Monday, April 11, 2011

It Ain't No Joke

It's been said before, but seriously this town is not for the weak. I'm not sure what I've been doing, but I know I haven't left in New Orleans in a couple weeks. I'm incredibly broke and exhausted, a little bit sunburned, and about to be homeless. I would guess that I'm also hungover but I think that's the baby benedrel that has become my regular nightcap. I might live with the most spiders I've ever seen since the jungles of Thailand. And it's very likely that my new roommate will be some German Shepard mix, as a bodyguard not a companion.

My job is, like I express all the time, a lot. Not much of anything like I expected, but hey what is. As I said to a colleague late Friday afternoon; sometimes I love organizing and sometimes I hate organizing. And sometimes I just would rather be at the French Quarter Fest dancing to zydeco. This past weekend was French Quarter Fest, a free four day long Jazz festival. I danced some cajun. I lusted over Troumbone Shorty, made a fool of myself wiggling around to the Treme Brass Band, and heard a zydeco version of Kiss by Prince complete with a washboard.

But last Tuesday I found out that I had to move out of my apartment sometime within the next two months. Being that this will be my 12th move in the past 12 months, I felt nothing by this news. A lazy 'of course' waved passed me while I searched Craigslist for my new home and about two hours later I was walking through what has turned out to be my new apartment. Two blocks from where I originally wanted to live, three times the size of my current place, and a sketchy enough neighborhood that I'm picking up a very large dog from SPCA sometime shortly. Hopefully one that looks scrappy with wild hair, like I do in the morning.

Though the streets where I currently live, maybe less than 2 minutes by car to my new place, has some uneven roads, this new street looks like a fucking bomb went off. I can't even imagine when the last time anyone from the city drove up this street. Actually, there are probably several policemen that live in my new neighborhood, but keeping the murder rate under 300 and not being arrested by the FBI themselves is a bigger priority for our New Orleans cops these days.

The weekend before last I traveled with a new friend to Laplace. A tiny cajun town just outside New Orleans. The accents are slightly different than cajun but it takes a local to notice. Most of the time I have no idea what my new friend is saying, but he's so cute I'm not listening anyway. We spent Saturday afternoon and early evening in a bar called Bullys. First opened in 1927 off some small bayou, a few hundred feet from I-10. Most of the new friend's family happened to also be there or stop by during the night and the beer came in goblets. Like the kind of gobelts I use to drink Kir Royal's out of when I worked at an all night diner and wear wife beaters and unmatching earrings. I may or may not have been 22 at the time.

Regardless Bully's was an experience. First they don't season the outside of their crawfish. This has been a shocking revelation to me. I'm from what they call cajun country, where everything is fucking spicy, including the outside of your crawfish, which you don't eat. Though the crawfish was tasty it didn't have that eye watering can't touch anything because your hands are full of red peppers and crawfish juices I love so much. When I asked 'whatthefuckisupwiththiscrawfish?" I was laughed at in some deep gutteral "I've been smoking for 45 years and you must be from Lafayette parish' bayou laugh. I was not amused by the response I received.

In the end, I made it out of Bully's alive, even though my new friend's uncle kept asking my if I was Irish and making comments about different parts of my body, while screaming on about how his grandchild always ask if he's drunk again, mostly in the same breath. The Sheriff was also there at his usual table with his usual kiss-ass entreage, as I was told. And the bloody mary was the best I've ever had in my entire fucking life. If you are ever drive I-10 and pass by exit 209, stop at Bully's order a bloody mary, then sit back and watch the show unfold. Just a small warning, Bully's is a contact sport.

Well . . . I would like to share with you some environmental health news article or something of substance, but that's all I've got right now. Two-steppin to Prince songs, drunk inappropriate uncles, brass bands, being kicked out of my apartment after two months, and goblets of beer. What kind of stories do you want from me anyway?

Renee Claire

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