5.1.2013 “Too Loud”

Thoth gets up early and bikes to ranger’s office in Balboa Park. He waits in line for a permit. Talks to Keith the man who juggles a chainsaw. “This is the worst system for buskers in the world,” Thoth says. He gets a high number which means no permit. Many of the same buskers get their usual spots. “I don’t understand how the same people get the same spots, if this is a lottery,” Thoth says. “There’s something fishy going on.” LA gets up and works on her computer. Thoth says hello to Mitchell, Chet, Sleeveless. He bikes back home. “We didn’t get a permit,” he tells LA. “I’m very disappointed,” LA responds. He writes and they talk about how difficult playing at the park may be. LA makes smoothies. Jim comes back and is also disappointed to hear the bad news. After Thoth has rested for a while, he and LA get dressed. Riding to the park takes them a half hour. They say hello to Mitchell then set up in the back. The sun is setting, bathing the corner in yellow-orange light. A huge crowd gathers slowly. Timid applause frustrates LA. “Now I remember why I hate playing here,” she says. “People don’t show interest at all.” The Dynamic Duo plays a simple set of four pieces then packs up. A keyboard player who’d been playing on the bridge nearly a football field away comes to complain that they are too loud. “She doesn’t like that her audience left her and came to watch us,” Thoth says after the woman leaves. “It’s the usual story. She should be better rather