A few pics of Sam and I in New Orleans. They were taken by a drunk man by the river. He and his girlfriend were swigging something from dark bottles in brown paper sacks.
Soon after he took them, a man with a microphone tried to take our hands and sing along to a song he was piping out of a speaker. He just wanted some cash, but he acted so sincere about his song, spreading his arms and tossing his head, his deep voice ringing and terrifying.
I hestitate to say anything about New Orleans, because I wasn't there before Katrina and I can't compare. And it's a big drinking town, which means it's not for me. I was on Bourbon street for about ten seconds before I was desperate to leave. It smelled like pee and alcohol and vomit.
But I did see a lovely sight: We were popping in and out of galleries, looking at art, when I spotted a perfect stereotype, folks I thought were only in movies. It was a short, old, pudgy man in a seersucker suit, carrying a white brimmed hat. He clearly had money; his wealth oozed from him. He had a round belly, a bald spotty head, a Southern accent, and an incredibly gorgeous blonde on his arm. His gal was tall and leggy, wearing a tasteful pink dress with a plunging neckline. She had beads and straight blond hair and she was hanging on his arm like he had packaged up Paris and given it to her in a box. Maybe he had.
I couldn't help it: my jaw dropped and I started to follow them like a zombie. I wanted to tug on her thin tan arm or his baggy old arm and ask if they were kidding, if they knew they were walking cliches. Or maybe I wanted to be deft enough to pickpocket him. Lift his seersucker and count his cash. Just count it. Just see what ticked loud enough for that woman to be mincing along next to him in her tiny heels.