T Mobile guy: "I see we have you in Minneapolis. New address please?"
Me: "1032 Bourbon Street, New Orleans."
T Mobile guy: "That's not an address change. That's a paradigm shift."
Well, pretty much.
Fewer than 48 hours, and too many interesting moments to count. Really. Could not have asked for a better time thus far. Brain muddled from far too many cocktails, too little sleep, and a lot of heat, so for now, an (incredibly insufficient) list. But, the best I can do just now, bulleted for your organizational pleasure:
- (Second) best fried chicken of my life, at Jaques-Imos, next door to the Maple Leaf, a NOLA music institution. Waited about an hour for the chicken, made fun of bartenders for how long it was taking: "Who's making this goddamn chicken?" Answer: "It's fried chicken, baby." Upon arrival, crisp as potato chips outside, moist as a New Orleans evening within. Filled with flavor. Collard greens. Mashers. Hot sauce. Fat boy tries to hit on me by telling me that NOLA food ain't got nothing on outstate LA. I believe him. He is fat. Find out he's a med student. Give him my number for no reason other than he's reasonably friendly and I'm a too friendly MN gal. He'll be bugging me for sure.
- Stoop sitting last night. Characters abound. I wait for the final group to pass by because I believe they must have a nugget. They do. Brother: "I had a dream last night. And in it? I was doing not shit." Laughter ensues.
- Perfect coffee at Envie, the J's fav coffee shop. Not interesting perse, but comforting.
- Near flood this afternoon. Niq and I decide to spend the day wandering aimlessly. When the heat proves to get the better of us, finally, finally, like wearing a wet blanket, we dip into a nondiscript pub. People chat, people send drinks, we play the jukebox. The rain comes and comes and comes. Ray, the fat cat who sells timeshares has to move his white BMW as it's threatening to flood. He sends us yet another drink upon his departure. I play Joan Jett, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kid Rock (upon request from the one obnoxiously drunk guy) everyone else was just getting a bump in halfway through the work day. Flood subsides. Everyone has to go back to work after all, much to their chagrin.
- Everyone here talks about food. Small talk, even when it is about to flood, is about food, not weather. Oysters, shrimp, crawfish, chicken. This is what people talk about. And drinking. They know how to live. I see a sticker emblazoned on the side of a cocktail shaker: "Be a Neworleanean, no matter where you are." I like it here.
- Niq and I go for Rebirth Brass Band at Maple Leaf. It's nuts to butts and SWAMPY. The weather is sultry as a whore in a damp red dress. I like it a great deal. Anyone who warned me of the heat can suck it. This weather is gorgeous. It wears you like a mood. Like a love affair. You can't just shake it off. It defines your day. Life here is all around, like a shroud. I'm happy, like slipping into a warm bath.
- I cannot wait for tomorrow.