Saturday, August 31, 2013
Smokin' and Drinkin', On a Bum Budget
Sorry for the delay but I'm not on a schedule. I am as free as a bird and with freedom there comes a price. Nothing is free in this world. I don't mind the fact that I sleep in the "streets". I am lucky to have a secret sleeping spot that has a awning over my head to keep me from getting wet from the rain and nobody, especially a cop, has yet to find me sleeping there. So I am thankful for that. As far as feeding my nicotine addiction without any income whatsoever is a pain in my ass. I am force to resort to "sniping". (And no, it's not shooting at someone from a long distance) Sniping is picking up cigarette butts off the street or out of an ashtray to smoke what is left of the discarded cigarette. Pretty pathetic, I know. But it is what it is and right now it is my current reality. I am out of food stamps until the 7th of the month and thank God for the daily soup kitchen feeding at 4pm or I'd be starving. Sometimes if I wake up around 3 a.m., I will walk down to Duval street and try to pick up some pizza thrown out in the garbage from unsold slices from Paradise pizza and have a little early morning snack. The pizza is inside the box usually sitting on top of the other garbage. I found one whole pepperoni pie in a box, untouched, one night. But that has been it. The competition is fierce between the bums in terms of searching and finding anything like money. I found a 20 dollar bill one night and another 20 a few nights later but this pass week has been miserable, finding nothing. Be it rain or lack of tourist or other bums finding "it" before you, it's been a rough week...... Key West has a legal panhandling zone down by Mallory Square but you have other bums vying for the end spot to get the money from the tourist. One day I was there with a friend, we were there before this other guy came along with a sign, and the other guy came up and said, "Excuse me" to my friend and my friend said, "Excuse me what?" and the other guy claimed that that was his spot and wanted my friend to move and he didn't. So, a verbal fight broke out and then the other guy took a swing at my friend and grazed his temple, my friend took his painting pole out to defend himself and the other guy brandished a knife while some tourists observed. One tourist even video taped the incident on her iPhone. The cops rolled up with Tasers in hand and ordered the man with the knife (which he had already tried to stash) on the ground and one of the witnesses pointed out where the knife was and the other guy was taken to jail. Still claiming, telling the cop that "It was HIS spot" as the cop informed his that it WASN'T his spot and that the city of Key West owns that spot. So it can be ruthless and dangerous just trying to panhandle some money. I personally can't panhandle or ask for money. Maybe it's pride, I don't know. But I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't have "game" or a "hustle". It's just not me. I can hold a sign but that's about it. Which after 2 days made me about 3 dollars in the hot sun. Not worth it. I rather chance my luck walking around to find change or a dollar bill on the street. My friend Derek can make roses out of palm tree leaves and I try to sell them. We sell a couple but not many and he has to be in the "mood" to make them which is rare.... I picked up a new trick last night from my new running partner Derek called "Ma Dicker". Which is gross but it does work with any luck. Ma Dicker is where you find half drunken drinks along railings, sidewalks and dare I say even in garbage cans and you simple pick them up and drink them, like a true out of money, out of work, out of alcohol, thirsty soon to be drunk bum. The cost.......wait for it......PRICELESS. I need a friggin' MasterCard sponsorship. Maybe I can make money that way?...Hmmmmmm. OR maybe, uh, GET A FUCKIN' JOB, like everybody else!!! WHAT A CONCEPT. Easier said than done, especially when you're a bum. Sounds like a song lyric. When your clothes are dirty or not interview worthy. Or you don't have a phone so they can contact you. I hear that really helps when searching for a job. But what the hell do I know......I almost forgot, while me and Derelict were Ma Dickerin' we came upon a man dressed in a Darth Vader costume playing a banjo and he asked if we would like some wine. Puzzled and perplexed we said, SURE!!!! and Mister Vader handed us a bottle of unopened Pinot Noir....True story, C'mon, I can't make that shit up.... What a pathetic, poetic ending to a perfectly fucked up evening.....Happy Ma Dickering!!! Save me a cup, you greedy bastard. CHEERS!!!