almost always tomorrow

3/24/99

because there isn’t anything

that makes sense anymore

 

because there isn’t anything

that i have to make me smile right now

and the pain of my impatience

has control over me

and i feel

futile like nothing will ever

be complete

and i hate it all right now

and i hate you all

right now

and fuck this place

and fuck this job

and fuck this morning

and fuck you people

and fuck this page

fuck the moon

fuck the sun

fuck the stars

fuck this life of nothing from nothing and

i would love to open myself up

and feel this poisoned blood

leave me

watch as it stains the sheets

a final crimson

watch this morning

and everything else

 

disappear

 

as my eyes slowly close

 

but wouldn’t that be

just so fucking

redundant

 

and what if tomorrow is just

 

a little bit

 

better

 

3.24.99

i look out the door to the gray sky

same as it is inside

when there is nothing left

and nothing matters today.

 

i look to the gray sky

the color has faded from this boy

dead eyes and an empty heart

and nothing matters today

 

i dream of the peace in draining

on top of my bed, eyes slowly close

and i feel as there is nothing left to give

i’ve never been able to see it so clearly.

 

a dream of over and done with

i just don’t care anymore

and it doesn’t matter who she is

i never knew her anyway.

 

erase forever and always

never have they made much sense to me

when the beginning of the story is nothing but a myth

the author gets to choose his own end .

one of those days

I look out at the grey shy and feel its reflection in my heart.
I look at what my life has become after fighting so hard to keep it, and wounder if I would have if I’d known where it would lead.
For years now, broke, hungry, depending on others just to survive, the dreams I once had all becoming less substantial, less believable as time progresses and I look with a hard eye on reality. I don’t write this for your pity or encouragement. I write this because it’s what I feel, all that I see in front of me.

The last hope I have, the last thing that might change this life of nothing is my book, and even the excitement of that has waned over time and the poisoned questions I always ask myself.

But I need to try. I need to keep going, if only for that. Only for that. Only for the slight possibility of perhaps helping someone else, of perhaps helping me. Of the possibility of breaking out of this place that I’ve built inside my heart, ripping down the walls I hide this sense of hopelessness behind and letting it go, letting it dissolve.

I still remember how to fly – I just can’t seem to get a running start.

Just one of those days.

Stubborn as f*ck.

Hey everybody!

I’d like to thank you all again, while I have you here in such rapt attention, for your support those few short months ago. You guys taught me a lot – or more accurately said, reminded me of something: The book is the most important thing. Getting it written, sharing a story that will be crazy enough for someone else to read and most likely say something akin of “All of the sudden, my life doesn’t doesn’t seem so bad!” or, of course “Okay, screw this miserable life. I’m going to follow my dreams like this guy!”

(I’m going to need to put a legal disclaimer on this book, aren’t I?)

So yeah, the book. That’s what I’ve come to talk to you about. Dig this:
In 5 days, on November 1st, I begin an incredibly optimistic endeavor. Y’see, I’ve joined a thing called NaNoWriMo, which is short-ish for National Novel Writing Month. Yeah, it’s a thing.
While “they” encourage you to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I did the math and that’s, like – 126 pages, or something. Half a novel.

SO, me being who I am (which is somewhere between a damned fool and a very ambitious dreamer) I’ve decided to shoot for 120,000 words in 30 days. Because maybe I work better with an impossible challenge. Or maybe I’m a godsdamned genius. Or maybe I’m a friggin’ moron.  I still haven’t figured that one out.

But what will I do with an entire novel, an earth-shattering, life changing, epic opus of literature sitting around on my computer? What good is THAT?  No good at all, that’s what good it is.

So this is the plan: Somewhere around the 13th of November (if I’m not catatonic from trying to write 4000 words/day) I’m going to launch an IndieGoGo campaign. It’s like Kickstarter, except you get to keep the pledges of support – which is a fancy way of saying “the cash”. This time, instead of reaching for the stars, I’m only going for the moon. Enough for good editing, publishing, promotion & marketing, and paying the artist who helped me in the original campaign. Not in that order, The artists time comes first. Maybe some so I don’t have to eat my shoes or dog. (This “starving artist” thing is SO not as cool as it sounds.)

