Maybe it’s the company I keep (OK, it probably is), but this past weekend seemed to be a particularly festive bacchanal here in our great city. Nothing special occurred, but there was a renewed joy in the air as the house party that is NOLA spilled back out into the streets.
People were intoxicated with their love for New Orleans. For being alive. For having lived through another sweltering summer to experience the rapture that is the dry air and humane temperatures of October.
Alas, for one poor person I met, he was a bit too intoxicated…even by New Orleans standards.
I met him late Sunday afternoon at Cosimo’s, one of my favorite watering holes in the Quarter, galaxies away from the “Disneyland on crack” that is Bourbon Street. The light inside never changes—whether it’s dusk, night or dawn–always staying that perfect neighborhood bar cool shade of dim. The bar is always filled with locals of all ages, dogs of all sizes, and music of all types. Paraphrasing something I once heard a friend say about Jazz Fest, “If you don’t have a good time at Cosimo’s, there’s nothing wrong with Cosimo’s. There’s something wrong with you!”
On Sunday several of us were gathered around sharing stories about the weekend and its unavoidable aftershocks (I will not share my stories as my mother reads this column and what a mother doesn’t know won’t hurt her!). A graduate student sitting next to me, typing on her laptop while swigging a High Life, sighed. “I only have two brain cells left. And they’re not talking to each other!”
The bartender stopped mid-pour of someone’s Dewars and said “Damn. I just realized, I forgot to shower. Since Thursday.” (The tourist for whom she was pouring the scotch gasped when she finished that thought by stirring his drink with her bare finger).
As we laughed and clinged glasses, this guy sitting at the end of the bar, Saints cap pulled way down, said to no one in particular “I’ve had a lousy day. Today is my birthday. Even my own mother forgot to call. But I got her good. I called her up and told her how awful she was to forget her own child’s birthday.” Then he paused and looked up, surveying all of our sympathetic faces, and said, “I mean November 1 only comes once a year.” (Did I mention this happened this past Sunday?)
We all looked at each other. “Uh, dude,” I said. “You do realize it’s October 1, not November 1.”
“No,” he confidently replied, pushing himself and his cap up just a bit. “It’s November 1. It’s my birthday. I should know.”
“OK,” I said. “Let me ask you a question. Do you remember Halloween being last night?”
He pondered that thought for about one and a half seconds, then looked straight ahead, stood up and said, simply, “I need to call my mother.”
As he left, we all looked at each other. “Wow, he lost a whole month,” said the grad student. “I hope he had a good time,” said the bartender. “I hope he has a nice mother,” said the tourist with the dirty finger Dewars.
Brett Will Taylor writes Love: NOLA weekly for NolaVie. Visit his blog at thestoryblogbwt.wordpress.com.