Ok. Day three. My mother's choice comments to me today: "That's an... interesting skirt", "You need to wear a different bra with that shirt" and "You look pregnant." And they still don't know why sometimes I stay in a hotel when I visit.
More driving today, but not uptown. Went to Lafreniere Park early in the day - it's a place that I long for sometimes when I'm sad. Just last week, as a matter of fact, I had the strongest urge to be there. Despite or possibly because of its manmade and extremely groomed appearance with its trees and flowers and waterways, it is strikingly beautiful. It also has chickens.
Stopped off at Frosty's Cafe on Cleary for an avocado bubble tea - because, hey, when in Metairie...
Finally located my friend John at his current and my former retail prison, and made plans for tomorrow evening. This means of course that whatever it is that I still need to do and see here needs to be done and seen before about 5pm tomorrow. Hrmm.
Went to Lakeview; both my house and my sister's house have been repaired. Mine is inhabited; both apartments. My sister's is or at least was, but is up for sale. I want to buy it. I'm thinking I should get a job first.
Lakeview is currently bizarre; one house is like new, the next is boarded up, the next wide open and gutted with no windows and a four foot high overgrown lawn, the next actually is new because they tore down what was there and built up some monstrosity four times bigger than the 50's ranch that used to be on the lot. On and on in this fashion for miles. Still though, at least every second or third house is occupied.
The lighthouse is gone, but I hear very strange rumors. The Lake Pontchartrain Foundation wants to rebuild it; that's not strange. What's strange is that they may or may not have all of the pieces of the original lighthouse in storage, to actually rebuild it rather than starting from scratch. Strikes me as a little odd. But then, it was refurbished not all that long ago, and there were a lot of chunks that were intact...
The marina, while still in need of much repair, is a hundred times better than it was a year after the storm. I couldn't believe how thick the shrapnel was then; the surface of the water was invisible for literally tens of feet for all of the scraps of boat, and garbage, and refrigerators and microwaves and anything else you can think of that would have been on a boat or in a fishing camp. All of that, thankfully, has been cleared away now, and all that's in the water now is whole upright boats. It was so good to see that I cried a little. The first time I stumbled into the marina I thought I'd found a secret place, a magic place; seeing it so utterly destroyed sort of took that back, or sullied it. Today I got it back.
Toured Gentilly a little bit, but not like I'd planned to. Perhaps I'll get back over there tomorrow. Went to dinner with Thomas and Weber - good friends, real friends. Friends that listen when I talk, who remember things about other phases of my life. Many of them. It is good to be around those people sometimes. We went to Juan's Flying Burrito - the one on Carrolton, because the one Uptown is too hip for its own good and because it's also not across the street from Brocato's. Oddly enough, after Juan's we went to Brocato's. Startling coincidence, is it not?
We drove around City Park; honestly the park looks pretty good. It was always kind of goofy, certain areas perfectly manicured and other huge swaths left to run amok. That's private management for you I guess; the parts that get rented out for weddings always looked pretty damn good. Anyway, it was good to be there, driving around at night like we used to. The soundtrack was wrong though; we were listening to Kid Creole and the Coconuts when we should have had The Talking Heads and the Late Night Tales compilation. But oh well. Such duplication would likely have only made me sad.
Visited my minny cat, who is just as enormous and silly as always. He still head butts, still cries incessantly for food when he's already got some. Monkey will always be my baby, even if he's now Thom and Weber's baby too. For the longest time it was just me and him; he was the stability in my life, the only constant. I'm glad that he's happy and that he's still the same.
I miss my Jonathan; I don't like being without him, not at all. Of course, not tomorrow but the next night I'll be in his arms again. Soon not soon enough is all that is. After my last trip without him, over a year ago, I swore I wouldn't do it again. This one isn't nearly so bad, or at least not yet, but still. It just doesn't seem right.
I should sleep. Tomorrow is the last chance; whatever I miss I miss. No shot at redemption until December at the very earliest. So yes, sleep, in the bed too soft and without my lover, but with cat hair. Mother washed the sheets on the bed next to the door. Why would a person sleep on a bed that you can touch the door from? The only answer I have is: this person wouldn't.