Thursday, June 13, 2013

Omaha 2

Nineteen seems to be the magic number of songs you can get through in 75 minutes, and after that your fingertips will be shredded. Don’t let a half-full water bottle tempt you to go on. Save your fingers for the weekend.

Before you even get there, remember that traffic is being rerouted due to the College World Series. You won’t mind however, because a sports event adjacent to the Old Market will bring more people to your corner. Park south of the market to avoid the hullabaloo, and calm yourself as you’re walking to your spot. After all, you played this town only once, and someone else might be there.

Someone else is. Guitarist on southeast corner, blues harmonica on northwest corner. Northeast there is a shaded spot, but it’s right in front of a shop. Go inside and ask the proprietress at Red Square if you can play out front. You’re both entrepreneurs, after all.

Sing. Recover from your mediocre debut the other day. Start with Wilder Than Her because you are superstitious, and changing that tradition last time didn’t do you any favors. For maximum effect, Dylan and The 4 Non Blondes have to be covered early in the set before your voice starts giving out. After that it’ll feel great to share I Don’t Mind for the first time, especially when someone approaches with cash. Continue with originals and more cash will arrive. Rest up with two Loudon Wainwright tunes because Termites is next and you really rock it out, bringing more bills, and even some patrons who get what the rocks in your case are for—they cover their donations to protect them from blowing away. "Very nice," the mailman will say.

A couple stops and stares, so shift toward them without losing your concentration. The woman is speaking to you, and though she means well, you play four measures of D major in the middle of Don’t Wait Til Sunday until you can recover the lyrics. “My name is Eileen, too,” she says, noticing the cards in your case. Her mate gives you two thumbs up, and you decide that a twelve-dollar business card kit from Staples was worth it.

It’s Thursday, which by no means matches Friday in terms of dollar signs, but there’s enough to share the wealth with the harmonica player across the street. And a bit more for the flautist who just showed up, started with that ‘pure imagination’ song from Willy Wonka, and made your day.

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