Travelog Thursday 191031 (Redacted version)

Start: Parked outside [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: sleeping in [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Wandered around New Orleans dresser in a couple’s costume: I was Draco Malfoy & Smidge was Dobby the House Elf. 
    • Drunk wandering is just as pointless as I remember. Trying to find that friend, avoiding places with covers, etc. 

  • Felt twice like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. 
    • When [redacted] and I were playing connect 4 as the night was coming to a close.
    • Wandering down Bourbon street sipping a delightfully fruity daiquiri.
  • Talked through [redacted]’s life goals and how he should choose a career by ability, not passion. 
  • Did two [redacted]. 
  • Phone with [redacted] to tell her I [redacted]. 

Real Realizations: 

  • People are the same everywhere. The difference is interests, topics, opportunities. Same people, tho. 
  • Sleep deprivation keeps people wired and happy. 
  • I don’t enjoy dressing up for Halloween. Too much effort, too little value. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “I’m gonna be a cow.” -[redacted]. 
  • “The first thing to attack in your enemy is their communications.” -[redacted]. 
    • I like this quote for its wide-ranging reach. Whether playing chess or in war with a country, the first thing to destroy is their ability to think. You knock out that ability by knocking out communications—between them and another or within one, itself. 

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Work for [redacted]. 
  • Did [redacted]’s dishes. What a gift. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • [Redacted] with [redacted] feels oddly fractured again. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Cooked a steak and sweet potatoes for [redacted] & me. 
  • Chicken tenders at dinner. 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Hanging with [redacted]. 
  • Sleeping late. 

Travelog Wednesday 191030 (Redacted Version)

Start: Parked outside the New Orleans African American Museum, Governor Nicholl’s Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

End: Parked outside [redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana.

Real Realizations: 

  • Everyone’s self-conscious about something vis-à-vis their sex life. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “Sir, sir,” the older woman behind me in Walmart says. “Yes?” I reply, removing a headphone. “You have nice looking legs.” “Thanks, I appreciate that,” I say and then feel incredibly uncomfortable. 
  • “You can sweat on the inside, just don’t sweat on the outside.” -[Redacted]. 
  • “You’re interesting, in a challenging way.” -[Redacted]. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Call with [redacted] to reorganize his working life. 
  • Call with [redacted] for fun. 
  • First [redacted]. With [redacted]. 
    • [Redacted] with both [redacted]. 
    • Gave [redacted] while [redacted]. 
    • Playfighting / [redacted] with [redacted]. 
  • [Redacted]’s stories: 
    • Stealing $1,100 from a movie theater by dropping the $100 bills into a big gulp cup. 
    • Smuggling drugs into prison as a guard. 
    • Stopping 3 kids from stealing his car stereo & dodging a bullet in the process. 
  • Awake till 5am for the third time in New Orleans. It was 6am, this time. 

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Showered at Planet Fitness. 
  • Bought steaks from Walmart. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • The death ritual. Well structured, good concept; lacking in execution &/or details. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • First muffaletta! Yum. 
  • The stew that [redacted] made. That chick can cook! 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Nap tomorrow?!?!
  • Rocky Horror tomorrow?!?!
  • More [redacted] with these great people?!?!

Travelog Tuesday 191029 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: Parked outside the New Orleans African American Museum, Governor Nicholl’s Street, New Orleans, Louisiana

Exciting Events: 

  • None to speak of. 

Real Realizations: 

  • All the thoughts that bubbled up as part of watching the comedy special Nanette. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • This dialog:
    • Me: “I’m doing a couples costume with my dog: I’m Lucius Malfoy and she’s Dobby the House Elf.” 
    • [Redacted] (Former college classmate): “That sounds exploitative.”
    • Me: “Yeah, I’ll have to watch out for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.”

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Vaguely disappointing [redacted]. 
  • A bit of [redacted] work. 

Disappointing doldrums: 

  • Didn’t love [redacted]. Enjoyed talking [redacted] though. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Pizza & fettuccine in New Orleans again.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey.  

Alluring Activities: 

  • Work.
  • Date with [redacted]. 
  • My death ceremony. 
  • Getting out of New Orleans. 

Travelog 191027 (Redacted Version)

Start: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Happened upon a New Orleans parade! They’re called “second lines”, and are essentially the parade of people behind the typical parade. 
    • Mine was for the Black Men’s Labor Union. No, it wasn’t a protest or a strike; just a parade! 
    • Later in the evening, overheard another parade. These things are everywhere! 
  • The outfits—absurd! Straight out of the ‘20s. 
  • Happened upon a birthday party on the sidewalk. Felt odd to this CA native. Seemed commonplace here. 
  • Wrote about my time in New Orleans & relationship to partying. 

Real Realizations: 

  • For a celebration to matter, you need something to celebrate. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “It’s the universal New Orleans excuse for being late: “I got stuck behind a second line.” -[Redacted].

