I returned home from New Orleans yesterday around 5 in the evening. I was in bed and sleeping at roughly 7. Maybe it was earlier and maybe it was later. All I know is that sleep is something I tend not to think too intensely about until I've been denied it for three days, at which point achieving sleep is not as great a concern as how long I'm going to be able to do it, and with whom. Luckily for me, the answer was "about 12 hours" and, unluckily, "nobody".
Now, I'm sure that the seven of you who read this site (I have a site meter now, so I'm confident in saying that the number of suspected readers - four - is smaller than the actual number - eight if you count me, nine if you count both my work and home computer) are clammoring to know what I thought of New Orleans, what I learned there, how I grew - both professionaly and personally - and how many bare breasts I saw/touched/had thrust in my face for the small price of a dollar bill. To answer these queries, I will now proceed to outline a few observations which I hope will serve not only as a compendium of my experiences in the Big Easy, but as a primer to anyone daring and audacious enough to do as I did - to give 110%, 110% of the time.
First of all, let me say how wonderful an experience it is to walk up to a young, attractive, and likely inebriated woman, compliment her on her beautiful figure and chosen attire, proceed to ask her if she would be so kind as to show me and my friends her breasts, and then - miracle of miracles - to be shown said chest. For you see, in New Orleans, saying things that would get you fired from your job or possibly even arrested "you have beautiful breasts and a spectacular behind, could I please see them?", are not only tolerated, they are encouraged. The fearlessness of the atmosphere is contagious, and soon after the men feel it - thanks to a couple of Hurricanes and the purchase of a few strands of poorly made beads - the women feel it as well. It'd be hard to imagine a nursing student from Wisconsin pulling her shirt up and revealing her breasts at a karaoke bar in Sheboygan, but the pervasive feeling of permisiveness spares no one in this bayou town. Ask and ye shall receive. I, the pleasure of witnessing your beautiful cans, and you, this strand of beads that cost me 20 cents and, inexplicably, has fake oranges hanging off of it.
Second of all, Bourbon street is an alarmingly joyful and festive place, though to be sure, it is more than anything just a large and open-aired bacchanal of sin and debauchery. There is nudity, profanity, alcohol, drugs, and no shortage of homeless and hustlers. However, do not be surprised to find yourself in the awkward position of stumbling down the street at 2 in the morning with a Hurricane in one hand, a discount flyer to Scarlett's Gentleman's Club in the other hand, wondering where you are and how long it'll be until you get caught, when you notice next to you a Chinese couple ambling down the street buoyantly, escorting with them their 12-year old son. I'd be willing to chalk up the profound lapse of judgment to simple cultural differences, but I prefer instead to get indignant about it and remind you again that the Chinese are pushy, mean people, and clearly have no idea how to raise their children, which makes me appreciate all the more their government's actions to make them stop.
New Orleans is also, amazingly, a place where dreams come true. If you were to tell me on Thursday before my departure that I'd meet a young, attractive college student from Ohio, lie to her shamelessly about my age and occupation, and convince her to act irresponsibly with me, I'd be hard pressed to believe you. If you were to proceed to tell me that by so doing I would set off a chain-reaction of events that not only prevented two of my friends from having rendezvous of their own but led to behavior and actions meeting the highest of French dinner farce standards and, most unfortunately, pissing off for the remainder of the night another friend who acted, in his drunken and caustic capacity, as mediator during hightened tensions, then I'd call you a soothsayer, because I know better than anyone that my greatest talent is turning a good thing into a complicated thing.
There is more to tell but as you can see, there is clearly also something about New Orleans that makes one write incredibly long sentences. I can't say I have a theory as to why that's the case, but I would postulate that not being drunk or hungover for the first time in four days has my lifted my spirits.
Ride to live. Live to ride.