Adventures of a Homeless Lady
The Chinese dulcimer player was playing on the platform when I arrived at the Music Under New York busking spot at Times Square.
Rich, who is a photographer trying to get a job as one, told me he was told by a newspaper that in order to be hired as a photographer he also needs to demonstrate the ability to collect audio footage. For this reason he just bought a recorder today. He was going around the subway trying to record samples and interviews with musicians, in order to show the newspaper that he can do audio as well as photography. He already recorded Cathy Grier playing guitar and singing on the mezzanine and was looking for more.
Here is Rich’s audio recording of me: (turn off the media player on the right hand side first, to turn off the blog’s automatic sound)
Clovia, the homeless lady who paints her clothes in pointillism style, came to say ‘hi’. she told me that two weeks ago somebody offered her a room for $900 but that there was a curfew there – you had to be back in your room by a certain hour. She also told me of another homeless shelter where one can stay but one has to take psychiatric drugs that they give you. She heard of a guy staying there who kept telling the doctor that the drugs they make him take are too strong for him and they are making him crazy. He eventually killed himself.
A while back Clovia met a 50 year old guy who told her that he fell down the stairs in the subway and his pace-maker got yanked out. The doctor told him he has 48 hours to live. He is 50 years old and he has a few life insurance policies, with his brother as the beneficiary. But the doctor called to tell him that his brother is not going to live long because he refuses to take his medication. This guy, who is white/Italian and worked for the mob, Clovia said, has 30 houses. He told Clovia that he will leave a message on her answering service with instructions on a place where she can get a free apartment for 6 months. Clovia doesn’t know if this guy is telling her the truth or not, but she is going with it – she is hoping for the best, though it does sound like a miracle, she said.
Clovia said she thinks this guy is telling her the truth because she is psychic and she feels that he is a good person… Also, all the homeless people at Starbucks know him: whenever they see him they flock around him like honey, she said.
A lady gave her five two dollar bills. Clovia already spent one, and now she gave me one, asking me for change so that she could call her answering service to see if she has a message from that guy. She was supposed to get an i.d. today in order to be accepted at this promised apartment. She had an appointment for it at 1:30pm but the ‘E’ train didn’t stop at 28th street and she couldn’t walk 6 blocks with all her stuff, she said.
A while back she was sleeping in Grand Central Station and a bag of hers was stolen. She had a lot of cosmetics samples in that bag, which were given to her by a lady who traveled and had accumulated samples from hotels.
Clovia has a guitar (and she painted her guitar case beautifully) and she sings in the subway.
Delta Dave (who plays guitar & harmonica and sings) had a permit for the mezzanine. He went to see if somebody was at 34th street – his preferred spot, but it was occupied, so he came back to his allotted spot.
On my way home I saw Delta Dave playing at the mezzanine. Professor Eduardo was there, too – he thought he had this spot today by mistake. He was now calling his son on his cell phone to see where they could meet.