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Half-an-hour phone call with [Redacted]. 
  • Watched a few more episodes of Bojack Horseman. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • “Shrimp po boy on french, dressed with everything.” 
  • Fettucini alfredo & pizza 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Getting back to the grind.

Travelog 191026 (Redacted Version)

Start: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

End: Parked on the corner of Marias & Governor Nicholls St, in the Tremé district of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “Have you ever had a New Orleans sweet potato? You don’t have to add anything. They come out the ground sweet.” -[Redacted], my waiter at Willie Mae’s Scotch House. 
  • “I wonder if a Chihuahua with Parkinson’s just doesn’t move.” -Me. 
  • “People in New Orleans all get along. If you come to New Orleans and you can’t get along with anybody, there’s something wrong with you.” -[Redacted], my Uber driver. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Awoke at 1pm. My first Day in New Orleans and I was out til 5am… 
  • Wrote a reply to [redacted] letter. 
  • Ate incredible soul food in the Tremé district. 
  • I asked an Uber driver how the city is different after Katrina. He said “it’s not.” And pointed to a pothole that’s been here since before the storm. He evidently isn’t impressed by any political change. 
  • [Redacted]’s after-party
    • Apropos of nothing, a man [redacted] on the couch next to me, 
    • I ask a woman why she spends time around these people. She says, (paraphrase) “because all the women tell me I’m beautiful.” 
  • Halloween party with intense [redacted] demonstrations (like [redacted]), where the band played Pink Floyd for an hour. 
  • Video call with [redacted] both right before he went to bed (my 9pm) and right after he woke up the next day (my 5am). 

Real Realizations: 

  • The people I’ve met here live to party. It’s cheap and exciting and pacifying and hollow. 
  • I’ve been [redacted] but all of it feels empty [redacted]. 

Commonplace occurrences: 

  • Completed [redacted] outline: another [redacted]. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Fried chicken and sweet potato fries at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans. 

  • The best chicken tenders of my life, at Key’s Fuel (the gas station near my friend’s house). 
  • All That Jazz sandwich: ham, turkey, cheese, shrimp, mushrooms, and a white sauce. So good! Shockingly so! I expected it to be weird from the shrimp but it was not.
    • Everything I’ve eaten in New Orleans has been delicious. 

[Redacted]

Alluring Activities: 

  • Afterparty with [redacted] tonite. Do I go? It only starts at 2am… 

New Orleans Would Agree If It Ever Came Home

On a cold Sunday night with my van heater blasting and a bit of white wine still seeping from my blood, I don’t feel misplaced. Not in the wrong place. Just alone, lonely, sad, and wanting. Maybe that’s this place.

The thing about travel? They don’t tell you it’s lonely. “An adventure of excitement and eye-opening growth.”

Yes, that’s travel. But it’s lonely, too.

It’s me and my dog, one month in our roadtrip. Atlanta, then Texas, now in New Orleans. Friends—some great friends—we met along the way. Yet still it’s just us— me and my dog.

Last night, out til 5, surrounded by parties, I made two new friends that I’m now gonna see. Interesting people with lives and opinions. Better than that, unique, fun, funny, too.

But now, when it’s late, and my sleep schedule’s fucked, I see why someone would get drunk again. Then it’s tomorrow. Who knows what could happen? Who wouldn’t have fun at a New Orleans club?

That’s not a solution. That’s open containers. Vessels transporting liquid from one place to place. People vibrating where they stand, moving forward only in time. Bleary, wide-eyed blobs drink to replace their cold sweat.

Why has this city not changed since Katrina? Why did my cabbie say there’s really no dif?

If you spend your life dancing, you’ve nothing to celebrate. That’s what this is: just an empty, wet kiss. But not one from your grandma or a dog or a lover. Just tongue from someone who, right now, like you, feels alone. Together will be great for the time that it’s lasting, but morning will come and you’ll have to go home.

Travelog 191024 (Redacted Version)

Start: [Redacted], Pflugerville, TX 

End: Parked on a public street outside Walmart, West Houston, TX 

Real Realizations: 

  • I hear men jiggle the handle before removing gas from cars and women don’t. HILARIOUS. Must research further. 

Quotent Quotables: 

  • “It’s hard to mend the relationship after being brutally honest to someone with low self-esteem.” -[Redacted]. 

Exciting Events: 

  • Worked for three hours. [Redacted]. Yay! 
  • Left Austin, heading toward New Orleans. 
  • Call with [redacted] today. Love talking to him. 

Delicious Delectables: 

  • Ham & pepperjack & mayo roll-ups. Yum! 
  • A glass of white moscato. Also yum! 

[Redacted]

  • [Redacted]. 
  • [Redacted]. 

Alluring Activities: 

  • Traveling to New Orleans. Seeing [redacted] & his crazy parties.  
  • Making t-shirts with [redacted]?!?!?!