Out of Texas and Kicking in New Orleans

Kate dropped me off on the east side of Austin the morning, I was making my way to New Orleans. From there I hitched a ride from a guy talking about the economy and Obama, he suggested the coast guard was the thing for me to do as he dropped me off just a little up the road.

I got a couple short rides one after another, then a Hollywood guy took me to and through Houston. He went out of his way to get me to the other side, I was grateful for this being that the sun was coming down already and Houston is a big city with roads going everywhere.

I walked a a great deal after that, a couple cops shouted at me as they sped by, I stuck to the frontage roads for a while. Long after dark a woman stopped traffic behind her to let me hop in, she was devilishly happy, on an adrenaline kick. She'd just stopped by her soon to be ex-husband's place, they were in the middle of an ugly divorce and she'd just managed to snag the dog and haul away, he was yapping in the back. She just took me a mile up the road or so to a McDonalds. I paused there for a bit, then kept to walking. Finally I made camp just off the freeway in the thick trees and bush.

I woke in the morning to a guy behind a fence nearby, I didn't know I was that close to anything in the dark of night, he didn't see me and moved along quickly. I got to walking, over a bridge on the freeway and so on until a tow truck scooped me up. The driver told me how he used to hitchhike, talking about Florida he said something about blowjobs I couldn't understand, getting or giving them back in his day on this road, that's about the time he pulled into a gas station and let me out, just across town.

I walked up the ramp to the freeway from there and scored a ride from a guy who said he worked at Lowes, a hardware sorta store, he complained they were only giving him 15 hours a week. He said he was just heading to the next big town, but we seemed to go right through it. We stopped at a gas station and he asked the lady how far it was to New Orleans, she said an hour and a half. I didn't know how far it was exactly, but I knew it was more than that.

We got back in the car and kept driving, soon it became clear he was going to take me all the way. "I don't feel like working today", he told me. Even when we started seeing signs that made it obvious it was bit further, we cruised on. He said he'd never even been to New Orleans, but he gladly drove me downtown and directly to my friend's place. The strange thing was he just used the bathroom, hopped back in his car and drove the three hours or so back to Texas. Didn't wanna stick around for a beer, go explore the city, no bowl of jambalaya, nothing.

No matter, he left, I had a beer and caught up with Luke, Shana was at work, bartending on Bourbon street. Later that night we headed out with a few people to an armature fight night, there was a big ring setup in a closed off parking lot with a dozen kegs or more. We cruised around the stage watching the fight and getting the most out of the kegs.

Eventually we headed back to the house, dropping a couple people off going on a coke run. They came back and we hung for a while, then we raced back into the night hitting a number of places.

The morning came in the afternoon, Shana whipped up a great breakfast and coffee to get things moving. Luke dropped us both off in the french quarter, Shana for work, me to wander. I stopped at one bar to return a jigger to a bartender that Shana had borrowed, then marched down the length of bourbon street through the crowded good times.

I walked all the way to Byrdies Cafe - my friend Heather's newly opened coffee shop, pottery studio and art gallery. It was just in the making last time I'd been in town. She saw me as I opened the door and gave me a running hug, she didn't know I was coming to town. I was happy to see her and the place looked great, everything I knew she wanted. She gave the quick tour and a cup of coffee, then later a cup of wine. Richard came in too, I'd met him the last time I was in town and the three of us had run around having all kinds of great times with costume and drink, the New Orleans way.

I made my way back to bourbon street to the shana's place, she was behind the bar along with a couple guys working on the oysters. She fed me glasses of expensive bourbon and an oyster sample while I had a conversation with a local couple about travels and the like. After an hour or two of this I headed back to Heather's spot where there was a gallery show going on, I ran into another familiar face and some new ones too, talking over wine.

A group of us headed to a bar for some grub after. Heather was exhausted from a whole day in the shop, she skipped out after just a bit and around the same time I did too, heading back to bourbon street where Shana was getting off work. We went to her after work bar, full of friends and regulars just off bourbon street for conversation, beer and vodka.

The next day was easy going, I had originally had thoughts of getting on the road, but a lazy day seemed the thing to do by the time I woke up, the Saints game was on too. I grabbed a margarita and a jambalya burrito at a place nearby after, a "Jamburrito", then picked up a mixed six pack of the locally brewed Abita beer. It was a relaxing night back at the place after that, the next day I'd be getting on the road again, Florida bound.

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