Yeah. 120,000 words in 30 days without going completely insane, just mostly. Then edit the crap out of it, and get the book published. And as an afterthought, not die.

Wish me luck! And hey – if by some strange chance you want to support my eating AND getting the book out to the world, you can feed me through Paypal! Not actually food as it’s not one of those rat-maze reward trigger things (which is the official scientific name), but a way to get some. Gods, I love this modern world. Sometimes. My Paypal address is Casey@kseaflux.com. That’s also my email address. Cool, huh? TECHNOLOGY! (Accepting food help starting now. See “Starving Artist” reference above.)

NOW, I need to go prepare more for this insanity. Currently I’m hiding sharp things and padding the walls & my laptop (which might or might not get thrown across the room). And giving anything that could be considered poison to the nice family in the apartment next door to hold. And figuring out chapter titles to kind-of keep me on track so the book doesn’t explode.

I’ll be talking to you all again soon, and again – thank you! (If you DON’T hear from me, please send help. Coffee or whiskey. Or new fingertips. )

LOVE YOU ALL!
~ Casey

Just another beautiful night…

Sometimes life throws you something that you didn’t expect & are better for it. This was one of those nights.

Rose was kind. Kind and wonderful enough to actually PM me and offer to put me on the list, if I wanted. With all the people I know, I hardly know her – but she is the sigle one who approached me without me first asking. I would do anything I could for her because of that. It’s stupid how easily I’m devoted & loyal. I don’t think that’s a fault – at least, not for anyone but me. (Though I kind of think by saying that, I’m now fucked… We’ll see.)

Aaaanyway, I walked from my apartment to Baxtalo Drom (The Lucky Road) – the show she produces and has for quite a while – and in the rare times when I was able to go always had a wonderful time.

Of course, in those times I was lit on morphine, so the times I had, full crowd, amazing performances, all the bells & whistles to make a great evening… were somewhat dulled.
Morphine sucks. (My public service announcement.) (Your welcome.)

Tonight however, my noggin was ALL screwy – sober as hell on the way there, I could barely walk straight. Muscles weren’t working right, mind was jittering like a scratched record – I was a mess. But hell, I looked better that I was and can almost always pull off a little bit of conversation. I made due. No one suspected a damn thing. I’m a pro at this – false smiles were the first thing I learned…

It didn’t take long tonight before the smiles on my face were real, weren’t something contrived. This is what I wrote in my notebook:

“In times like this, I see the fun others are having. Intimate, shared, free.
Regardless of how I’m feeling in mind or body – most times – I do my best to let it contamine me. I begin to honor my smile, I begin to dance. I forget everything but NOW, and there is nothing better than this.”

So yeah, it ended up being a good night. I smiled, danced a bit – and then it was time for me to leave. So I did. Duh. Just felt like it. No good-byes. NEVER good bye..

Until again, if I must say something…

Realizing I had only eaten a bowl of cereal today, and thinking that maybe I should eat something more so the sides of my stomach don;t grind against each other, I decided to do the worst thing imaginable, short of eating a puppy.

Burger King. Bacon Double Cheeseburger. I hang my head as I write that. Good thing I can *almost* touch type. I had to close my eyes.

I ate half, hating myself with every bite – but then, I found at least a bit of redemption. As I walked up 9th street, half a burger in hand, I crossed Market and came upon the Wells Fargo Homeless Troupe. Always there at night, most just kids like I was – when I was.
I offered the still warm 1/2 burger to them, and after a few who said thanks bit no I found one who was willing to eat this crap. Hunger doesn’t let you choose. I felt good & wrong at the same time. It was confusing.

Further up the street I met my 2nd stage of homeless, and though on most every day I walk through them & their really bizarre things for sale, I heard a tune being played on someone’s radio. Didni’t know it, but saw three people dancing.

So I decided to dance with them, and did. WE did.

