it) several times. He took drags and then handed it back.
He was annoying me with the drunken comments that he was making to passing tourists; and I was afraie that some husband without a sense of humor was going to beat Billy's ass, after some comment he made, like: "Oh, you like the fat ones...me too!!" when the lady may have been 10 pounds overweight.
Well, "Smiling Billy," eventually got to digging in his pack, and producing a few pill bottles, asked me if I wanted any pain pills or muscle relaxers.
"No, they don't help me play," I said.
He rummaged further and found an additional pill bottle.
"Oh, I just got these...I just found out I have hepatitis..." said drunken Billy with a grin frozen on his face; who had just begged me to pass him my cigarette, so that he could pull on it; and then pass back.
"If you just found out you have hepatitis, then why are you asking people for pulls off their cigarettes and then handing them back. Because you're an idiot?!?" I asked.
Yes, because he is an idiot; and one so drunk that the disease just kind of slipped his mind in his desire to skeeze a cigarette.
"I'm sorry I gave you a deadly virus, but I was really nicking!!..."
He was able to placate me with the news that his particular type of hepatits is not contageous; but still, the timing of the onset of the tickling in my throat which has progressed to me feeling like I am drowning whenever I lay down; had me despising Billy on more than one occasion as I lay there. He with that silly grin frozen on his face.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I Just Have To Busk More For Hours

It is 10 p.m. on a Saturday night.
I am sitting here with a can of Tecate next to me and a cashed bowl; and I am blogging; not playing my guitar at my spot.
It almost seems like I want to be broke.
I love to sit and write. Sometimes; right after I had written something which felt like it came out pretty well, I would find something like a full pack of smokes; or meet someone who would hand me something; or even go to my spot and, stoked by having written for hours would play at an unGodly hour; improvising lyrics about a time that my sisters friend stayed at our house for a week or so because she was arguing with her mother; and have a tip thrown to me large enough that I could reasonably consider it a substitute for whatever I would have made had I played for the 5 hours which I spent writing.
Coincidences; they all were, I know; but every time I go to that well, the bucket comes up with something. But, time spent writing is certainly making me poor right now.
This has been a way for me to avoid the temptations that only money can buy; you know, I'm not cheating on my wife with a mistress in New Zealand every time I fly my Lear Jet to Melbourne to meet with associates; having her put up year-round in a beach-side condo; written off as a business expense -the condo- of course.
I have avoided temptations such as these which would surely bring me down the road to ruin; by keeping my income at about $13 and hour, as a busker without an amp nor microphone; nor a dog; nor a female tambourine player; nor a big flashy gimmick like -I play a blue guitar; and have blue sharks circling my tips (before I have even counted them, is the premise) so why not play wearing only a jock strap which has been spray painted blue; and then paint my body blue; dye my hair blue; the same shade as the guitar...and then; what the heck; play Blue Bayou, by Roy Orbison, and Almost Blue by Elvis Costello, etc?
I would soon be singing them through an amp and mic, and could use the Gimmick as an inroad to gradually ease my own material into the rotation; and when you are making enough cash, it is easier to attract the right tambourine players and back up singers.....of course the Blue Man Thing has already been done.
But I need to go off and busk now; it is 10:30 and I have only spent a half hour on this...not bad...probably cost me about 7 bucks in lost tips...
The Life Getting Boring
The busking life has gotten boring; the way I have been doing it; which I guess is to say that the homeless busking life has had the romance go out of it to a large extent.
Yeah, having discovered that being sober and responsible and approaching busking
 in NOLA as a business, and implementing a strategy for success is really the only sane way to go.
One just can't expect to be as dissipated as the tourists and to prosper; any more than the guy at the amusement park in the red and white (vertically) striped shirt whose job it is to turn the handle to the right to start the merry-go-round and then turn it to the left to stop the merry-go-round can jump up onto a horse on the merry-go-round so that he can enjoy himself right along with his "passengers," and still do his job.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Sister Mary

My sister, Mary.
I  met her when I was about 18 months old.
I wasn't particularly impressed.
But, I was pretty much just into myself; at that age; I'm embarrassed to say.
She was a little over 2 at the time.
I had been adopted into the same family as her, by parents who were a God-send, pure and simple to both of us, though we wouldn't appreciate it, maybe not until now; because kids don't appreciate anything. They are a bunch of spoiled brats. And we were pretty typical.
I guess our adoptive parents wanted a girl and a boy; to round out a family.
Mary was older than me, as stated above. 
She flaunted it over me; at the onset.
Girls develop faster than boys, and I quickly found myself at a disadvantage in such cases as when, we were standing in front of my grandfathers house on 18 Thomas Street in Fitchburg, around 1966, and we were being presented (I would say "introduced," but toddlers aren't really introduced, they are, presented) to a contemporary of my grandfathers.
He (the contemporary) was probably a pretty important and prominent figure in our community; because our grandfather was a pillar of the community; having been the chief of police for years; and having led the 4th of July parade for years to where "the whole city" waited to watch the fireworks. He had fought in World War 1 and had brought back souvenirs.
I remember standing there, all smiles; looking up at whomever it was that we were being introduced to; and hearing my sister say; "I'm 5, and he's 4."
I felt inferior for the first time in my life; and as if I had some catching up to do; and I resolved to become 5, no matter what.
Looking back now, I can see that it made me stronger. and I thank my sister, now.

