On Sunday I had to meet with the publisher in the Quarter. I've noticed since I moved down here almost everybody runs late. It's a given. A tenish AM meeting evolved into eleven-something, ok quarter past twelve... One o'clock. I kicked around Royal Street checking out performers and galleries. Figuring I'd meet up with him at Jackson Square I took a nap in the grass soaking up 60 plus degree sunshine. A dozen or so joined me, homeless dudes, young lovers, and a hippy. In Jersey being late for a business meeting is a sin, down here it's a perk.
Walking back though the Square I found myself walking pace next to some long haired Jesus looking dude with a guitar. In NOLA this common. We acknowledge each other and a few steps later "Hey man, I hate to ask, but do you have an extra cigarette?" His lucky day. The day before I was walking down Decatur and spotted a just opened pack of Parliaments on top of a newspaper box. I'm from Jersey, I can't just leave them there. I pull the pack out of my briefcase and handed him 19 smokes. "DUDE! You are the Jesus Christ of cancer! Thank you." I'll add the title to my resume.
We got to bullshitting and stood on a corner talking about New Orleans. Turned out that he was a teacher by day who hung out street performing on the weekends for extra cash and for the experience. "Some nights I play out and only get paid in drinks." I met a very cool dude. I now no longer describe myself as an out of work cab driver. I am now self described "Freelance artist." Turns out that Chris had not only heard of the Quarter Rat, but is a big fan of it. I am constantly meeting fans of the publication.
I really feel the energy of the Quarter, something supernatural here. Had this same scenario played out in Jersey...."Hey man, I hate to ask, but do you have an extra cigarette?" "GET A FUCKING JOB HIPPY!"