I find it so beautiful. Regardless of who you are or where you sit or what your situation is…
IF you can let that go, if you can dance with *anyone* – that’s all that matters. That’s all that matters because that will put a smile on your face and light up your fucking heart, and

and welcome back to human. Welcome back to love.

And then I walked another block, turned the corner and was shortly home to Ruby. She was all wiggly ass to see me again. I LOVE that!

I fucking love this life sometimes. Most times.
When I think about how many times I could have taken or lost it, not to experience nights like this…

I love it all times.

And in that, there is magic.

 

Waking Dreams / NaNoWriMo

A few days ago I looked backwards at my life, saw the roads I had taken. There were those that I joined most everyone on, all of us working as hard as we could to stay in one spot. That is what I was taught. Hard work & no dreams. They tried to take them away from me at an early age, my dreams – but even though I might have forgotten them, my dreams were still there, deep inside, dormant but alive. The story begins when I broke trail, headed off the road into the trees and hoped I survived. I was dying anyway.

I tried to look forwards to see if I could divine anything. I could, but I can’t be sure it was honest. We all see where we want to be, few see how to get there or are willing to do the work. I’m speaking of dreams. Waking dreams, of who we wish to be.

Who we know we are, somewhere inside.

The most difficult part is believing. In ourselves, in what we truly are capable of. I am reminded of a quote I’ve always loved from Marianne Williamson ~
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

My own shine has grown harder to see & remember over the recent past years. If you know this blog you know why. I’m not making excuses. The pain made me lazy. The morphine made me unreliable. Maybe I am making excuses.

It’s time to SHINE again.

It’s time to live, to do what I need, to do the things that remind me of who I am. It’s time to remind myself that no dream is unattainable. It’s time to challenge myself again.

So I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. For those who don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. 1,667 words a day, and construct something like a gorgeous vagabond – unrefined, dirty, maybe even angry – but beautiful.
Many people try. Many more fail. It’s not easy – but then again, what good thing is?

The thing is – that’s not enough. Not enough for my book, Not going Gently, about a man who gave up everything to follow his dreams, and through incredible adventures and near death, found himself. The thing is – mine is true to the letter – or at least memory. Edited very well, I suspect it will be more along the lines of 120,000 words.

So that’s what  am shooting for. 120,000 words in 30 days? Fuck me… but I can do it.

At the recommendation of a few trusted friends, I have decided to set up an IndieGoGO thing to help me through it all, and hopefully through that be able to afford editing, publishing, & coffee. LOTS OF COFFEE. You’ll be alerted to that soon.

If I don’t make it financially, at least my book will be written.

You’ll just never see it.

So wish me luck, and… in 11 days, THIS SHIT IS ON!!!

Love you all.
Make good dreams, and keep reaching for them.

 

to deny my mind for its own good

I didn’t want to go out tonight. More because of habit than anything else I can see, where if I’m feeling a bit tired I knew it would get worse, to the point of dragging my weary body like a sack of dead meat, saying no farewells or ‘see you later’s. That’s easy when it’s a party or the occasional free show, but this was different. I bought the ticket with birthday money from a very old friend. She knows me and my situation well enough to insist that I spent it on living instead of survival.

So I bout this ticket, entrance paid to Odd Salon, a storytelling event. As reluctant as I was (yet try not to be), I had to go. Hells – I wasn’t feeling that horrible.
I was running late though, so after a quick walk with RuBeast and the quick decision on which hat I would wear, I was out the door, walking to the DNA Club.

The fresh air, the walking energized me. I took a different route – one I have walked many times but less frequently, enjoying the very small pieces of things I hadn’t seen before.

And then I was there.

I had no idea what to expect, this being my first time at this event, but I like it like that. I love going anywhere that surprises me in any way. It never has been bad – I can adjust to anything. Perhaps that is something I carry from my past – never knowing who i was, so I am able to become anyone. Is it a blessing?

It can be.

