Po Boy Views
Almost Famous Me
Ready for My Close-up
I’ve been writing for Where Y’at for nigh on to sixteen years, every month I post my article to my blog. Two hundred-eighty-four blog posts later and it’s like being the homeliest hooker haunting Harrah’s; I could be wearing a sandwich board that says “Free Beer and a Hand Job!” and still not attract attention. You may have guessed, I’m looking for a little validation here. As for Girlfriend (Tales from the Quarter) and I expressing ourselves in that great metropolitan newsprint; we regularly make deadlines and miss meetings through thin and thinner; we’ve watched this magazine go through growing pains and staffing changes, we’ve seen it rise like the Phoenix after (un)natural disasters to take its place among the best and, more importantly, recognized publications in the country. Every issue, we wait toward the rear of the issue like grandparents on the back porch, ready to spin yarns for your amusement and edification.
Enough about me, what about me? I live in a spacious half double in a great neighborhood with an exceptional landlord and gifted neighbors. I have a studio for painting, a piano in the living room, a woman that loves me and a passel of critters. I am owner (with Girlfriend) of one of the few cookbook shops in the good old U. S of A. I have healthcare, pay taxes, visit the infirm and put up with public stupidity on a regular basis; it comes with the turf. There’s drinking in the saloons (Liuzza’s by the Track), necking in the parlor, bread in the oven and yet… I pine.
I suffer, Lord how I suffer, with artist’s angst; I worry, Lord how I worry, about the economy (my economy), politics, my waistline and cash flow. I’m concerned, oh LORD, so concerned, about my planet, diet and the world that I’ll be leaving to my grandkids.
I’m at the age now (and who isn’t?) when I obsess about closure; meaning, all the people that I have wronged and all the (perceived) wrong that I have been dealt. Will there ever be closure? Or, will I shuffle off this mortal coil having all these loose ends in my life and these countless cosmic creature questions left unanswered; e.g.: what did women put in the back pockets of their jeans before the advent of cell phones? Or, why is it whenever I start to think of heavy stuff, I immediately begin with jokes and stupid thoughts? And then vacillation: another demon that I wrestle with. My life is full of walking contradictions, moving violations, irresistible forces and immovable objects; however, in July those points are moot.
One thing that July (bitch)slaps us with is… we’re right into another frigging hurricane season! Yep, yessir and yesindeedie folks, all your (and my) troubles will be so far away you’ll believe that you were another person compared to the person you will be if another big one hits. Margaret Orr will be having kittens and conniptions, tipsy Bob Breck will come out of retirement; they’ll have you full of so much paranoia that you’ll pee in your pants and set your hair on fire! Spaghetti models, Exact Casts, VIPIR predictions and Radar Dopplers will make your stomach churn like curdled cream and your privates shrivel into raisinettes. .
Have problems with gentrification, crime, poverty and lack of infrastructure? Shucks, ain’t nothing that fifteen feet of water can’t cure! Rent’s too high, job sucks, you and squeezy ain’t getting along? Get stuck in thirty-six hours of traffic jam trying to get out of here or wait to get rescued from your rooftop; THAT will put things in perspective, you betcha Buddy.
I know, I know, we’ve been through storms before; pick up some extra batteries and a case of spring water; crackers, cheese, a Swiss Army knife and a bottle (or three) of old vine Zinfandel. We’ll be okay. We’ll throw that piece of French bread that we got at St. Joseph’s Altar out the back window and it’ll pass us by; why look at last year: nothing! Or not. We just might have the mother of all weather muggings. How do we know? We don’t.
Personally, I’ve given up following the weather forecasters; I find the only difference between them and me is that they get paid to be wrong. Here on the back porch we look to the clouds, check if our joints ache and wander down to the river to see if it’s running in reverse. We’ll know by the way that the tourists suddenly disappear and the birds and squirrels start hiding, then we may turn on the TV, check if the fridge is sufficiently cleared out and decide whether we have a couple extra grand to spend on evacuation, or a couple of hundred to hunker down with. We’ll ask our neighbors what they’ll do, batten down the hatches or get the hell out of Dodge. And as usual I’ll keep good notes and records of what goes down this time around. Did you know that we stayed six days after Katrina? It’s in the blog or in the Where Y’at archives.
Being a writer who is pretty much a combination chronicler, philosopher, story teller, advice giver and smart ass, I get to do this every month; I’m a very fortunate fellow. So here’s this month’s question: do you believe someone who swears they always tell the truth or the person who tells you that they lie all the time? Think about it. Happy storm season.