21 November 2010

Southern Hospitality

I've always considered myself a hard worker. Whether it was at school, a part-time job, or a blow job, I did it with 110%.

A year after undergrad, I celebrated a year well-done. I called my college-girlfriend Karen and asked her if she would like to take a week-long vacation with me somewhere. I hadn't seen her since we graduated. This would be the first time I would be going on a trip sans family, sans fraternity, sans my heterosexual guise; I was able to be fully free. Karen was in the know at that point and she accepted me for who I was and I loved her for that. But that's another post.

On a Monday, post-9/11 and pre-Hurricane Katrina, Karen and I landed in New Orleans: the scene of Southern Decadence; the scene of Mardi Gras; the scene of Sodom and Gomorrah in the 21st century. When we settled into our room at (the hotel formerly known as) The Fairmont, the drinks eerily named Hurricanes summoned us to Bourbon Street. Who were we to deny the call? The second day into the trip, we decided to split up. 

At the end of Bourbon is the gay-friendly part: OZ, Bourbon Pub, and Cafe Lafittes. I deposited Karen at a bar touting "the best Hurricanes in town;" waded through women dying for beads for their bare breasts; and ventured over to the other side of the rainbow. Typical night: I met a guy, made out, and brought him back to the hotel.

Next evening, I glammed-up for the night's festivities: Karen and I were going to paint the town - purple this time. Strutting out of the shower whilst singing Tom Jones, I found her in the bed still with the covers up to her eyes.

D: "What's wrong?"
K: "I can't."
D: "Can't what?"
K: "Go out. I spent all my money already."
D: "Already? Hm. Don't worry . . . I have a plan."

I did a shot of tequila and made my way back to the gayborhood. I remembered from the night before that one of the bars was hosting a "Strip for Cash" contest: yes my friends, I stripped for Karen's livelihood in New Orleans. Long story short, a twink boi won the disheveling contest and all I got was my golden tanned smooth ass on a webcam for a year straight - unbeknownst to me. After telling the story to Karen, drunk off my ass, she laughed herself to tears then asked her parents to spot her for the rest of the trip.

* * *

"Beau" was the Southern gentleman I met the first evening out. After my go-go night, he hit me up to hang Thursday night . . . all day Friday . . . and all day Saturday. He was a nice guy and naturally he was in love. The boy moved quick: on Friday morning, he introduced me to his mom, took me around his neighborhood of Metarie, and even introduced me to the neighborhood drag queen - he was that enamored. I think what got me was partially the attention he paid me, but mostly his southern drawl, especially when he emphasized everything with "good lawd!" So cute.

But the most endearing, which I didn't appreciate at the time, was when he offered to take me and Karen to the airport. As he walked with us to the gate, Karen slid away as we heard him sniffling slightly behind me. I felt her rolling her eyes. I turned and saw him reach into his pocket to give me an envelope, tears streaming down his face. He was barely able to get out the words "I'm gonna miss you" and leaned down to kiss me in the airport.

I got on the plane and opened his gift. We tried to keep in touch long distance, but our phone calls became few and far between. Years later, Katrina hit and I lost touch for good.

Karen eventually got hitched and our once post-college love for each other faded.

"Good lawd."

Point of the conversation: Appreciate your relationships while you have them.

- DeeCue

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