The stories were wonderful though much less personal for the speaker than I had thought they would be. I learned a lot. I have decided that Josephine Baker is my new hero. I don’t think I’ve ever had one before, but ultimately I knew I wasn’t there solely for the stories.

Raven, Joy, Bronica – people I see so seldom but still remain dear were there, and seeing them, talking with them was wonderful – especially the brief chat I had with Raven on dreams & art – and some big words that I can’t remember. She’s sending me the full notes from when she did her talk though, and I’m excited to read them…

I’m getting tired.

After the show, a good ‘how do ya do’ with Aaron (#SFSlim), and plans to meet up with Raven and he sometime soon.

The ending of this sucks. Sorry about that, but fuck it – I’m beat. I was before I began… but I needed to begin, and more importantly, finish.

Now, as I begin to fall asleep at my laptop, I give thanks to all the wonderful old friends I saw to night for making the night shine brighter.

And I give thanks to sleep, for it has eluded and tormented me for days. I only hope that this time it is serious, and means to let me find solace in the dreams I dream at night.

I’m having many more of them now that the false dream of morphine is gone. There’s some beautifully insane subconscious being awakened again…

but how insane is it really?

Good night. Make good dreams.

going down

It was new to me, this pain, and I freely admit I was a little bit more than concerned – though doing my best to keep worry out of my mind. The feeling was like someone with long, jagged fingernails had reached into my intestines & stomach, grabbing them, puncturing and twisting until the muscle fiber began to rip & tear like the stalk of a vine wrenched past its limits. That was the first day, this past Saturday, but thankfully by the evening it was only a dull pain – most of the time.

Sunday came, and the pain was fresh, stronger, & accompanied by my stomach expelling all inside of it, though not much could be – I had eaten very little the day before. Still, with every few small sips of liquid my stomach somehow found that on top of three or four times the amount to purge, though I don’t know how it found it anywhere.

The thought occurred to me that my hernia had finally torn open internally, the intestines had twisted & were blocked, sepsis had set in or a multitude of other things that can happen. Not  knowing what it felt like or how quick death could come, deciding that if this was the time I would let it come, I decided to forego the trip to the emergency room. Hell, I don’t have the money for the bus anyway so I’d have to call for an ambulance, and I’m just not into the bullshit of everyone knowing my business that that involves, especially if it turned out to be nothing to worry about. If it got to the point where I had to post asking for a ride on Facebook I would, but more than likely the hospital would keep me overnight which would mean having to again ask for someone to care for Ruby. I wasn’t willing to be let down again so soon.

I thought about all the morphine I had in my drawer across the room, then thought I shouldn’t think about that. Too easy. The pain will go away. The pain will go away…
Gods, I hope this pain goes away…

Day three: Monday.
I still haven’t eaten anything other than a bowl of cereal and an artichoke since Saturday morning. I drink what I can to stay hydrated. Weak, tired, and hoping something left in the kitchen appeals to me, hoping that something might stay down, I pry my body out of bed while holding my intestines inside of me. The pain is less & I’m grateful, but at times it still crawls out, breaks through. Still, I feel better. Better than yesterday & the day before. I decide not to call my doctor. I have an appointment with him on Friday anyway.

As usual I weigh myself, keeping track of where my weight is heading. It gives me something to work with, something to determine if my body is beginning to retain fluid or if it’s doing what it should. I look at the glowing digital number on the scale, telling me that I’ve dropped a little over 10 pounds in the past three days. I’m not surprised, not concerned. Even if there was food to eat it wouldn’t stay down, but I feel the hollowness in my stomach, feel the energy drain out of me. I fantasize about chicken soup but don’t have the money for it. If I did have money, I would need to buy coconut water before anything. It all comes down to priorities.

It’s much more than the lack of food that’s making me weary.

I finally fell asleep at 6am, wake up a little after noon. Today I almost feel whatever normal is, though I have little to go by these days. I’m making an educated guess. I don’t think that normal people feel a normal like this.
I vow to myself to finally finish this post I get out of the house, walk somewhere with Ruby. I wish I had the time strength & energy to just keep going, leaving everything behind. Find a forest, make a shelter, learn how to hunt with my bow to eat & feed Ruby. Just go away; paper, pens, and only what I think I’ll need. Find a river, sit in it for a few months and wash all of this away.

