Sunday, October 17, 2004

Pup Origins - A Rainy Night in New Orleans

A long while ago, when the Pup was still quite the young Pup, the family took a vacation to New Orleans. This was the first time anyone in the family has gone to this place. A place which would become a second home to Pup during the college years. This would be the first time, and for every trip after this, a thought in my head when I visit O’leans.

The vacation was going great, especially in the case of the food. There were plenty of Étoufées, crawfish, red beans and rice, gumbos, and of course Beignets for all. On the last night, after another very delicious dinner, most of the family was ready to go back to the hotel to rest up for the long drive home tomorrow. Spending the whole time with the family for these couple of days, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to go explore other parts of the city that the others didn’t want to go to. It’s Pup time.

So I took an extra key and was off roaming the city. I first went down Bourbon street, getting my fills of random flashing boobies and other drunken debaucheries (I was under drinking age, so no hurricanes (it’s a drink) for Pup). I would make up for that and much much more in later trips though.

I went back to a voodoo store that my parents said we couldn’t go in cause it was ‘evil’. Hehe.. evil tourist junk. All made in Taiwan. Yea, that’s where evil is made I’m sure. I bought a bunch of little voodoo dolls and some weird stuff. This was during the Big Bad Voodoo Pup phase (not the band).

I wandered all over the city. The French Quarter was lively, but not insanely packed. It was fun, but it felt a bit empty cause this is an experience that should be shared. Having no one to reminiscent this experience with is a waste. It was a first time, and you can never get a first time back.

I walked aimlessly down the different streets, not quite sure where I going. Just enjoying my being there and the randomness all around me. On one street, much less popular than the major ones, a middle age woman approached me. She looked very pleasant, but something was odd about her (not in a bad way or anything). I can’t recall what it was, but I remember something was unique about her. She asked if I would like to buy a flower. The flower seem a bit old and dried in a little bucket where she was keeping them. The flower wasn’t bad or anything, but I’ve never seen a flower like that before. I’m no flower expert or anything, but I looked strange. Anyway, I smiled at the lady and told her if I had someone to buy the flower for, I certainly would.

She smiled at my comment. She asked if she found someone that would accept this flower, would I buy them for her? I said sure. Got nothing to lose there. Hang out here for a bit and keep me company she said, she promised she’ll find someone for me to buy the flower for. I’m still not sure why I took her up on the offer. After all, it was some strange lady trying to get me to spend money on another strange lady. Well, at least I thought it’d be a good story. That and I was running out of places to walk and I wasn’t ready for the hotel yet.

So I stood by her as she tried selling flowers to other couples and randoms walking down the street. Although for each group, she would pick different flowers, never the same one as the one she offered me. Between potential customers, she would tell me about herself. Stories about her life growing up in the quarters, a family that had turned their backs on her, and some funny and interesting tidbits about the city. After about 30 minutes, I was getting antsy and ready to go. I told her I would buy the flower anyway, and that she could keep them as a gift from me.

She wasn’t about to have any of that she said. She had a promise to keep. She told me to wait for the next person and then I was free to go. Right when she finished, a girl walked pass us like it was scripted. The gal had on a little hoody covering her dirty blond hair. She had a very fair and cute complexion, but one that seemed a bit down. The flower lady grabbed the flower she offered me, and walked over to her.

The flower lady approached her as she has done so many other times before. She asked the gal if she would like to have someone buy her some very pretty flowers. Come my pretty, try these flowers. Total snow white moment there. You could tell she smirked at this surprising and random proposal. The gal asked who would be buying flowers for her. That fine gentleman over there she pointed. To make it a bit less strange, The flower lady had told her what I said when I first met her. The gal seemed to have bought the story, and so she accepted the flowers.

We talked to the lady a bit more, but I was ready to move on. I asked the gal where she was going, she said no where in particular. She was killing time before going back to the hotel. I said that’s why I’m down here, mind if I joined you? Of course not she said. Besides, you just bought me a flower, I owe you that.

She smiled when she said that. It was one of those smiles that covered her face. A smile that was contagious and you couldn’t help but smile when you looked at her. A smile that I don’t mind spending as much as I can with and would be forever burned in my mind. We had walked a few steps when I realized I didn’t tell the lady goodbye. As I turned around, there was no one to be found. She disappeared quickly into the darkness. No traces of her could be seen.

The two of us walked around the streets of the French Quarters. Our conversation sounded like 2 old friends catching up on the latest happenings…

To be continued…

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