Bingo!? you ask? Yes, the New Orleans Bingo! Show, witnessed in full glory on Halloween itself in the city which is perhaps the love of my life. The whole reason I had to have a lightweight packable costume was so it would fit in my suitcase and be comfortable to wear for twelve hours outdoors in the company of 20,000 of my friends at Voodoo Experience. It was brilliant and beautiful and I don't regret for a moment that I forwent the dubious pleasures of the Gourds in order to watch Perry Farrell declare, "Tonight I am a superhero!" Also, I saw Gogol Bordello and the Black Keys and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who are as famous to me as Jane's Addiction, and a whole host of others. And I got to spend my favorite holiday in the company of two people that I couldn't love more if they were related to me by blood. I was deliriously happy that we were all together.
she was so happy to see those gypsy punks!
New Orleans is not a town for everyone. It is brimming with ghosts and legends and glitter and dirt. It is urgent and spooky and difficult like a lover. It is not full of convenience and quirk. It takes a certain darkness of spirit to adore it, and that is trait that my companions and I revel in sharing.
It was harder to bid the city adieu this time. Each time I visit a new place, I find myself wondering if I could slot myself into the life that is there, if I could make a place for myself in that world. Would this be my grocery store? Would I wash my clothes here? Would I fall in with these marvelous people, become their friend, have dinner parties at their houses? There is never the questioning when I am in New Orleans. I think to myself: this would be the place I would buy milk. This would be the cafe where I ate Sunday morning brunch. My children would go to this school, they would wear these uniforms gladly. These would be my people, my friends, my tribe. And I wait anxiously until the time comes to return.