Well, Fat Tuesday is upon us again. If I were to actually give something up for Lent, or had enough money to go back to New Orleans, I might care. This day always does make me think of my one trip down to New Orleans, even though it wasn't during Mardi Gras.
It was the middle of the summer. The hottest, most humid time of year. Five minutes after getting out of the shower you were so glistening with the moisture in the air and your own sweat that you might as well have not taken a shower at all. Every day it rained, and for the hour after the rainstorm, people would go outside in swarms to enjoy the relative respite from the heat.
I remember one day we were on our way to the mall when the rainstorm happened. We looked like a couple of drowned rats as we made our way inside. And what makes more sense at that point then to go try on $300-$500 dresses that there's no way you'll buy? So of course we head to the Betsey Johnson store. Somewhere I have a picture of us in a couple of B.J. originals, complete with stringy, dripping hair. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that taking pictures in the store was against the rules, too.
One of the other highlights of the trip was when Red took me swing dancing. I had taken lessons before, and it was apparently a weekly thing for her. We went to this place called Rock 'N Bowl, which had a handful of bowling lanes, a full bar, and a live band. I remember it was a rockabilly band that night. We danced and danced until they kicked us out. And then we went to a diner to hang out with some of the other "regulars." I got to meet and dance with one of the guys that was in the Gap swing-dancing commercial. He and I continued the night privately after the diner. I'd give more details of that, but a lady doesn't kiss and tell. ;)
I also remember the night my cousin took me out to spend some one-on-one time together. We both ate a couple hits of acid, and took off for the French quarter. I don't remember a whole lot of particulars about that night, but I do remember lots of dancing and laughing. At one point we forgot where we had parked the car, and were just wandering around waiting for our next adventure to pop up. Earlier in the week, we had stopped at a gas station, and my cousin had told me that it was a place you didn't want to go after dark. So we're wandering around the Quarter at about 3 in the morning, drugged out of our minds, and I look up and we're at that exact gas station! Not the most pleasant feeling in the world for an overprotected suburbanite like myself. Later in the evening/morning, we wound up in the park, watching the sun rise over the Mississippi River. It was beautiful, in spite of the smell, and it's one of my favorite memories of my life. Everything was so tranquil, the partying was over, there was just such a sense of peace. It was a wonderful way to end my week in New Orleans.
Labels: way back machine