(perhaps I should reconsider my last name.)
Wake up, determined to go perform. Today I only have to call into work to see if I am needed. I drink my crazyhealthy smoothie, grab my makeup bag, somewhat unenthusiastically, open the Mehron stick and strike huge, bold lines down each cheek with it.
Sometimes this is necessary. I look at the makeup already on, those two simple lines, and say to myself – “well, you’ve come this far – may as well go the whole way.” Which I did. On the way out the door I stop by my landlords to drop off a pathetic check for her, but all I can afford from my pay at the restaurant. “I need to find someone who can pay the rent” Understood. Okay. We talk a bit more, then I am off to jackson Square. A slow day, but I did find a great pitch that I never see used, right in a little square 15 feet from the rail of du Monde.
While standing, watching the smiles and suprised look on people’s faces, watching the money trickle in, a decision was made. At 3:30ish, I pack up and head home.
I call Marc, the manager at the restaurant, and tell him that I won’t be in anymore. This is strange for me, as I am accustomed to giving the respectful two weeks notice, but it seems like in the restaurant business in New Orleans even a call is incredibly rare. If I was actually scheduled to work today, i would have given him till the end of the night, but luckily, it was slow (suprise) and I wasn’t needed. I told him why – and he completely understood, and thanked me warmly.
That was the very first time I’ve heard any warmth in his words to me. Whatever.
I clean up the makeup, and go to Broussard’s to drop off my bow-tie – the part of the uniform that they supplied. Both Mr. & Mrs. Pruess (the owner & his wife) are walking up with Marc from the opposite direction, and all extend their hands to thank me – it was weird. I give mark one of my new business cards that i had just picked up minutes before – with a picture of me blowing a beautiful ball of flame in Boston. “Is that you?” “Yeah – if you need me to perform here for any occasion, never hesitate to call – I mighe even give you a discount.” All of the sudden I have broken free of low-pay servitude, and it seems as if they now see me, for the first time, as a human. I know that is rediculously dramatic, but, just for a second, that’s what i felt. I go in to say farewells to the people I have worked with for the past couple of months, and it was wonderful. In such a short time I had become close with a couple people, shared silly and stressful times with them, and now, I go. Miss Val, a beautiful woman who has worked for the Preuss’ for i think 23 years and was just across the kitchen racks from me, even looked like this beautiful, weathered black woman had a tear in her eye. probably my imagination, though – she’s seen hundreds of ’em come and go. She told me the most important thing was to follow my dreams, and wished me the best.
I told her that I am, and that I’ll miss her. I will.
Then, on the way home, I walked down Bienville, and noticed that my van was gone. Yeah, towed. Irretrievable. It was never registered in my name because stupid little girl who sold it to me was never able to get me the title, even through a multitude of requests and one threat of legal action. The Super Subsonic Turtle of Doom and Transportation has left me. As I got past the initial shock, realizing that this inhibits me quite a bit in a city with an incredibly handicapped transit system, a strange smile came across my face, I shook my head, chuckled, and continued on my merry way for the next half block home.
It seems as if the Universe just loves to play with me. It offeres so little in a sugar-coated way. When it is time for my life to change, it does so drastically. Throw it at me. I’ll take it, dream the possibilities, and creat them – and laugh with you afterwords.
I was foolish to hold on to the hope of Broussard’s for so long, but now I am able to devote everything to the life i have begun to create for myself – and i *will* be that person that my landlord needs that can pay rent now.
Because I’ll be able to be *me*, and that makes all the difference in the Universe.
Exciting times ahead.
Soon, a week with Stardust in L.A., who has quickly become a dear friend in a very strange way, then back to New Orleans to do what I do, with two great festivals coming up – French Quarter Fest & Jazz Fest. The timing is perfect. The tourists will be back in full force.
And, a fun note – when I told Marc that I will be out on Bourbon St. in the eves, he told me to come by the restaurant. When I told him that I would be in full garb, he said “So what? Come on over – my folks own the place and i have pull.”
I’ll be there Saturday evening, our – I mean their – busiest night, beautifully adorned in silk top-hat, jarbot, frock coat, funky skirt, and incredibly beautiful, sterling silver topped, Royal Sheffield cane. They have two banquets that night, one for 30 and one for 100 – I will bring a deck of business cards.
Who knows – with permission, I may even set up. It is, after all, an apropriate atmosphere for my statue character…