Sunday, March 21, 2010

$1 a day

Woke up and the birds were singing like a Nat King Cole song. I'm going downtown and make a million dollars, I thought. I'll play guitar on Market Square. So I dressed up like a '70s pimp and was almost out the door when the phone rings. At this point it could be anyone from the phone company stopping service to the board of humane treatment of chickens. It turned out to be Tiffany, the Labor Ready minx who lured me into one of the worst tickets ever during last week's storm. But it's beautiful out and I had my guitar on my back.
"We need you. Can you get here?"
"Ah, baby, I got plans."
"This is good work. Servpro needs you back. Come on."
I almost cracked again because I do need guaranteed money and playing guitar on Market Square is a guaranteed disturbing the peace ticket. But then I remembered the crossroads guys, the tales of jail and methadone, the mixed martial artist guy who I pissed off with my philosophical treatise of Hannah Montana. And mostly I remembered that FUCKING $40 check that I got after 6 straight hours on my knees digging at soaking wet carpet pads in a stinking basement full of wet clothes. $40 that vanished into vodka and quinoa wraps. It's an absolute insult and at least I could drag my feet...maybe if she offered me a minimum $50 or $10 an hour.
"I don't know..."
"Come on, Oggy."
"I'm sort of busy...."
"We need you."
She wasn't going to offer me shit so I said no.
"I've got plans."
She hung up. I felt a bit guilty because turning down a job, even on a Saturday, means I become dirt to them. I'm no longer reliable. I'm not the go to guy. When you get calls from Labor Ready that means you are in the upper class. And when you reject a job from Labor Ready that means you are worst than scum to them. It forces them to call people on parole. It also means my chance of getting Tiffany to agree to a date just plummeted.

So I went downtown and played on the sidewalk for three hours and made $1. I played all the Mexico songs I learned but I didn't have a place to put the money. It was practice mostly and I saw one of my fans down there so it wasn't wasted time. I did see a servpro truck pass me with miserable faces staring out. Maybe on Monday I'll go in and take a job washing cars. Or not.

Then it was time for 7 brides for 7 brothers, that musical tale of kidnapping and true love in the Oregon wilderness. The barn dancing scene is spectacular. One of the brothers is a ballet dancer who does vaults on two beams while spinning a girl in circles. I'm so jealous.

Number of words written for my Santa Cruz novel: 0
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.