A Jotted Down Memory From My First Trip to New Orleans
I’m sitting in a cafe, reading “A Moveable Feast”, decompressing after a day’s work with a Sierra Nevada beer, and waiting for Tommy and Lauren to come in and join me.
In the meantime, another potential love interest walks in, and I make eye contact with her, I smile, and she smiles. It happens again, and a handful of times more, but then my friends finally arrive, and I shift my concentration.
I start talking with my friends and, it being the finish of my stay in New Orleans, there are a lot of events to talk about.
I tell them of my walks to Frenchman Street, people watching and listening to jazz through bars’ windows, and wandering through flee markets and record stores.
I speak of how my family got along particularly and surprisingly well, and how we fared excellently for people sharing such close company, all of us being in the same hotel room.
I tell them how my mom was refreshingly relatable and fun to talk to, and how my suspicion of her not being able to tolerate the heat or the crowds was completely dissolved by her apparent happiness and interest in the performances.
And I mention how the music I had gotten to listen to over the weekend was awesome and magnificent. Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Trey Anastasio, and more; jazz bands, blues bands, and brass bands; most of
them local, yet just as moving as the nationally acclaimed acts.
And as I list all of these talented and entertaining musicians, and attempt to summarize the euphoria they inspired and the dreamland setting in which they did their work, the girl I had been smiling at earlier walks over to my table.
She tells me, directly, that she overheard me talking about musicians, and asks if I was interested in seeing a show tonight.
And at first, being the cynical New Yorker in-training that I am, I thought she was trying to con me or pawn off a spare ticket onto me.
Her name was Shasha and her name was on the list of artists I was just affectionately gushing over.
I had seen her sing at the festival two days prior; I was complimenting her, oblivious to her presence, two seconds prior; and I had been subtlety flirting with her from across the room since she walked in the door.
I’ll let you know what happens next after I get back from the show…