Pulled That Trigger

by

Holy shit.

I can’t believe I did it.

Especially when I looked at the cost of flying there.

Fuck.

But.

Fuck it.

I want to go and I decided.

And I registered.

Yes.

I am going to be out of town Fourth of July weekend again.

Last year I was in Atlanta.

This year.

NEW ORLEANS!

Woot! Woot!

Heh.

I am a little excited.

I found out the family I am working for will be at Carmel Valley Ranch down the coast for the holiday weekend and I’ll have that Friday-Monday off from work.

Then, tonight, I heard an announcement about he “Road to Detroit.”

What?

My ears perked right up.

I plan on being in Detroit for the big one in 2020.

Yeah.

I like to make the plans.

But Atlanta was so amazing, I committed then and there to go to the next one.

Well.

Wouldn’t you know?

They’ve decided to build some enthusiasm for the big one in 2020 by doing smaller regional events and the first one, this year, is in New Orleans.

My whole body broke out in goosebumps.

I have been thinking non-stop, every day since Saturday, about going to New Orleans.

In fact.

I started writing it down in my morning pages, I am a world traveler, I am going to New Orleans for Jazz Fest.

But.

l have to say, when I listened to my heart, my gut, my interior, Jazz Fest seemed just too far off, so the other day I just started writing I am going to New Orleans.

Then.

Tonight.

The announcement, the see me after for more information.

I registered.

Fuck, it was only $10 to register!

The Atlanta convention was $100.

Granted, money well fucking spent, but still.

Anyway.

I talked to the dude and forked over my ten bucks and did a happy dance and rode my scooter home with a wild silly grin slapped on my face.

Until I started looking at tickets to fly there.

Holy shit.

That’s a lot.

Then again.

It’s going to be a lot no matter where I go.

I had reached out to my friend in Wisconsin and not gotten back from her and the tickets to Minneapolis/St. Paul were about the same as New Orleans.

And well.

Fuck.

I owe myself an amends to go back to New Orleans and do it right.

I have only been one other time.

I was only there a night.

I was busy running away from home with my not so secret crush, as it would later turn out, at the age of 19, having just dropped out of college, blew that full ride good.

Seriously.

Fucked myself out of a full ride to university.

I just had to get the fuck out of Dodge, or Madison as the case may be.

It was a huge geographic.

I had no idea where I was going to end up.

Homestead Florida.

Never heard of it?

Don’t worry, you don’t want to know.

Along the way there, so many adventures.

My we were so young.

He was 17 and I had just turned 19.

We had very little money.

He had a Datsun 280 Z.

It was maroon.

It had bucket seats and a tape deck.

We listened to Jethro Tull and Steve Miller and The Eagles and anything Southern rock we could.

We smoke a lot of cigarettes.

A lot.

We camped out.

But in New Orleans.

We stayed in a cheap motel on the very edges of town and decided the next day to stop and go through the down town area.

We were so young and naive and broke.

We parked in a parking garage and I remember my friend climbing out of the car, my soon to be lover but never truly boyfriend, I got scooped by the older guy in Florida who you know did some minor hot point hits for the Mafia and was 28 to my 19 and introduced me to smoking crack cocaine and I was his old lady, but I digress, and his curly, unruly hair barely held down under the sailor’s hat he had bought at Sacred Feather on State Street in Madison–a Greek sailor captain’s hat in dark navy blue.

I remember the first time I heard “True Dreams of Wichita” off Soul Coughing’s album Ruby Vroom, I felt like my heart was going to blow out of itself.

Push out dead air from a parking garage
Where you stand with the keys and your cool hat of silence
Where you grip her love like a driver’s liscense

That.

That was what it was like.

Standing in the humid murk of New Orleans and we were running away and it was scary and romantic and full of bravado and more than a modicum of stupidity.

Young and dumb and so on fire for life.

And too stupid to admit how afraid I was.

So fucking scared.

It only got worse, but that day, wandering around New Orleans, the boys in the Quarter tap dancing with Coca Cola bottle caps on the soles of their shoes, no diamonds here, and my heart trilled in my chest when we walked down a windy little street and I saw a peek inside a courtyard.

The trellis heavy with flowers and the wrought iron gate, the quiet splash of water in a standing fountain and I felt something batter in my chest, a bird with a broken wing.

I want to live here.

I want to come here again.

I want to sip bowls of coffee with my bare feet on the patio cement.

I want creole food and The Meters and Clifton Chenier and Gumbo yaya and voodoo and heat and humidity, I want the hair lifted off the back of my neck and spit curls at the nape damp with heat and sweat and love and the miraculous.

I had no idea what I wanted.

But.

Oh.

I did so want.

We spent no money.

Except.

At at tobacco shop.

I bought one pack of fancy Nat Sherman silk cuts.

And he bought one really nice, for a couple of naive kids from the North, cigar.

We got lost on the way back to the motel.

Remember folks, I’m a bad navigator.

And we had the car literally, and I am not joking, shook down for the change in the console at a 7-11 we stopped at for directions.

It scared both of us.

But we got out and that was it.

My only visit to New Orleans.

I dare say.

This time will be a little different.

Though I hope for bowls of chicory coffee and jambalaya, shrimp creole, and dirty rice, Zydeco music, much doing the deal, and summer dresses and sandals to dance in.

I’m about over the foggy gloomy summer.

I’m going to New Orleans!

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

Bitches.

 

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