December 31st, 2005

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

Bar Story

2:30am. Just home from closing night of Lounge Lizards. As I type this, it's all still going on, but I just had to leave. I slipped into heavy-duty maudlin mode, and thought a lot about closing night of the Hideout in July, 2003.

Lizards is … er … was a fucking institution. Leila's bars always have been. And it cannot be replaced.

How many hundreds of hours have I spent in here, I thought?

How many hundreds of times have I walked these floors?

How many thousand drinks have I served?

The stripes on the walls. Leila worked so hard to paint them. "I'm never painting stripes again!" she said, exhausted, after opening night, three years ago.

What bar can I frequent that boasts 50% of its CDs on the juke coming from me?

I guest bartended with Wende for a few hours. "I'll have a Jack and Coke."

"How about a Stoli strawberry and Sprite instead? Because that's what we have left."

Michele and I were trying to come up with clever drinks we could make with the leftover Dekyper schnapps. "Melon ball!" I said, and rushed behind the bar to make a hideously sweet drink that wasn't fit for a small, shaking, pissing dog.

We've lost so much in the last four months in New Orleans. Lizards' closing only emphasized my old city that I knew so well and loved, and how it will never be the same.

I'm not opposed to change, per se, but this is an unnecessary lesson we're learning. I want my home back.

Kentucky James doesn't drink Amstel Light, which was the only beer we had left. "I'm going to go buy some real beer, then give it to you, so you can resell it to me." These were my people.

(He also brought a mason jar of real Kentucky moonshine. Which tasted like over-proofed sake, oddly.)

I kept trying to leave, but more and more fabulous people kept showing up. The nerve.

When I finally managed to slip away, I drove down Rat Alley and stopped the car outside the back door, taking one last look.

Soaking in the picture of this place that was home to me for three years. This place I will never see again.

Some things about 2005 suck blue moose poodies.