In Which The Nights are Quiet and Country Music Works

     The Fourth took place on a Wednesday, so everyone was confused about when they weekend actually was. Dentists, professionals, and I assume members of congress were fairly loose in their interpretations (when I was there, Columbus Day was a whole week in the Senate) but the rest of us were not, and most generally just planned around our work schedules.

     On Friday, not much happened. For the first time, a guy knew “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” as I opened with it, and sang along in his best Bob Dylan voice. He was a younger guy too. I was surprised but glad someone knew it. My song choice gets lonely sometimes. However, I didn’t get a dollar until about a half hour or hour in. Even then, most money came from when I performed an original song, towards the end. I hurried up my set and headed home, with about ten dollars. Some nights just aren’t my night.

On Saturday I went past police (something was going on) to my spot also got a twenty dollar bill off the bat from a young man. I put it in my pocket. “I understand” he said, as I played on. A couple of guys and their girlfriends came by next, and the guys were real excited. “Wear the hat!” one said, pointing to my cowboy hat by my feet. I usually left it there because, well, some people just like putting money in a hat more than a guitar case. They caught onto the country thing right away, and wanted Garth Brooks, then George Strait, then they asked who my favorite country singer was, and I said Hank Williams. So I played “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and the two guys started dancing with each other, while the girls looked on and filmed then. “You’re better than Hank Junior!” said once as they stepped around each other. They gave me some money, thanked me, and then left into the night.

The older man who had been there a few weeks ago came and listened for awhile. He was tall and skinny and always carried a plastic shopping bag. We didn’t talk much, but he said something along the lines of me being good and enjoying it before walking away. After that, a younger guy walked by with some friends, and made a sort of gesture to the case, which looked to me like he was motioning to take the money. He kept walking, however, and was replaced by a guy and his girlfriend on the bench in front of me. Towards the end of the night the man came back, showed me a twenty, and put it in my case. I thanked him, and he moved on.

     At the end of the night, when I was closing up, a Hispanic guy with two girls told me that if I was “hitting the guitar” he’d give me something. I ignored him. I hear that a lot when I’m cleaning up. A black guy came up at the end and said “See, I told you I wouldn’t forget” and gave me a dollar. I thanked him, but couldn’t remember hi from earlier. That’s what I get for not wearing my glasses, I guess.

     And with that I went home, the first week of July over with.



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