There are many things I would like to do. In none of them do I see this apartment, these streets I’ve walked on & woken to for nearly five years now. In none of the things I see do I feel this way. In none of them this deep melancholy.

It’s hard to believe in anything anymore.

I’ve forgotten how to believe in me.

Rant.

 

Who am I to be hurt by that, by this? Now, it should be the past – the man I considered my best friend and the woman who slathered love in spades, in words and support to help me get what I needed then, now…

But when the time came where I could have not needed, when a single dollar could have made the difference not for the campaign but in me – that crushed me. I see, I remember, I act accordingly.

Being who I am, nothing hidden, no lies, more truth than most can handle, I confronted her with it. Why nothing? Why no words of support? Why, now, do you abandon me?

Perhaps I am foolish. They were both there to keep me alive, but when I asked, pleaded, begged for a small amount to change my life so I did not need them? The one thing that would have changed my world?

Do they need to be needed? Do they need me to need them? They gave when my life was in question, but when one thing could have changed that, where there was a way for me to break free of the agony of asking…

It’s difficult to simply see that they don’t believe in me. Thinking back to what she has said and it makes sense. Too many words, too much honesty.

This is the world we live in now. It pains me. It hurts. No time? FUCK YOU.

I go on, I continue, I remember, She thinks that what she gave me so that I could live was enough – but she is wrong. I would have had understanding in one dollar for the campaign I created for my book, the single reason I fought to live..

To live, to create – two very separate things.

Don’t you fucking understand that is WHY I asked for money to buy the medicines I couldn’t afford so That I might live long enough to write this book that could change so many lives? Don’t you understand, as I wrote it over and over that that was what I am living for?

Somewhere in there I am not understanding why B or A were silent… Somewhere in there I am wrong. Somewhere in there, I know that I can’t believe in those I put the most trust in.

It’s a horrible lesson to learn.

Bob, Amy – you kept me alive, yes – and believe me please, I am eternally grateful. But when the time came to help me live, to create a life where I didn’t need to depend on anyone, you were not there. Not one single word or dollar.

All I needed was support from you. Nothing else. NOTHING.

I think that it’s foolish to carry this inside of me. I erase it, I erase what I had hoped for, and I go on.

I have better things to do besides think about this – and though I know neither of you will read it, I find my own peace. I MAKE my own peace.

And so ends my slightly intoxicated rant.

How to Fly

I miss the wildness of the road. The freedom of no schedule, no destination. I miss forgetting the rules of a polite & measured life & remembering how to fly, denying the gravity in my heart.

Everyone needs this. To remember how to fly. To love without fear.

another day

Wednesday comes around again just as it always has & probably always will in my lifetime, gods willing. I wake up early and feel uncommonly refreshed from a good nights sleep with strange dreams I don’t remember enough to write down.

Give the pup a hug, crawl out of bed & make my way to my kitchen, make a small cup of coffee to warm me, take the herbs that sustain me, the first set always the ones I need to take on an empty stomach. Later, after I dig up something to eat, I’ll take the herbs that require something in my stomach. A daily process. I’m weary of it, but the alternative is far worse than a bit of inconvenience.

Adjusting the pillows I crawl back on my bed, put down a little more than 1600 words of a book that might get done but never finished and wonder at the futility. I try to push that thought from my head and bring it back to the passion of a dream.
I don’t succeed. Not this time. I haven’t been able to believe in my future since I was nineteen years old & was told I had contracted HIV. The book seems so horribly far away…

Today marks the twelfth day I didn’t take morphine in order to get out of bed, the sixth I didn’t desperately want to. Nine fucking years and at long last I’ve broken the chains that held me. Right now it feels wonderful, I feel like I’ve won another battle, but I know that eventually this will fade into the past like the others I’ve made it through.

