Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Second Home Afterall

"How lucky I am to have found something that makes saying good-bye so hard."

I moved to New Orleans grudgingly kicking and screaming. No, for real. The night before we moved down here two summers ago I literally fell apart and had one of those hysterical crying outbursts that come from months of pent up emotion finally getting out. Embarrassing really...glad no one actually saw it. I was scared to move to New Orleans frankly, and I did not want to go. At that point had I been given the choice between moving to the Big Easy and cutting off a limb, I would have gladly opted for amputation because God knows I was just going to move down there and get raped and mugged and killed. You think I'm exaggerating and being dramatic but y'all, I did not want any part of anything that city had to offer.

In hindsight I don't even remember specifically what it was I was so afraid of. Maybe it was just a fear of the unknown, and a fear of moving to a place that was so vastly different from everything I had ever known before, I dunno. Whatever it was, I am ashamed of myself for those feelings now because in the year and a half I spent there, I came to love that dysfunctional little sweatbox like you wouldn't believe. I swore that I would never let myself feel totally comfortable in NOLA, and that I'd eat dirt and die before I called it "home," but by golly...I'm starting to think that despite my best efforts, I failed miserably at both. I left when I did because I knew that for this time in my life I had to go. I know I made the right choice for right now. But man do I miss it. Maybe it's not my forever home and I know that for lots of reasons it can't be my right now home, but for the rest of my life I think I'm always going to have a place in my heart for New Orleans and if one day it ends up that I'm supposed to go back there, well, I do believe that'd be just fine with me.

All the girls with Jack from Jacques-Imo's, right before we drug him out into the street for a group hug.

I love these people.

Jonnie Chonga and I with the gold girls at the Bye Bye Hurricane Season Party. I still do not understand the significance of the gold body paint...but whatever.

My last few weeks in town are really a blur of insanity and exhaustion and fun and tears and some of the best memories of my life. I made a list of the things I wanted to do before I left town, the places I wanted to go and the restaurants at which I wanted to eat one last time and I accomplished just about all of them. I made it my goal to enjoy every single day and to make the most of the time I had left there; to do my best to really appreciate New Orleans for all that it is. Where else but NOLA could I have gone to a "Bye Bye Hurricane Season" party to help raise money to fund public evacuation for those who cannot afford to leave the city on their own? I'm telling you, this city will take any excuse to throw a party and run with it. I actually got onstage and sang karaoke at another fund-raiser (and let me make it very clear that I never, ever sing on-stage. Ever) because...why not? I may never have an opportunity like that again and I wanted to make the most of it. I helped plan and host one of the best triple birthday parties in the history of creation. I, along with some of my very best friends, went to dinner together on one of my last evenings in town and not only did we meet the head chef (who is famous in his own right there) but we took him outside and cinnamon roll hugged him in the street. That's right people--we cinnamon roll hugged Jack, of Jacques-Imo's fame! I'm pretty sure that makes me one of the five coolest people I know now. I laid on the living room floor and stared up at the Christmas tree with the girls who are now like my family and talked about life and love and the future. We laid there for hours, literally, staring up at that tree and talking. We laughed and we cried and we promised ourselves that no matter what, we'll never forget the moments like this. And we won't.

1 comment:

  1. Tear! I MISS YOU SO MUCH! and shout out to the photographer of that beautiful hug shot! ;-)


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