June 17th, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

17 June, 2003

I remember that night well. It was warm, but not yet hot. I was bored, so decided to go to Cameron's Movie Night at 735 Club. He was showing Muppets Take Manhattan coupled with Meet the Feebles (Cameron's a sort of savant about movie themes, you know). I was hanging out with msgenevieve666 on the little round sofa as we watched the movie. After a while, my butt was sore (not because of Genevieve, if you can believe it, but because I was sitting down for so long) so I went out on a mini-stroll around Bourbon.

I'm no barfly of the St. Ann/Bourbon St. fagclub circuit, but when I wandered by the Bourbon Pub and looked inside, I saw they were playing Queer as Folk on the big screen. I'd never seen the American version, so thought I'd pop in for a second to watch.

Standing against the wall watching the show, some guy came up to me and started talking about the show. I chatted with him a while, smalltalk mostly, then, when I finally realized I was being hit upon, I thought, "Ah, why not," and suggested going back to the Feebles.

We sat back down on the little round sofa thingy. Genevieve was now passed out sort of beneath and between us. We watched the movie a while. He had never heard of it, and, I seem to recall, was kinda shocked by the crassness of these non-muppets.

I felt a hand on my thigh, and I liked it and thought, okay, let's go with this. We started making out on the round sofa thingy. Occasionally Genevieve would regain consciousness enough to grab my hand, take it off this guy, and put it back on her ass where she seemed to prefer it. Then she would konk out again.

Soon, the guy said, "Wanna go back to my hotel room?"

Ooo! Hotel room! Swanky! "Sure," I smiled, and we were off.

Further indelible memories of the evening I will spare you, but the end of the story of that night was that I spent the night in the hotel room — and as we all know, spending the night with a trick isn't really done with any frequency. But I was having such a good time and I really liked this one.

In the morning, when one or both parties are usually making scurried, muttered escapes, we decided instead to trot across the street to the Rue de la Course and have coffee together.

We talked. A lot. About many things. I liked him more and more. He said he had to go back to Nashville. I gave him my email and phone number and hoped we'd meet again, though didn't think we would because for most people (myself excluded) it's out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

When he was in Nashville, we IM'd for days on end. (He worked at home. I worked nights.) We talked about how that was such a weird night we spent together because it was actually fulfilling, and how creepy is that! I asked him questions about his fascinating career. He was foolish enough to answer them, so I kept asking more. I was convinced I'd see him again next time he came to New Orleans.

A week or so later, The Hideout closed, and with it went my main source of income. It had been a rich, lucrative, and (most importantly) fascinating three years there, but it was time to move on to something different. The thought of changing careers once again was exhausting and depressing. Before delving into something brand new, I needed an escape from New Orleans. Visit mum out west? Go see Wifey in Scotland? Portia in Philly? They all sounded good.

But impulsively, and, as I realized even at the time, recklessly, I called this Nashville guy. "This might sound really creepy, but my bar just closed and I have to get out of New Orleans for a while. Can I come stay with you for a week?"

Just as creepy as my request was the answer: "ABSOLUTELY!"

I booked my flight and flew 600 miles to stay with a trick. This is not just a no-no, but a NO-NO-NO-WHAT-ARE-YOU-THINKING-FOR-THE-LOVE-OF-GOD-NOOOOO!

The flight took place exactly 365 days after my last, and very devestating break-up. I believe it was a Southern tradition for a woman to wear weeds and stay out of society for a year after her betrothed's demise?

Mr. Nashville and I had a great time up there. He took me around to his watering ho's. Introduced me to some really cool people. We talked a lot. Had an obscene amount of sex. I helped him work in his office and learned hands-on what he had been teaching me over IM. It was very difficult to leave him.

The next few months consisted of him flying to New Orleans, or me to Nashville, with hardly a week of estrangement occurring anywhere, except in August when he went to St. Maarten and I went to my New York lakehouse for a few weeks. That stretch of time was rough.

At the conclusion of each trip, there would inevitably be tears at the airport. "This has got to stop!" we both thought.

In November, I flew to Nashville, rented him a UHaul, helped him pack it and drove him, his things, and his insane cats to New Orleans where he moved in around the corner from me in the Garden District. We knew we wanted to live with each other, but we also knew it was too soon to do so. This seemed like the next-best plausible situation.

I continued apprenticing in his work, though I still worked at Lounge Lizards a few nights a week. Pretty soon though, my bar schedule was messing up our biz trips, so I quit bartending to try my hand at this other work, full-time.

17 June, 2004 rolled around, and we found a perfect house to buy and move in together. The deal was closed a month and a half later, and we moved into Clifford on 28 July, the best birthday present I've ever received.

Since then, every day has been a holiday, whether playing, working or traveling. And I've been lucky enought to spend these holidays with my best friend, greatest lover, and the guy who makes my chest throb with affection and love.

Today is our two year anniversary. I've never had one of those before.

I like it. I like it a lot.

Tonight, a cozy little dinner at the Zoë Bistro, then off to meet friends for drinkies in the Quarter. We've taken a hotel room downtown, just for something different.

Two years. I can't believe how fast it all seems. At the same time, it's almost inconceivable all the things that have happened in those years.

I love you, baby. So much.

*Oh, P.S. I've still never seen the American "Queer as Folk"