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Day of the Flapper.
Alright, after today, I am going to put the paywall back up when I hit mid-stream. There is too much literary gold and shoe-leather reporting being given away gratis around here recently.
Someone became a paid subscriber yesterday. You have a friend in New Orleans. If you ever need a barber to screw up your haircut, let me know. I know exactly where to send you.
Chicken Lady says I am rocking an iconic look. The Flapper agrees. She would. The Flapper also knows how to strike a pose.
Regular readers know that I have been hanging out at this bar called Aunt Tiki’s. It is on lower Decatur Street, or Lower D, as denizens of this particular demimonde like to call it.
I am here during the day today. I am going to stick with it for the duration. I find it depressing. I should stick to Mid-City.
Lower D, as I have learned to call it, is interesting during the night. A reasonable person would expect to meet the kind of people he or she would meet on Lower D at 3:00AM. You might even say they are a cut above.
During the day, I just find this depressing. It is like staring at a venereal crotch. Today, thus far, has been painful to watch, a landscape of weeping lesions.
I should stick to Mid-City during the day. Realtors, attorneys, soccer moms—those are my people. Not really, but, I am accustomed to them. I may as well be one of them. We all share the same discreet charm of the petite bourgeoisie.
The sun is out, the sky is blue. Today is a beautiful day. Aunt Tiki’s is awash with human wreckage. It is so frickin’ dark in here that it may as well be 3:00AM. It is 12:55PM. The sun is out. The sky is blue. It is warm outside. Today is a beautiful New Orleans day.
What am I doing here?
I am your man-in-New Orleans. If I were not here right now, how would you know what is going on? You would not. No one else is going to tell you. Welcome to my world. This is New Orleans.
I was sitting next to a guy who muttered to himself constantly. He thought I was writing a screenplay. No. I was writing this letter to you.
This muttering guy was a total pain in my keister. I gave him the brush. I have other things do than chatting up some strung out chump with the mumbles. I let him natter on to himself, paying him no mind.
I think I will go to Antoine’s for lunch. Today is a day for soufleed potatoes. Ask anybody. I have to get out of Aunt Tiki’s.
Okay, I am going to have lunch at Arnaud’s. I have a coupon. I am headed over.
I am there. Now, where was I? Back to Aunt Tiki’s…
Have you ever played mumbletypeg? Watch your fingers! I have an Opinel knife in my pocket. I was thinking about asking the mumbly guy if wanted to go a few rounds. The bar at Aunt Tiki’s is all scarred and pockmarked, no one will notice a few more nicks or divots. He looked too shaky for a challenge so I opted to let the matter along.
I would rather play mumbletypeg than a slot machine, even though I won $5.25 at the Fair Grounds the other day. It was something to do.
I was giving this joker in a mumbling fury the cold shoulder, but, he asked me if I had a pen. I am a gentleman. Of course I have a pen and I am always happy to lend it. I am a friend to those who have no friends and an enemy only to those who choose to make me one.
I think I saw Shugee walk past the front window. There is no back window. Frickin’ Shugee. If he sees my Vespa, he will be in here. Good. Happiness loves company, even if it is frickin’ Shugee.
I had just gone to the stationary store on Royal Street to buy some ink for my fountain pen. There was no way I was going to lend this joker my Lamy. Most people are unfamiliar with how to write with a fountain pen nowadays. When I told the Flapper what I was up to, she said, “When you tell me what you are doing, it makes sense, Mr. King. If it was anyone else, I would question their sanity.”
I was not going to lend this guy my fountain pen. He would just bend the nib and screw it all up. I also did not want to fish around in my pockets for a ball-point. “I have a pencil,” I said as I offered to him.
“That’ll do,” he said, accepting the pencil I proffered.
We are all God’s children. There is glitter all over my keyboard. This mumbling guy accepted my pencil and started to laboriously try to write a not to the Flapper on a cocktail napkin. The pencil was Opinel-sharp so the point kept ripping the napkin. He kept starting over and over and over again, one torn up cocktail napkin after another.
He finally finished and gave me back my pencil. The point was dull, just a nub after all that I was glad I hadn’t given him my ball-point pen, let alone my fountain pen.
He had written a note to the Flapper. He left it on the bar, turning it in her direction so that she could easily read it.
The Flapper picked up the cocktail napkin and discarded it. The trash can was overflowing with would-be love notes. A lady can waste a lot of time listening to sweet nothings from her admirers.
When I went outside, a parakeet flew by. I was busy watching a passing wall of cloud. I was at the French Market.
Have a great New Orleans day today. Get wise. Become a paid subscriber.
Get wise. Become a paid subscriber.