July has brought the New York experiment to its Ridiculous Money-Making Schemes phase as all avenues of credit have dried up and employment remains either difficult to come by or disagreeably obstructive to fun.
So, with acoustic guitar strings totally deadened by uninhabitable levels of humidity and a friend with a saxophone, I set to working learning Beatles songs in weird transposed keys (something to do with the sax’s range) and prepared to try to dupe tourists out of dollars at Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
We didn’t get good, but we got functional after about a week of half-practice, and we set off yesterday to a different part of Central Park for a sort of dry run. It didn’t go well.
Firstly, it was 38 degrees. Stone benches were too hot to sit on. Sweat was an actual issue.
We did get started though. But shit, the low range on the saxophone’s not working. What’s the problem? Humidity? Reed’s in wrong? Took us two songs to figure out that it was because the cleaner was still in it when he started to play. Bad start.
We run to our go-to songs, Norwegian Wood and Yesterday. They go okay. No money yet, but some casual onlookers and stuff. It’s too hot to be in any way expressive, so we’re just trudging through the songs. Then a 40-something man approaches.
“Hey guys, you can go in there into the shade now, I’m finishing up.”
Or wait, no.
“800 fucking acres and you fucking cunts sit right on top of me? You little pieces of shit. This is all I’ve got left.”
He shows us a long scar on his arm.
“I can’t go running to fucking mommy and daddy when shit gets tough. Fuck you. Oh, you didn’t know? You fucking walked right past me, you fucking assholes. Fuck you.”
He turns to leave. We’re bewildered. We laugh nervously, which he obviously interprets as us laughing at him.
“Oh it’s funny now? You’re gonna be laughing through your fucking teeth. Pieces of shit.”
We gave up and went home.