It's been rainy, so I'm not out. It's kind of nice to have the excuse to have the day off, plus I gotta re-build my rickshaw since the original is made out of cardboard & it is currently 'out of service'.
My boyfriend is helping me (really pretty much building it for me) & we've got a pile of wood and bolts set aside to build one that will hopefully last much longer.
The last day I was out these folks walked by and a woman caught her eye on a piece and said, "Oh, that's like me when I'm worried.." She seemed taken by it, but there's plenty to see in the French Quarter & so they walked on.
A block down her husband turned around and ran back. Quickly & quietly he bought it for her and very covertly we put it in his bag. They strolled back by about a half hour later and the women looked for the piece.
I caught on and got up and acted like I wasn't sure which one and then said reluctantly, "oh..that one is gone.."
It was hard to keep it up because she looked so disappointed, but her husband was trying to hide this wild grin and it made me want to be there later on when he surprised her with it.
I think about things like this...that I wouldn't have gotten to see this part of the exchange if I were selling through a gallery. As useful as paying the rent is, it's just as much a necessity of living to see demonstrations of love & care. She initially identified with it as herself worrying, for me, him buying this painting for her said, "I love you, and I'm with you- even when you're worrying."
I didn't get their info because of how 'sly' we were being to surprise her, but hopefully they will contact me & I can thank them for sharing the moment with me.
Another pleasant random act of kindness was Richard, a friend from around the Quarter, who appeared with tiny cupcakes.
For all the bullshit of so many days, being back out on the street in the daytime keeps me curious about life which seems a prerequisite to maintain something resembling sanity. I can't mention all the numerous little quirks of humanity I take in through out the day, but I did want to take a minute to try and list some of them.
-Humanity in swarm, out on Saturday, dressed nice and looking wholesomely ready for Easter sunday..
The artists in the ally, out since the morning, becoming unraveled. An impromptu dance party started where we all jerked our bodies around in all manner of interpretive movements to what sounded like game show music spouted from a boombox. If you were to come upon this scene so inconspiciously playing itself in the alley we made wild gestures to you, swinging arabesque hand sweeps to get folks to come look..though not many did.
The music relaxed, best of Aaron Neville, I danced by myself to "Tell it like it is." In good natured humour I danced up on a group passing by, wherein a middle aged woman took my hand and danced with me through the ally, singing along knowing all the words. Mid way through she leaned in and said,
"My son died a year ago today, he was 40." Then she looked into my eyes and said,
"Life is too short to have sorrow, you may be here today and gone tomorrow
You might as well get what you want, So go on and live, baby go on and live, tell it like it is."
It took me a minute to realize she was reciting the song to me, and then she was gone done the ally. Moments like these balance off the cruder displays of humanity, like a few days ago a middle aged man stopped some 3 feet from me and only looking at me through the screen started to take my picture.
"Hey!" I said, "What're you doin?" Without a word he jumped up and ran around the corner. Running after him he spun around and clutched the camera like a swaddled baby.
"Don't you touch me! Get away! Don't you dare attack me!" I had to talk him down like a skiddish dog, that I wasn't about to attack him, I just would appreciate some interaction if your gonna take my damned picture.
He let me look through the pictures, all taken candid and papparazzi style, he was going home with pictures of my neighbors, but they weren't pictures of people- they were pictures of:
'The pimp yelling at the ho'
'the fat man in a tutu'
'The street musicians who aren't getting dollar for having their picture taken'
If he actually pulls through sending my photo of me flustered in mid sentence, astonished that a grown man would act in such a way, I'll post it up here.
Some days I sell no art, I make no money and nobody rudely takes my picture. But some days someone decides to act as my personal angel, (I like the idea of an Angel named Bill.) And offers to fix my busted bike, and then I get a smooth ride when I haul all my pieces of wood and canvas down through the potholed streets to hang out and greet folks probably not so different from yourself.