Viva Las Vegas
Trying to hustle up some cashapp/paypal funding 'cuz I know Im bout to be assed out!
As a vegas street performer, I was able to witness the hustle and bustle of vice city. Real struggling artists, even the homeless, were out there getting money day in and day out. The city never sleeps and money transactions happen everywhere, from the casino to the trap house. Days before I was scheduled to leave, I began to run out of money. Don't go to Vegas with a dollar and a damn dream I'll tell ya dat! After all my CD's were "abruptly" misplaced, the only thing I had on me were two books: The Teaching of Buddha and Simplified Qabalah. I also had a bottle of protection oil I had purchased from an energy worker back in Memphis. So I had the tools to keep my peace, work the square, and keep from being dumped off in the desert somewhere.
As my funds started to dwindle, so did my connections with potential customers and potential industry leads. I damn near couldn't afford a meal without deciding which one was more important, nutrition or a ticket back home to recoup. I was so determined, I would have starved before I went back to my dusty roads empty-handed. After 4 days of paying $145 a night, I had to find a cheaper room. And with that came "the lower end" of town. I had no choice but to connect with the people on this side of town just to learn the ins and out. Although it wasn't safe, this side of town was really more of what I'm accustomed. The local vagabonds knew all the places to get free meals, cups of water, and actually had the best ideas on how to draw in a crowd, just get an empty cup and chill. I didn't go that far but I did do a few tarot consults and a few magic tricks I remembered when I was younger.
Everything wasn't "glorious" on my trip. Unfortunately, I did month-long bid in a Las Vegas jail that I know good and well I saw on one of those criminal television series. 23-hour lockdown with some real deal criminals. Now that's a major leap from a backyard boogie jailhouse in Arkansas to a mini-penitentiary in Nevada. Shit, I was facing 7 years for a slip-up but the charges were eventually dismissed and dropped. After a long journey from Vegas, I watched the night sky as I rode the bus back home. The Nevada skyline was illuminated with specks of light as I thanked the Universe for my safe passage, learning experiences, and another day to make better decisions for my future and well-being. Traveling through New Mexico, I had a sudden thought to purchase a "colllectors item" and the first one I seen was St. Lazarus.
The Bible depicts two characters named "Lazarus". The most recognized character is that of Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Saint Lazarus or Lazarus of the Four Days, who was a friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary. The miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of John, whereby Jesus restores Lazarus to life four days after his death (John 11).
The second character, Lazarus found in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19-31) tells of the relationship in life and in death, between an unnamed rich man (the traditional name for a rich man is "Dives") and a poor beggar named Lazarus. Lazarus was venerated as a patron saint of lepers and is often depicted as a starving beggar at the foot of the stairs leading up to a rich man's house, and who was covered in sores that even the dogs came to lick those sores.
In Nigeria, he represents Obaluaye (King Who Owns the Earth)
Originally from Dahomey, he was despised because of disrespect to the elder "gods" and due to his disobedience he acquired a condition in which he simply asked for forgiveness and with the help of other spirits, his impurity was washed away and he was forgiven for his past errors. In Santeria, he is syncretized with St. Lazarus as Babalu-Aye. Many of his followers believe him to be very helpful during financial difficulties.
As I cleansed the statue before allowing it on my altar, a gentle reminder of the homeless man who guided me around Las Vegas came to mind. He was proclaimed college professor with a wife and child but lived his life on the streets because it was, well, easier I suppose. Right as I was to get on the bus on my way back home, he cut a red shoe string in half, tied it and burned the end. The other half he kept for himself. As he handed me the shoe string, he mentioned it was a "native" tradition and wished me a safe journey home and hopefully one day we'll see each other again and with this string we can "link" up in the future. I wasn't sure if it was mumbo-jumbo or not, but it was mos def a sincere and heart felt gesture I'd never forget.