A month out from my move to Californ-eye-eh has me caught between “exciting life change everything is brand new yay!” and “WHY AM I INTENTIONALLY FUCKING UP MY LIFE I WILL NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN NORTH KOREA IS GOING TO NUKE LOS ANGELES”. It’s an interesting mental situation that I don’t recommend dabbling in. Unless you enjoy being in a constant state of fight or flight that leaves your stomach in old man sailor approved knots. Pepto and I are, like, totally in a relationship.
Lucky for me, New Orleans has a built-in “relax right the fuck now” mechanism: The Walktail.
See, I live a little over a mile from work, which means walking and/or public transit is not only preferred, but MOST convenient AND cost-effective. (parking at work is a whopping $125 a month vs $1.25 bus fare. It ain’t rocket surgery)
I take the bus to work cause I have this thing where I hate being sweaty BEFORE I have to interact with the public (what a high maintenance bitch), but I always walk home, even if it’s 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Fyi, 90 degrees with 85% humidity is literally what hell feels like. The bible says so. Or was it the satanic bible ,or bible for dummies, or whatever book gets you through the day. Maybe Clifford the Big Red Dog mentioned it. I don’t know, I’m not a hell humidity scholar.
I enjoy my walk home for two, no, three reasons. Maybe four. Okay, SEVERAL. There are several reasons. I like being able to put a distance between work and home where all those job vibes can just float off over the Mississippi. I put in my headphones, get that music on shuffle, and dance my tired ass back to the homestead. My walk takes me through the famed French Quarter of New Orleans, providing endless entertainment in the form of intrusive hobos, drunk yuppies, reject street urchins from a lost Dickens novel, sleepy trustafarians, and large suburban families shielding their children from the man in the loincloth playing the saxophone.
I take all this in with the help a true New Orleans legend: The walktail. One can carry their booze freely in the Big Easy, drenching your insides with alcoholic goodness while sweat and rain drench your outsides. Guys, seriously. A golden hour stroll through several hundred years of history while sipping from a can of champagne, or following the path of pirates through cobblestone alleyways bourbon in hand, is just the tits.
It’s hard to avoid the dusky maiden that is alcohol when in the tropics. Aggressive summer weather makes life outside intolerable and cruel and based on a dare probably. And, honey, nothing takes the edge off sweating through your third outfit -because you were flailing around like a wacky inflatable tube guy because a large bug just FLEW down your cleavage- like a stiff drink. Trapped by rain, cornered by wildlife (ROACHES FUCKING FLY HERE MY GOD), blocked by surprise parade, or surrounded by a large group of evangelical christians; booze has got your back.
And so, I begin my last month in New Orleans whiskey in hand, taking in the sights and smells of the historic French Quarter: A grown man washing the diarrhea from his completely exposed nether regions in a public fountain, bright green piles of vomit (like NEON fucking green), fresh horse manure, blooming jasmine, damp earth, and gently sauteing garlic. The Calliope plays a disjointed version of When The Saints Go Marching In from atop the riverboat Natchez, mingling with the boisterous brass band rocking Jackson Square. It’s beautiful and filthy and perfect.
Never change, you disgusting beast.
Glad this thing is a double it’s fucking revolting out here.
*I very literally pass about 3 brass bands on my way home. Everyday. So the next time you see a movie or TV show that has a brass band playing their guts out on a street corner at 4pm on a Tuesday and are like”Pssh. That totally doesn’t happen”, know that you are very wrong.*