It seems as if the more I go through, the less surviving and making it through the battles means to me, and I wonder if that’s a product of the life I’ve been living, where so little happens these days. It seems as if it should be the other way around, where things like this are lost in the excitement of life, but… perhaps it’s because this is my life.

Just as I don’t celebrate the ability to get out of bed anymore, just as I don’t think about the way that only a few years ago I couldn’t walk without aid to the bathroom or breathe without a tube down my throat.

I’m not ungrateful. Every night after I crawl into bed, before sleep, I thank the Universe for that day, for my life, for the amazing things that have happened since I walked out of the hospice – but I wonder where my life has gone.

So many years watching the world go by and not able to be a part of it, is it disdain for who I’ve had to become to survive? From working on CultureFlux ten or more hours a day directly to not doing anything but fighting for my life – and suddenly it was all about me. I don’t think that has ever sat well in my heart, and perhaps even now I carry it there.

I’m trying to figure this out.

There’s the oppressive frustration of feeling bound by income, of not being able to even earn the simplest things I require to survive – the herbs, nourishment, hydration – and beyond that. Trapped by my own needs this poverty, this impoverished life I’ve been living for so goddamn long has taken its toll on my psyche. The walls of the city constrict me, suck the wonder & light out of my eyes & spirit.

I’ve never been one to live a static life.

Regardless, I’m alive. Not living, but alive, and I still have the ability to change this life into whatever I want it to be – if I can find the way out of this. When I find my way out of this, and rediscover the passion I once felt.

It’s not up to anyone but me.

I just need to do it soon.

Right now, Wednesday is nothing but just another day that I need to make it through.

The Fog Clears…

Five days. Five days and six hours. And 35 minutes. Every moment important in the beginning, every moment a choice. A challenge. Sometimes it’s hard, other times harder. I feel that at this moment I am safe. Safe in my words, in the stories. Safe as long as I keep writing.

Eight feet away from where I now sit on my bed is my antique writing desk, and inside of it’s single drawer is somewhere around 80 pills of morphine in various doses. Their summoning losing strength, getting quieter as time moves forward. Their power over me is fading.

As time moves forward I feel the pain less and feel what the reason I chose to go through it more. My mind is waking up. I was kept awake by my thoughts last night, not the pain. I rejoiced in this, even as tired as I was from the two sleepless nights before. It has been years since the chattering in my head was so loud, so clear. The fog is lifting. This morning while reading I stopped in the middle of a sentence & out of need grabbed my pen and paper to write. I recalled when that used to happen a few times a day, but can’t remember the last time it did. The fog is lifting. The pain is leaving.

And I rejoice.

The beauty of it all

Saturday – it was another hot, humid day in New Orleans, 2006. Everything was normal – I was miserable from the sticky heat, but determined. If I had missed this day, I would never have known how beautiful the world could be. At least not in this way.

I got down to Jackson Square about 3:30, then checked to see if the prime pitch was open, directly across Decatur Street from Cafe’ du Monde, and the leading tourist location for busking in The Quarter. I’ve always done well statuing there.
The pitch was being used, but the guy using it told me he had to split at 4 – so I waited, and when it was time, set up, got up on my box, and began the day of standing very, very still.
It was the usual crowd, tourists, families, groups of girls and boys, drunken fools who can’t seem to think of anything else to say except the typical “I’ll bet you he’d move if I grabbed his box/grabbed his crotch/tickled him – har har har…”
It’s an incredibly peaceful job at times, but also one that you need to be on guard pretty much all the time. I recently described statuing to a friend as “much more of a discipline than a talent”. It’s a strange combination of ignoring everything, but at the same time being acutely aware of everything that’s going on around me. It’s the people that make it so rewarding – the children whose faces completely light up in amazement as I offer them a wink and subtle smile as their parents look away, as if letting them in on a secret that’s just for us; it’s the older people who walk by and quietly give me beautiful compliments, even – and perhaps the most appreciated, the occasional gutter punk who digs deep in his/her unwashed pocket to give me what change they can offer. I will never cease to be amazed and humbled by that…
But it’s also the *other* people that sometimes I can’t help but slowly look down at, raise a disapproving eyebrow, and solemnly, silently, shake my head in pity. Fortunately, this frequently seems to get approval from their friends.
Most commonly I have found it to be, predictably, the people with drinks in hand, drunk and wandering around, who can’t help but fuck with the statue a bit – but they’re usually harmless, and after the initial foolishness switch over to words of appreciation, then they’re off to the next bar.
That’s always nice – both the switch, and the leaving.
The worst I have encountered, however, are the packs of whatever-teen year olds. Some of these kids just mess around harmlessly, saying silly things, searching for the approval of their friends, having fun – but only a couple of weeks ago I came the closest I have ever been to putting my cane to use before looking at the two most offending of this pack of about 15 and saying “Little boy, little girl – get the fuck away from me. NOW.”
They had been standing there for about twenty minutes, and as much as I have dealt with doing this, as much as I can tolerate – or “stand for”, (pun intended) as the case may be, at that point I was pushed to my limit. Thankfully, they left shortly after.

