It ain’t hot for everyone but for funky folk artists like me, Jazzfest is a great time to be selling art. It’s like Black Weekend for me. This year I am in position to finally pay off some very awful credit card balances that have lingered since my first few years of underemployment here in New Orleans. Buying a new home and contributing to its slight remodeling helped me dig a deeper hole.
But, I have been putting away little by little, moving large chunks of salvaged wood folk art around in at first a two-door 90 Toyota Tercel and then a four-door 2000 Toyota Camry. Both were typical New Orleans artist cars (piles of containers with arts or crafts / dings from markets / local stickers abound / hipster MFer driving). I have neglected to buy a truck. I have not bought a couch even though watching cable late at night is one of my favorite activities. I have not had a deck put it my backyard. I have not gone on any substantial vacation. I have neglected all these things because the white whale of credit card debt lingered over me. I have chased it around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition’s flames and not given up.
Now, with a little help from Jazzfest crowds, from hell’s heart I stab at it; ye damned credit card.
But in the last week, I have come down with a fever, an intermittent little bastard cured only by Ibuprofen. I take three, it goes away. I wait 12 hours it comes back. It’s a bizarre little shit with few symptoms other than malaise and anxiety. Five days I suffer this fever and think, I only need to get better by Jazzfest. I only need to get better by Jazzfest. So mercifully, the fever allowed me to go out today. But where were the sales. Where were the folk art lovers? No where to be found. I blanked. (Blank is a Jackson Square term for having no sales in a single day). Of course, it wasn’t a full day. Because around 1:45 p.m. the clouds and thunder and lightning and tornadoes and earthquakes started moving in and drenched me and the funky folk art. It didn’t help that inventory was extra large and numerous in preparation for the filthy rich customers Jazzfest would bring.
I get back to the car with a bad headache, take my tempo and the fever is back. By the time I made my way down Decatur, I was beginning to liken myself to Job.
But then. Then OZ played the The Lost Souls (Of Southern Louisiana) and I was a Job no mo.