After some delays and a stop over in Houston, we arrived in New Orleans, birthplace of Jazz and full-tilt, no holds barred alcoholism. I can actually feel my liver throbbing inside me now. This has to end. But how can anyone not drink themselves to death in a town like New Orleans? When you order a drink here, they ask if you want it to stay or to go. Really. You can waddle down the street with a martini and say ‘here’s mud in your eye’ to everyone you pass. I toasted a mailman yesterday. What a town.
I actually think I’d like to live here one day. Perhaps it’s all the Anne Rice novels I read as a kid, but there’s something distinctly familiar about New Orleans; I felt right at home the moment our plane touched down. My current obsession, Rowland S. Howard, lived here for a time, and he said it was the only place where he truly felt at home. I think I know what he meant. Then again, he might’ve said that about Kingman and I’d echo the sentiment (not a chance in Hell).
We’re staying in the French Quarter, which is really the most amazing place I’ve ever been. It’s so weird. The French colonized New Orleans in 1718, so the architecture is all French Colonial and almost 300 years old. You can feel how old it is, and I know that’s a total cliché, but if you’ve ever experienced that sense of history in a place you’ll know what I mean. There’s also something very dark in the ground here, something disquieting enough to intrigue, but not so sinister that you want to split. I don’t believe in ghosts, but if I did I’d tell you this joint is haunted up the butt. I haven’t experienced anything particularly supernatural (that fart the old man did in the hotel elevator was bordering on the paranormal), but it’s definitely a spooky town.
On our first night here we met up with some buddies visiting from New York and partied our dicks off. On the following night–last night–we met up with some more friends from Florida and partied our dicks off a second time. The last 36 hours have been such a blur I can’t even give you a linear account of what happened, so here’s some of the fragments I’ve got swirling around in my head: Joe, aka Joey Slots, painting his face with pool chalk again; dancing like our lives depended on it at a place called the Hi Ho; a bizarre cabaret show where the master of ceremonies took her top off and laid out on a bed of nails; tiny little kids tap-dancing with crushed soda cans tacked to their feet (they let me have a tap, but were not impressed with my moves. I was made to feel ashamed by a mob of 7 year-olds); sitting around a candlelit grand piano while an ancient lady belted out ‘Benny and the Jets’; drinking raspberry jelly shots through huge syringes; sweating and sweating and sweating; eating a sandwich called the ‘All That Jazz’ and realizing this was the first time I’d really had a sandwich; eating Gumbo for the very first time; wandering around an aboveground cemetery with a frozen margarita and suddenly realizing that it was the same cemetery from the acid trip scene in Easy Rider (I dorked out hard on that, as you can see); hearing the words ‘our special today is alligator sausage crab cakes’; excellent bands performing absolutely everywhere: bars, clubs, in the streets, rooftops, everywhere; Cannibal Corpse live at a small bar for $12; accidently placing my hand on a lady’s boob (I was so embarrassed and apologetic, but the lady just laughed and said, ‘that’s okay, I’ve got really big boobs,’ which was true); having a hotel room all to myself and strutting around naked (such a relief after two weeks living with Joey Slots and the Goth Frog); discovering that crawfish aren’t actually fish–they’re yabbies! What else? I think that’s all I can muster with the way I’m feeling. Right now Warren and Joe are off doing their own thing (possibly sleeping) and I’m in my room, nursing a hangover with the AC on full. God I love this town.
We’ll more than likely be kicking our dicks down the street again tonight (God help us), and tomorrow Warren and I are driving with his Floridian buddies to Panama City. Joe is flying back to New York on Wednesday. I’m sad to say goodbye to Joe. I’ll be celebrating the 4th of July with him in a couple of days, but I’m still sorry we’re parting ways: the adventure is almost over. Sniff.
Next: the prettiest beaches Florida has to offer!
P.s. sorry if this installment was a bit of a clunky read. I’m operating on about 3% brain power–significantly less than the usual 8%.