February 10, 2010

Being a bum is fun....

....but being broke sucks. I had this whole idea of selling hot dogs for the OK Bicycle Shop, to make some extra cash. Saturday I went to the Shop at noon to get things ready. I went and got the cart out of storage and took it back to the Shop to clean it up and get it stocked. We made a shopping list of things needed to get it up and running to sling wieners. I got out on the streets around 5. I hit the parade route and walked it 1 1/2 times. Now this cart is about a couple hundred pounds loaded and doesn't have the best wheels for easy rolling so I was having to put a lot of work into moving this thing around. I was selling Loaded Dogs for $4 and Soda and Water for a buck. As I walked the route I heard all sorts of things yelled out. "you got hot coco?" I didn't, but would have millions right now if I had. "You got a beer?" Again I didn't, but would have trillions if I had! And my favorite "You expect me to pay $4 just to have to shit in 30 minutes in that nasty porta john?!" My response to her was 'don't get the chili!' Sold! Once the parade passed by the Bike Shop I went inside and got a bite to eat. The tacos there are amazing; the Crispy Fish and Pork are my favorites. I talked to more people about what it is I'm doing. The longer I stay here the harder it is to talk about it. I feel I am losing touch with the adventure and am ready to get going but need to wait it out as planned. I have packages coming for Coop and I for our Birthday on Sat Feb 13. I really can't image spending my 31st anywhere but Mobile now. After warming up, I made my way downtown to sit up in front of the bars. I had been down there earlier around 9 but there was no one out yet because everyone was still at the parade. But now after 11 there were lines for a couple of bars and just overflow on the sidewalks and street. I stopped a couple times on my way to the main intersection on Dauphin St. to sell a couple dogs here and there and chat with people who recognized me from seeing me at the parade or riding around with Coop. As I made my way past a large group, that's when I saw it. There was a double wide version of what I had set up on sidewalk just about where I had planned to stake my claim. This guy and his gal were the dog slinging duo. He stepped down onto the street and asked what the story was. I can't remember his name, and I'm not going to make it up because it was very fitting for this guys character. Anyway this guy starts asking questions 'who you with, how much you selling, why you down here?' But the most important thing was "there is room for only one vendor down here, so just stick to walking the parade." With that said I called back to Headquarters and asked where else downtown would be a good spot to set up. Their response was' back here and put up for the night.' So back I went, unpacked, flipped, wrapped, labeled and put away. I sold 28 hot dogs that day. I didn't even eat one because I didn't want it to cut into my %. At the end of it all, 13 hours after I had gotten down there, I made $30. Money is money and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do something to earn it. But that was hard swallow.

The weather down here has been cold. I was looking at pictures from last year. Most everyone is wearing short sleeves at night and a lot of people wearing shorts. The weather here has been in the mid 40s during the day and getting down to low 30 during the night. Most of the houses and apt buildings don't have the proper insulation and are just old. Right now at 1 pm I'm wearing two layers on the legs and 4 layers on the body with a scarf and stocking cap. I would have gloves on but not good for the typing. When I wake in the morning on the couch I can see my breath.

Sunday brought the Super Bowl. Two weeks ago I had said I was staying here to see the Saints win. And I called it. WHO DAT NATION was loud and proud!! What a game, hardly any penalties and only a couple crucial turnovers. I was invited by Bucky to a house party at Cissie and Kathleens. They had and TV in both main rooms, one in the kitchen where a buffet was set up with all sorts of great tasting food and one outside with the fire pit. I moved from TV to TV taking to everyone and getting there vibe on this historic game. The tension was high and folks were nervous about the Saints winning it all. But I assured them all that they were going to win. Its already been planned and taken care of. Some of them looked at me sideways with questionable eyes and some did believe. But in the end we all believed and there was hugs, kisses, and dancing around getting crumped!! After the party winded down we talked with the hostess about their plans on Tuesday. See win or lose the city of New Orleans was throwing the Saints a parade. A float from every committee was being donated for this parade, something like this has never been done before. They are shutting down the city that day. If you didn't have anything to do with the madness you didn't have to work so pretty much emergency and service industry people had to work everyone else was off. Anyway these gals have been season ticket holders for years now and Bucky has gone to many games with them. So they got a room with a balcony for the parade. Once they won they asked Bucky and I if we would like to go. Bucky and I had made plans to go to a ball that night in Mobile for the Le Shes. I have never been to a ball and Bucky found a place to get a tux for less than $50, which I don't have, but once this proposition came to our ears we called off the ball and decided on the All Saints Parade instead. No one has ever experianced a parade like this in New Orleans so why not be a part of history.And Bucky is pretty sure I will be back again and can attend a ball at that time. Afterward we made our way over to Paddy O'Tooles to check on the Faithful there. We were greeted with shouts of joys, high fives, and hugs all around. We hung out there for a bit Bucky had to jump behind the bar to help out Buddy as he was the only one working this crazed crowd. After a bit and a couple of beers Bucky told me he was taking off due to a early tennis lesson he had the next day. I told him I could find a ride and not to worry. I had been playing pool and darts with Molly and Stephen. I was sure that I could get a ride from them. But it turned out to be Stephens Birthday at the stroke of Midnight so they started to get trashed. I ended up driving them back to her place and we started to play video games. I was cool with the situation, I was on the love seat, Stephen on the couch and Molly sitting on the floor in front of the couch. When all the sudden Stephen jumps up and asked to speak to Molly in the back. I take over on the controls and a few minutes later Molly comes out. I had asked her earlier in the night what their situation was. She informed me that they had dated at one time and it didn't work out but they stayed close friends. I can relate to this considering I am friends with about 85% of all my ex girlfriends. When you spend time with a person for a bit that person becomes your friend, companion, go to guy, and partner in crime. They know things about you your best same sex friends don't even know. So how can you just throw that history and friendship away if you break up. I understand if they hurt you or you hurt them, but for the most part you end up hurting someone because you don't know when its time to quit the relationship. I know I'm not a good boyfriend, but I'm a great friend. Most of my ex girlfriends have said 'your a better boyfriend when your not my boyfriend.' I know when the other isn't happy and that's what I want most, I want them to be happy and most of the time its not with me. So when Molly comes back out I say 'you guys are still together huh.' I wasn't planning on anything happening. I have enjoyed this time of solitude. Its something very new to me and something I need to experience. But at the same time I don't want to be put into awkward situation and that is what this just turned into. She informed me that they are still "kinda" together. My only response 'love is a crazy thing.' She said I could stay there for the night on the couch and they could give me a ride in the morning (even more awkward!!) I said thanks but no thanks and bundled up for the walk home. It was just under 5 miles and the temp that night was in the low 30s. As I walked home during the wee hours of the morning, it made me think back to the days of the late night walks in NYC. There was something always going on in the streets. But here in Mobile it was quite. People asked me the next day weren't you worried. I think about it, and right now nothing really worries me or scares me. I have this kinda unstoppable, invincible, arrogance about me now. I'm very self assured in who I am and what I can handle and I can handle anything right now. It all belongs to me and no one can take that away.

Till next time
Love and licks
Sean and Coop

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