My sister was called "Mary Ellen," until we reached junior high school, at which point, she dropped the "Ellen" and became just Mary.
We just always called her Mary Ellen; when we were small; but I somehow knew she would eventually drop the Ellen, just as I shucked off "Danny" and became "Daniel" It was a rite of passage.
Around 8th Grade
I guess Mary Ellen thought that it would be cooler to do so; and I think that the TV show, popular at the time, "The Waltons," which portrayed a character named Mary Ellen had something to do with that. And I can understand anybody wanting to dissociate themselves with that particular show.
The character "John Boy,"  had an unsightly "birthmark" on his face.
I don't remember any of the story lines, or if they were even entertaining. All I dd from 8 p.m. until 9:30 p.m on Thursday nights as a 6 year old, was cringe at the sight of John Boy, hoping that one could get an ugly freckle the size of a raisin on ones face only from living way out in the country (far away from us) where they did.
We had our share of sibling rivalries, growing up.
In the summer of 1969, as we rode in the back seat of our families Plymouth Bonneville, along Cape Cod, I remember wanting to punch Mary Ellen in the head, because "Marrakesh Express," by Crosby Stills and Nash was on the radio, and she was singing along, getting into it so much that she had her eyes closed and was bobbing her head. ...Nobody should be that happy...
It was, and still is, a great song,  and she was following her bliss; with dad at the wheel and mom by his side; all of us excited about our 2 week vacation on the cape. But I remember wanting to snap her out of it, for some reason; wake her up.
She was 7 and I was 6, then, but somehow I had the wisdom to know that "It ain't always gonna be like this.." The sooner she learned that life was going to go downhill some from bobbing your head to Marrakesh Express with your eyes closed; the better for her, in my opinion.
There were body bags coming in from Vietnam being shown on the evening news each night -in color, if your family could afford the RCA.
She hated me, because I was a "show-off," and I hated her because she was a "fat head," and we reached a stalemate there. God, though, I wanted to slap that joy off her face, and derail that train to Marrakesh; but our father would have returned it to me 10 fold; and I would have learned then and there that you just don't hit a girl; ever. Even a fathead.

Then, we got to some nondescript beach (I think it was on the "ocean" side of the cape) where there were other families, toting their folding chairs and coolers and Styrofoam surfboards; and one boy of about my age and size from a nondescript family threw a clump of wet seaweed at my sister; hitting her with it.
Our dad had to pull me off of him; telling me out loud that violence never solved anything.
As I was wondering if he was going to beat me to illustrate the point, he said under his breath that he was proud of me for standing up for my sister. "All aboard that train.."   
So, my sister dropped the Ellen, and became just Mary. Good for her.
In high school, she became pretty cool, indeed; and grew into her head.
My father warned me to be on the lookout for phonies, who would try to befriend me, to get close to her.
One of her friends had a car; and would pick her up just 15 minutes before school started; and I was invited to ride along. That was when I discovered marijuana.
She got married after high school to, I guess, her high school sweetheart, Jeff (a Facebook Friend) and they had my niece, Jill (also a Facebook friend) and then, things kind of unraveled as we all became disillusioned with the bill of goods that we had been force-fed as kids growing up in middle class America; and, without going into too much detail (there are several good books on the topic, one by Ted Koppel, called "The Greatest Generation" or something) she wound up divorced; re-married and then got screwed over financially somehow; then remarried again, at last notice....
But, through it all; I've always felt like I could pick up the phone at any time and call her; and the same Mary whom I always knew would answer.
I went on to become screwed up in my own way; and now I am a street musician in New Orleans and I close my eyes and bob my head every night; to make my living.
They're taking me to Marrakesh.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Facebook Overlap

I am still working on the profile of friend #13 (of 73) which will be Mary Mckenna , sister, Nashua New Hampshire; and I think that what I am going to do is put the profile on my blog at daniels-new-blog.blogspot.com so that I will not be neglecting my blog while spending time on the profile for the The Great Daniel Friend Vote-Off blah, blah ,blah on Facebook....
And, that way; important people in my life like my sister can have their profiles added to my "bio" section on the blog; and the same profile can be used to help my friends on Facebook to make an informed decision in voting one of their own off of my friend list...kind of double-dipping; but a lot of the Greats, (like Mark Twain, Samuel Beckett) linked their blogs to their Facebook pages, if you read your history....
Mary McKenna

O.K. Birds; It's All You

I woke up this morning; It was Sunday; but of that, I wasn't even sure.
I had woken up several times.
Once, at 1:08, I awoke and realized that I could make my exodus from under the dock, as the boat was gone and was due to return right at that moment; but yet hadn't.
I dozed off.
Above my head was everything except cigarettes on the girders.
I have been racked by a dry cough, which one little puff on a cigarette will set into motion; and have really not been smoking much. I have to quit, sooner or later; I am not going to just die at 87 years old because of "smoking related" stuff.
I went out.
I was procrastinating in playing at the Lilly Spot.
I ran into Lilly on Royal Street, as I was headed towards Uniques, to get the first drink of the day; on my my to get the daily sack of weed. "Where are you going?," she asked, seeing that my direction was away from her stoop.

