Tonight I Danced in New Orleans


Bonsoir. Comment allez-vous? Oh, excusez-moi, il est déjà le matin!

Yes, morning, but still night for me. Do you feel my feet throb– from the hours of dancing and the miles’ walk there and back. Remember fishing? Like that.

Tonight, it’s New Orleans, one of the few cities where I’ve not had an actual address but where I feel absolutely at home.

Tonight was epic. I’m so grateful, so grateful. Who needs drugs and alcohol when you can walk the cobblestone and be guided by shirtless painted angels, pray openly with street preaches who look like cast member from Magic Mike, see reflections of past lives in the faces of the children, eat the world, and time travel and remember walking like this in Paris, Moscow, Rome, Baghdad, Dublin, London, St. Petersburg, New York, and Zürich.

Tonight, while I was walking back, I about the fact that this is July, which is the month before August which is the last month before September. September is the month, and specifically September the first is the day, when I was going to pass sentence about October 15 when that was (briefly) the plan. I can’t kill myself even if I wanted to. And now I want to live.

Tonight I walked on Bourbon Street; I watched a man, a beautiful man, a man I was sure was a lost straight man walk up to the gates of Oz and stare in. In my mind I thought he was trying to figure out if it was a gay bar and it is. Did I tell you I was standing in the street? I was. He was a beautiful man and before I thought about it thirty seconds (and possibly talk myself out of it) I walked up– now when I say he was a beatiful man, I mean he was one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen– before I could think about it thirty seconds I walked up to him and stuck out my hand like I was the greeter at a support group and asked him, “What’s your name?” I usually would have said, “My name is Jeff” but tonight I didn’t; tonight I asked, “What’s your name?” And he told me. And for the next fifteen minutes I decided that this beautiful man, one of the most beautiful men I have ever seen, was a straight man that I was just going to have the pleasure of conversing with for a few minutes. He was beautiful. And smart. And not drunk.

Tonight, after we’d talked for about thirty minutes, I noticed that he had slowly been bringing his face closer and closer to mine, this beautiful man, and even though I’ve pretty much sanded the ends of my teenage boy neurons, probably before my teens ended– I stood there with Mr. Presumably Straight Face Close to Mine and, and, and–

And I couldn’t– really– talk. Which you know is incredibly out-of-the-norm for me. And the same guy inside me who’d walked ten yards and stuck out my hand to him and asked, “What’s your name?” now stood there with our faces a foot apart and said, “I want to kiss you.”

Tonight, his silence gave me permission. And. It. Was. Incredible.

Tonight I danced in New Orleans.

See y’all tomorrow.

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