That’s why this past Saturday, as I saw a pack of about eight or nine girls making their way directly towards me from Cafe’ du Monde, I was a bit apprehensive. When I heard one of the two in front say “Okay – you ready?” to the girl next to her as she was looking at me, I thought to myself “Oh, shit, this is it…” wondering how I could react, somehow, with grace to whatever they were about to do to me, or how I could prevent it altogether. I wasn’t coming up with anything. I had no idea what they had planned. I had no choice but to wait and see, as jumping off the box and asking them just what the *FUCK* they thought they were about to do just didn’t seem too graceful or appropriate just yet…

What happened next was truly amazing.
For those that don’t know, Cafe du Monde sells a French style pastry called a beignet (bin-yay)- a rectangular pastry type thing, the best in the world in as much as I haven’t travelled it – and completely covered in powdered sugar. Completely. Saturated. Drenched, flooded, soaking in powdered sugar. More powdered sugar than you could ever have a use for in a simple order of three beignets, or your entire lifetime, and inevitably there will be mountains of it left on the plate, long after the beignets & café au leit are gone.

When the two leading girls were about two and a half feet away – just at the very edge of the box people put money in for me, their hands simultaneously came up – and as I tried to assess just what the hell was going on, saw the powdered sugar streaming from them – and then, they did something I couldn’t have imagined – they smeared the powdered sugar all over their faces. First the two, then the rest of them, coming to stand beside me, making their faces as white as possible with the powdered sugar, and doing quite a good job of it.

In a glorious way, I had been beaten. I could not have felt more honored.

I laughed – laughed well, stepped down off my box and bowed deeply to them all, then handed one of the first two my cane, and set my hat on her head as I helped her get up on my box for the pictures.

Once the pictures had been taken, one of them asked me if they had made my day. “My DAY?” I said. “You have made my day, my week, my month, my year. This is hands down, the best experience I have ever had statuing – and thank you.”

For some reason, that seemed to surprise her – but then a huge smile of peaceful satisfaction for a job so *very* well done crossed her face, she giggled, I talked to the rest of them a bit and offered my thanks, and then, doing their best to wipe the powdered sugar off of their faces, they were off to their next adventure – and me back to mine.

I stepped back up onto my box with a huge smile – then just a few seconds later, stepped back down and started to pack up.

It was getting slow and late, and besides – it couldn’t get any better than that.

I smiled for hours afterwards, and it’s a smile that I will carry inside for a long, long time. As the daily fools come by with their lack of imagination, with their ridiculous words and comments, I will think of them, those wonderful little girls, and I just may occasionally look down at one of these people…
and subtly smile.

10.3.16
In recalling this story, this experience – I am smiling now, and seriously considering getting back up on my box. It would be a challenge due to my health, and a nurse once told me I might die from a blood clot standing so still – but hell – I could think of worse ways to go.

If you by some strange chance are one of the girls (women, now) reading this, please contact me – reply here – and know that the beauty of what you did has lasted far more than just a year.