A Saturday morning not too long ago, I was on my way to meet up with Arwen in the Quarter to get some papers signed or talk house stuff or some official blah-blah-blah like that, and I figured I’d wander down Bourbon Street while I was at it. Not that anything ever happens on Bourbon before noon except for drunks stumbling out of bars, wincing at the sunlight, but these days we’ve still got the 2 a.m. curfew, so there wasn’t even that. No, I just wanted to check it out. So I’m wandering past the Cat’s Meow and the Funky Pirate and whatnot and I get hit with the overwhelming stench of stale beer, puke, and piss, and the first thought that popped into my head was, “Well, things are finally back to normal.”
See, the French Quarter has stank of sewage for weeks. You would have thought I had my face buried in roses I was so happy.
Shortly after I got back in town, some friends and I wandered down Bourbon Street at night, just to see how it fared, and basically it’s the same – at least, it’s still a bunch of people wandering up and down, getting drunk, trying to see inside the strip joints before committing to going in; it’s just a lot less crowded than usual. Well, plus there’s National Guard standing around, which is admittedly unusual, but if the cute blond one I gave my number to reads this, call me.
See, John stopped to take some pictures, and these four National Guard people were standing around, carrying very large weapons. As I’m waiting for John to finish the photos, this cute blond National Guardsperson catches my eye and sorta nods and calls out a hello. Imagine us standing about twenty feet away from each other, which is about as close as I wanted to get because did I mention the large weapons? Our conversation went something like this:
She: How you doing?
Me: Okay. Well, as okay as can be expected considering all this.
Me: How about you?
She: I’m good.
At this point John finished and walked over.
Me: See ya.
She: See ya.
Me: I’m Dale, by the way.
And then I yelled my phone number at her. Slowly. Twice.
I would have scribbled my number on a napkin and given it to her, but I figured shouting my number was safer than actually approaching within, say, five feet or so.
Have you ever seen three large men in combat helmets laugh their asses off? It’s something to see. Also, I would have thought that a woman carrying a machine gun couldn’t actually blush, but I was wrong. At that point, my friends, also laughing hysterically, pulled me on down the street.
She still hasn’t called, but I remain optimistic.