I pulled myself out of bed, folded my cover, and grabbed my guitar. It would be a good day; I could feel it in my bones. I hurried down the steps and out the window. I put the board back up and headed to the women’s shelter to shower and change.
Man, it will be nice to do all this under one roof again. I miss the late-night baths that I used to relax in and forget the world for a short 30 minutes. But give it time, I will have a single out and my own house and bathroom.
When I finished my shower, I headed to one of my spots, and I noticed some kids were walking out of a big building. It’s the same kids who used to sing with me, but I haven’t seen them in a while. Are they taken good care of themselves, I wonder? I jog over to find out just how well these kids are. They are great kids; some people give up on them before finding their way. I should know; I was one of those kids.
“Hey, Pips, whatcha been up to?” One of the boys asked me. “Oh, nothing still singing and writing my songs,” I say back with a smile.
“Oh well, hey, if you get tired of sleeping on the street and need a place, let me know.” The other guy chimed in. So they are doing good from the looks of it, but now I feel like I’m the one who needs help. “Oh, that’s sweet, really, but I’m fine,” I said as I walked away. I didn’t need a handout before, and I damn sure don’t need one now.
I know they are just trying to help, but this is just something I have to do on my own. And I believe in myself just enough to know I can do this.
I stopped on the street corner and set up my guitar case and blanket. I may be poor and homeless, but I had always kept a blanket in my case. No matter where I was, I would never be cold.
I have sung about five songs when I feel someone’s eyes on me. People stop and look at me while I sing all the time. But this was different, and it felt as if the eyes were staring right into my soul. I could feel them all over my body; who was watching me?
I then see the handsome man covered in tattoos come and put a one hundred dollar bill in my case. Um, that’s not right; he must have confused it with a one-dollar bill.
But he was dressed like he didn’t even have a one-dollar bill on him. He has the most beautiful piercing blue eyes I have ever seen. I mean, mine are blue but not nearly as bright as his. He had on dark black jeans and a thin white long sleeve shirt. The man’s sleeves are neatly rolled up to his elbows, he looked at the watch on his wrist, and I could see a sleeve of tattoos. I wanted to trace every line with my fucking tongue.
No, stop. I don’t need this distraction right now.
There’s no way that was the person staring at me. I’m nothing to look at anyways. I always look a mess, and I can’t remember the last time I brushed my hair and wore it down. Maybe he liked my voice. Oh well, he is gone, and as I said, I don’t need any distractions right now.
The next few days came and went. I did the same thing every day, hoping someone would notice my voice and offer me some recording time, or let’s be honest, anything at this point would be significant.
But the one thing that never changed this week was the man that put the one hundred dollar bill in my case. He found me every day this week and put a one hundred dollar bill in my case.
Right now, I have $500, which is the most money I have ever had in my life. I was gifted my guitar by one of the families. He loved my voice and wanted to hear me sing all the time, and he had a few other things in mind. But I like to see it as I got the best thing out of that family and the worst.
This man never says anything to me, and he doesn’t stay for a whole song either. He comes, gives me money, and leaves. But not tomorrow, if he comes, I will ask him what he wants. Nothing in this life is free, and people don’t just give you hundreds of dollars for nothing. There’s always a catch.
I got up today with a newfound attitude; I went to the store and bought myself some new clothes that fit; I got myself a hairbrush and blow-dryer: some Chapstick, and a purse and wallet for the rest of my money. I was on a mission to figure out what this man wanted.
I would never use this money on things I didn’t need, but I feel he wouldn’t talk to me looking like a dirty ratty mess. Or maybe he would, but I didn’t want to look a complete mess when I yelled at a stranger for giving me so much money.
I know I should be thankful, but I can’t help the feeling I get from him giving me so much. Why, what did he want?
I picked the spot he first found me at the beginning of the week. I set up all my stuff and began to sing my first song. There was a big crowd today, and I didn’t understand why. I have never had more than ten people watch me sing before. Some people wouldn’t even stop; they would throw some change in my case and keep moving.
But today, I had about 50 adults and kids watching me very closely. I was getting nervous, and then I spotted that same guy I saw every day this week. I can’t just stop playing with all these people watching me, and he knows that. That is why he chose to come out with more money to put in my case.
Damnit, he was good, but two could play this game. If he wanted to give me money, then so be it. He didn’t want to speak to me, okay. But I’ll be damned if he ignores me for trying to figure out what he’s been up to lately. I will get to the bottom of this. I don’t need anyone’s pity or help. I need a recording studio, and I almost have enough to rent one myself. But then I had to have someone there to help me figure out what I was doing in the same hell!
I was walking back to my building when I felt eyes on me again. Uh, is Mr, Blue eyes following me!? Maybe it’s not him, and I’m just being paranoid. But what if I get jumped, and they take all my money? Damnit, I need to find a good spot to keep this money until I rent that studio.
I could open up a saving account and put it all in there. I mean, I have the money to get aid now. So that is on my list of things to do when I wake up. Now, if I could get whoever is following me to stop, that would be great.
I woke up and went down to the bank to open a savings account, I just got my id, but that took half of my day. Who would have thought the DMV was so busy all the time?
The lady took me back to her office and started asking me what kind of savings I would need. Well, I haven’t thought about it. “Um, I just need to put it in there long enough for me to have enough for a studio,” I said nervously. Damn, why was I nervous? She’s just an average person.
“Okay, well, how about we open you up a checking account? That way, if you need to use your money, you can. And you can come to the bank every day and deposit it into your account.” The clerk explained
“Would that cost me more money? To keep the account open.” I asked, confused by what she was telling me.
“As long as you put at least $300 a month in your account, you will not be charged. And if you go one month where you didn’t reach this number, then it charges you $2.99 for that month.” She says.
“Okay, let’s open a checking account then. Will I get a card, or do I have to write checks?”
“Which do you prefer?” She asks
“I will take the card, please. Just have the bank send it here, and I will pick it up when it comes in.”
“Okay, well, here is your temp card; walk to the ATM, put your pin in, and it will activate it. I’ll see you in a few days when we get your card in. Thanks so much for banking at us bank.” She smiles and hands me the card. Okay, well, I was off to be a big girl now. And I have to sing longer tonight to make up the time I have missed.
I bet Mr. Blue Eyes won’t come to see me today. Good, I need a break from all his staring.
I walk down the street with my head held high, my guitar in one hand, and my purse in the other. I haven’t felt this normal in the three years I have been on my own. I know Mr. Blue Eyes had something to do with it. But I can’t let that bring me down. Not today, and not when I’m so close to getting what I have been working so hard towards, he can go the hell away for all I care. I got this; I have always had this.
I set my case out and laid my blanket down, and got comfortable next to the bar called Honky Tonk. It was a three-story bar, and a person was singing a different kind of music on every level. I hope one day I can sing in there. It would be an excellent first step from singing on the streets.
I haven’t seen a lot of people out today since it’s around the time all the day drinkers go home and the night drinkers come out. I always make in-home by this time, but running errands all day, I need to make up for lost money. Especially now, I have to make $300 in a month. I was hoping I would have enough by then to rent the studio. We will see how well this month goes.
As I was packing up my things, I felt their eyes on me again. Well, I guess the man didn’t go home after all. Tonight I was going to find out what he wanted from me. And why he is always everywhere, I am.