Sunday, July 27, 2008

Love in the French Quarter

Po-boy Views
By Phil LaMancusa
It’s Valentine’s Day
God Help Me, I’m in Love Again
Well, I was gonna do the story about how our dear friend Marrinette completely wore out her welcome in Saquine, Texas (where she had gone for the funeral) by running over (and killing) her dead brother’s deaf dog (from the dog’s point of view). But, no…
Then I thought about doing a piece on where to find the best gumbo in the French Quarter. Maybe next month.
Or, what about the time, while out walking, I saw my life flash in front of my face in the form of a blonde, on a bicycle, headed in the opposite direction and hopefully into my past? Alas and alack it’s just not to be. Why? Because it’s February; you know… February, Valentine’s Day…..Love and stuff. And so, I am compelled by greater forces than I care to admit to, to compose a Po-boy view of love; you know, that four letter word that we feel as adrenaline when we’re young and nausea as we get older.
Don’t get me wrong; I believe that true love can be found, and God knows, I’ve found it hundreds of times; and forgive me if I sound jaded; but, I haven’t found any future in it?
Yes Lord, it’s the ‘Love makes the world go ‘round’, ‘Love is a many splendid thing’, ‘Love is like an itching in my heart’ and ‘Who wrote the book of love?’ (and where can I get a copy?) time of the year.
Well, it’s happened to me again; and I don’t know whether to sing show tunes or to run screaming.
The last woman to run through my emotional house was carrying scissors and left me with a bad liver and a broken heart (it’s my pate and I’ll cry if I want to), but that’s another story; suffice to say (as Tom Waits said) “I lost my equilibrium, my car keys and my pride”.
That said, and just in time for the big V.D. (Valentines Day), I’m going to dispense some wisdom, wit and a sick mind’s road map on how to tell when love is coming, going or just passing through.
First the words of wisdom: To the men: if you think that you will ever learn any more about women than the fact that they use more toilet paper than you do; forget it (!) you won’t.
To the women: if you think that (a) ‘still water runs deep’, (b) he’s smarter than he looks, or (3) he can guess what you’re thinking: it just ain’t so, and will never be. Likewise, if you think that you can change his unenlightened attitude toward everything that you hold dear: get real, girl; it won’t happen in a lifetime of toilet paper.
Now for the bad news.

How To Tell When Love Is Beginning
The phases of ‘Love Beginning’ are when: you are least expecting it, aren’t looking for it, could care less about it, and possibly would prefer to avoid it. Usually it’s when you happen to glance up and think to yourself “I wonder if fries come with that shake?” Then comes the eye contact, the mutual smiles and hidden dialog in your first bits of conversation. I.e. (a)“What do you think about sex, drugs and Rock and Roll? (b) Had your blood tested lately? (c) Is that a gun in your pocket? Or (4) Do fries come with that shake? These and other subtle bits of repartee usually get answers like (a) Beat it, loser! (b) I think I hear my Mother calling me. (3) I’m sorry, you obviously have mistaken me for a complete imbecile; now go away. (d) What part of NO don’t you understand? Or (e) Let’s keep this pleasant and I’ll be real if you will.
With any luck at all it will be the last one and you start to ‘accidentally’ run into each other, which leads you to have a date or a few, then you find that you actually like each other (although you fail to understand why), share a drink, a laugh, a song, and then a kiss (another four letter word). Now you’re getting in to deep water and you recall that the last time you saw a light at the end of the Tunnel Of Love it was on the front of an oncoming train that became known as The Heartbreak Express. So you bolt.
But you come back; why? Duh! You’ve been bitten by the Love Bug! It’s like an itching in your heart. It’s about Love and Happiness, and all of that R&B stuff. How do you know?
How To Tell When Love Is Moving In
Well, now that you’ve chewed on each others faces, maybe even shaken a few covers together; you’ve discovered that you have more in common than you thought. You call each other for no apparent reason, adopt each other’s friends, like each others cats/dogs/small farm animals, have a favorite eating place, steal kisses even though they’re freely given, and started holding hands in public. You’ve considered using the ‘L’ word. So, naturally you have a meltdown. You get the ‘Lover’s Bends’.
It’s kind of a cross between The Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul and a Tractor Beam from the Starship Enterprise; those of us who have “been there-done that” know immediately what I mean. The rest of you just haven’t thought about it that way or are in for one friggin’ growth experience. To make a long story short, you’re reeling in your heart on the chance that it won’t get it’s ass kicked and your heart, quite naturally, is resisting because, eight to five, it will.
The conversations that you have with yourself, your friends, your analyst/bartender, panhandlers go like: “I can do this….I don’t want to do this…I’m no good at this…I’ve done this..can I do this(?)…what will/do you/I/they think of me doing this? And finally: ‘to hell with every body, I’m gonna do this! (should I be doing this?)
Chances are you survive the emotional mugging. You take the plunge. It’s forever after again; the whole enchilada, the brass ring….Ready, set, go! SH_T!
You write notes, you send flowers, you pick out towels. You tell your family, your previous lovers (the ones who are talking to you again), the people at work. In short, you cut off all your exits. It’s barefoot in the park time. Right?
Wrong. Do the words “I need more space” sound familiar?

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