Tuesday, February 12, 2013
New Orleans Memory
I would have been in my early 20's, and I was on vacation with a few buddies. We had made a few stops, and we had two days in New Orleans before flying home. We were young and naive and hadn't seen too much of the world, and the "anything goes" attitude was eye-opening. Decadence not only permitted, but encouraged? Yeah baby!
So it was our last night there, and we were determined to maximize our New Orleans experience, disregarding the fact that we had a flight home in the morning (oh to be young and invincible again.) We had eaten like kings, seen fantastic live music, and were hopping from one bar to the next, drinking heavily and whooping it up.
Our last stop, with dawn approaching, was a tiny little dive bar far off Bourbon St. We got another round of drinks, and one of my more-outgoing buddies chatted up the people there. Some time later, he introduced me to a curvy young Southern belle. I can't remember her name...let's call her Scarlett. It was Scarlett's 18th or 19th birthday (whatever the drinking age at the time was for the state of Louisiana), and some of her friends and family had taken her out to celebrate.
I had had enough drinks by that point to overcome my natural shyness, and I chatted up Scarlett like a pro. Next thing I knew, we were making out right there at the bar. The thought was going through my alcohol-addled brain that this felt pretty damned good, when I felt a hand on my shoulder, and we were yanked apart. If this had been a TV show, there would have been the sound of a record needle being dragged across a record.
An old battle-axe was wagging a finger in my face (yes, literally wagging her finger!) and lecturing me angrily. Something about what were my plans for the young belle.... Even in my advanced state of inebriation, I knew that "fucking her until she screamed" wasn't a plan she wanted to hear. But I couldn't think of any answer that would satisfy, so I just gaped like a fish out of water and accepted the lecture.
After she walked away, Scarlett apologized and said it was an over-protective family friend. We talked some more, and even made out a little more - but then her group was leaving, and that was that. Me and my buddies stumbled back to our hotel room for an hour or two of sleep, and then suffered through a badly-hung-over flight home.
A week later, back at home, I got a frilly letter in the mail with a Louisiana postmark (yeah, I'm seriously dating myself, huh? Not a text msg, an e-mail, or a FB friend request - a letter in the U.S. mail!) I didn't even remember exchanging addresses, but there it was. She sent me a very sweet note about how nice it was to meet me, how handsome I was, and how much she loved my blond hair. Cue the sound of another dragged record needle. I've been called many things before, but never blond.
Ah well. I didn't answer the letter. I figured it was better to leave her with the imagined memory of a handsome blond man than to ruin it with cold-light-of-day facts.