"To that store?," she added, answering her own question, as I was going to Uniques.
She calls me "my love," and does so loudly in front of all the skeezers on the steps of the Supreme Court building; and, this afternoon, actually said "If you have any problems from any of these cops, or these State cops, just call me..."
She said it as people from the Supreme Court building, in their suits were walking past cops who had emerged from the station on the other block.
I must say that, on Thursday night, there was a small procession of cops that rode past and didn't bother me. They might have even waved, but I hadn't had my glasses on and wasn't sure.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Nobody Thinks That I Will Actually Travel

Thursday night, into Friday morning, I was right here on this laptop, doing everything from my little Facebook "Friend Vote Off" game, which I invented, to God knows what.
The sun actually came up on me; as I sat here using the wi-fi outside PJ's Coffee and, by the time I got to the dock it was heavily secured with people, who all seemed to know that I was the guy seen coming out from under it. They had just never seen me go under.
I worked a bit on an audio file, by the topside of the dock, as a guy sat in plain view, who had taken up that post as soon as I neared the dock, sitting as he was in a chair on the lowest deck of the boat; from which would be seen my ducking under it.
I was faced with the fact that it was Friday morning, and I had not gotten to sleep at my "accustomed" time of about 3 p.m.; and if I was going to sleep, then it would have to be at the sign spot.

The Sign Spot, In
Better Days...
And, it would have to be in the heat, un-buffeted by the dock.
When I had gone into Uniques at about 9 in the morning, on my way to the sign spot; some skeezer told me that I smelled. I almost wanted to pull out my wad of money and say; "Yeah, a guy works up a sweat making this kind of money!" but I refrained from doing so, mostly because I didn't have a wad of money.
I ran into a young guy who had given me a book by Samuel Beckett ("Waiting For Godot") right before leaving my wi-fi spot.
I started to read "Texts About Nothing," in an attempt to become sleepy. I determined that Samuel Beckett was an absolutely worthless writer. I read his stuff out loud, sitting there by the sign; and punctuated his prose with "Really?" "Are you serious?" and other ejaculations in response to what I was reading. I found him to be impossibly contradictory. He would say "It was ingenious; but, no... it was actually stupid..." and stuff like that. I wondered if it was just due to the age in which his stuff was published; that he actually ever saw print.
I slept a bit, but not much.
Where I have domestic tranquility, replete with the comforts of a 5 foot alligator, a night heron, a few spiders, a turtle and perhaps 31 rats, under the dock; at the sign spot, I had the horror of ants and a few flies.
I can sleep through all of that, if I set my mind to it; I can block out flies landing upon my skin; but...I think I have become spoiled.
It is through some miracle that I got any sleep at all; and enough of it to make me think that I could go out and busk. It was Friday night, after all.
I procrastinated....severely.
I was at Tanya and Dorise' spot at about 10 p.m.
I was flat broke.
I re-borrowed the 5 bucks which I had paid back to Dorise, which she hadn't remembered lending me.
I listened to a couple of songs before that. They are playing very well; and have really seemed to have taken up the general challenge of playing anything requested; with Dorise pulling up an application on her phone which is essentially a fake book; and Tanya just playing the melody out of her head.
I can't help but think that Tanya is like those people who can solve a Rubiks Cube in 17.8 seconds; but she can just do it musically.
I borrowed the 5 dollars back, as I chatted with Dorise; while a crowd of about 40 encircled them; to include skeezers who have long been conditioned to just not ask the girls for money. They are like Royalty on Royal Street; and, if they started lending money; then; look out; every skeezer in kingdom come would...well; the reader gets the point...
I really felt kind of privileged; to have exchanged quiet words with Dorise and to have seen, in front of the whole group of tourists; and the hangers on, who want to be there to make the girls feel more secure or to offer services such as watching their stuff when they take a break; or the ones who just want to avail themselves of a pretty darned good free concert on the street; to have borrowed 5 bucks right out of their basket.
Then, I went to Rouses Market and was able to trade a food item for a beer and etc....
It was a pretty good night; I am playing well, but not as good as when sober.
I have gotten some good information about traveling and am psyched to do so.....but; that is like the boy who cried "wolf," nobody thinks I will actually travel.....