Well, I’m thinking about stories. Of my life. Years gone by, et cetera. And I think I’d like to talk about New Orleans now. This is more like… brainstorming. OR conjuring up old things that I haven’t thought of in a while. But it’s a start.
When I was living in The French Quarter, I worked at a place called Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo. It was a tourist trap on Bourbon Street. The pay was shitty. But rent was cheap at my apartment, and I only lived 2 blocks away on St. Peter Street. The job was pretty bad too, I was paid to be the “security” guy. Basically, I sat in a fucking stool right inside the front door of the place. I made sure the drunks didn’t start any serious problems. There were always drunks though, I’m sure 89% of the foot traffic was drunken tourists. There were also maybe a handful of locals that came around sometimes.
Haha, The Prince of Love was a trip. This was just a random guy who preyed on the drunken tourists. He was an old-as-the-hills, totally smooth, black man that dubbed himself a Prince. He carried around a gris-gris bag and an erroneous walking stick. He always wore a shiny vest and a bunch of tittie-beads. And a hat, like the one that Boober used to wear on Fraggle Rock? I don’t know what those kinds of hats are called, even though I wore one just like it for a long time (mine was made of brown suede, and I was a fucking hippie). The Prince of Love. I don’t even understand what his goal was, besides getting drunk as shit every day. But, yeah, he would get dumb women and men from Wisconsin to pay him. For walking up to them and saying “oh, you two look beautiful together, I get a feelin’ from you two. Y’all gonna be alright. Trust me, I’m the prince of love.” Et cetera. I don’t know what his game was. He’d wave his little gris-gris around and say, “I’m givin’ y’all good luck. Y’all’s gonna need it.” Et cetera. That type of shit. But we always got stuck with him on the slow days and nights. He’d come into the shop, and we’d ask him to go back outside. Because he always was spilling his booze all over. I am thinking I probably bought that dude at least 6 Hurricanes while I worked at Marie’s, and I am thinking he bought me a hand grenade beer ONCE. Dick. But he was funny at least, in pitiful ways.
One time, that chick Lee Anne Rimes? She came and shot a video at my job. I only mention this because I just found the video on Youtube, for the purpose of letting you see the place (from about 1m:10s to 2m:00s in the video). I’d suggest turning the sound off for this. And maybe whipping your junk out and stroking, because she is looking pretty foxy in this video. But I’m assuming the song is shit. I’ve never really heard it, and I’d like to keep it that way. Well, yes, here:
So all the weird stuff you see in that video, that’s all shot at Marie Laveau’s. I guess I haven’t mentioned, but she was some kind of Voodoo Priestess legend in late 19th-century New Orleans? I don’t know. When I lived down there, I read a couple of books about her, and learned a lot, and had a fairly profound respect for the lore. But I’ve lived a lot in the last 7 years, so most of that stuff is gone from memory now. You could get an idea about her here on Wikipedia.
It was pretty scary to work on Bourbon Street. A lot of drunk tourists, obviously. But you can’t really understand the terror of that until you live it. I mean, people came from all over the world, seemingly just to walk into my store and slurrily ask, “Hey. Hey man. You got any Vooooo-Doooooo dolls? I need one for my ex-wife. Hahaha!” Yeah, nobody’s ever asked us that question 140 times EVERY SINGLE day. A handful of people would be decent. They’d come in and place an offering on the altar that was set up, trying to get some mojo working in their favor I guess. But the fucking drunks, man, that got rough.
I actually lost my mind eventually. I was… God, I don’t know how to explain this without sounding crazy. So I will just be vague and quick.
I saw shit down there that changed my mind about ghosts. I never believed in them. After a few months in the Vieux Carré, I believed in ghosts. I knew ghosts. I saw them and I heard them and I felt them. Weird things happened.
And there came a time, toward the end, where I was hearing voices coming from the ceiling fan in the bedroom, and from the bathroom vents, in the apartment I was living in. I’m not going to talk about energy balls, and I’m not going to talk about unhappy spirits of long-dead people. And at this time, as a result of other things I had experienced, I was also convinced that I could know things without knowing. I became extremely sensitive to peoples’ intentions, the hidden kinds of intentions. But not just intentions. I was convinced that, at a glance, I could know a person’s soul. I saw evil everywhere. I’d walk down a street getting drunk, and I’d start feeling claustrophobic. Bad spirits, bad people all around me.
I lost my job because I was afraid to leave the house. I just stayed home and drank Evan Williams’ cheap-ass whiskey. I did get odd jobs here and there, but I couldn’t make any of them last more than a few days. I was a bouncer at a blues bar, I was the I.D. checker guy at a porno shoppe, I was a doorman at another shitty tourist-trap bar. It got really bad and then I fled to Venice, California before the winter really hit.But I had amazing times in New Orleans too, in the first couple of months. We found a pretty magical drum circle that happened on Thursday nights. It started at Midnight, and took place under a massive electrical tower to the west of the Quarter. I think it was considered the garden district, down all the way down St Charles past the train tracks. There were all types of freaks down there. Passing big jugs of wine and home-made brews. People eating/throwing flames around the whole place. This was a drum circle, but there were always guitars and banjos and shit. There were beautiful hippie chicks, one of which I “fell in love with,” of course. She was known as Flutterby, but I think her name was Bethea. I wanted to fuck her, but I think all that happened was I gave her a lot of cigarettes and whiskey and probably some dollars too. But god damn, she was that totally ugly kind of beautiful that I’ve always loved. She looked like a little tiny girl whose drunken dad beat her up a lot, but she had this freedom about her and a subtle and innocent arrogance to her. Fucking weird. But the drum circle was… I don’t know… mind-expanding? Yeah. The jams were incredible. And the derelicts were fun times.
We also met a neighbour who was cool as fuck. I can’t remember her name, but I think she was from New Mexico or something? She had a shotgun double on St Peter, so we’d all hang out and play music in her front room, with all the shutters open so it was basically like we were playing on the sidewalk. I remember a lot of wine there too. Always wine. And weird transplants passing through, always smoking some pot.
And there was that insane girl, Spritz, the portly raver-that-would-never-let-go-of-the-rave type girl. She sucked off my roomie one night, like two feet away from where I was sleeping. And when I asked her to suck me off, I think she said okay, but I decided not because I was still young enough to think that would’ve been pretty gay. It doesn’t help that I was not even slightly attracted to her. But she was fun. We all got drunk together a lot.
And there was Molly, who I won’t talk about because she apparently reads my blog sometimes. But I had the biggest crush on her, and I think Todd did too. But she decided she liked me more. Until we went on a couple of dates and she decided I was too unsane to date. So we just became friends. And for another time, there’s a great story about the time I revisited New Orleans for a week and stayed with Molly in her UNO campus apartment, which I stocked with many many dollars worth of liquor. Uhhh… she was fucking sexy and innocent and sweet. I think she was a Christian when I met her, on the verge of revolting. Or whatever the word is for when you have the realisation that the church is ridiculous.
And Doug! I loved Doug. But this is getting way too long. I’ll have to talk about Doug and Spider and “The Foley” another time.
Oh man, and I will DEFINITELY have to tell the story of Southern Decadence, and how in one weekend I completely obliterated any shred of homophobia I may have once had inside of me. THAT’s a good story. So. To be continued…