Hanging out on the fun side of The Bywater
Ran some errands last night with a friend. Stopped by Lee’s house, looking for random scrap wood. It’s always good to see Lee. It was nice to get out of the Quarter for the evening. My lifestyle has changed so much since moving to New Orleans. I don’t drive here – and I really don’t want to. It’s hard to navigate and learn the city without driving. So I’m still somewhat lost and confused. An odd feeling: Stuck between resident and visitor.
I never go out at night here. Never. It feels really normal not to be outside when it’s dark. This hasn’t always been the case for me. At home, I’d jump in my jeep and run to gas station in the middle of the night for smokes. I’d drive at night, be out after dark without ever questioning my actions. That was my norm. I hadn’t realized just how comfortable I’ve become with this new nighttime; self-induced curfew until last night. My friend invited me to stay for dinner…and I was a tad hungry. But I declined with a touch of panic. It was dark outside and I wasn’t at home. I was aware of the irrational panic as I asked my friend for the time. It was 7:38pm. I didn’t eat dinner – but we did run across town to gather art supplies and roam through the bookstore. When she dropped me off, I climbed the stairs to our apartment and opened the door; the panic quickly faded. It’s interesting to see how routines can totally reshape ones life.
The craftsmanship of a Fortune 500 company.
Watch what happens. FYI – Entergy is a Fortune 500 company.
As I stood in the courtyard with the plumber and the service person waiting for an answer…the two men talked freely with me. Both asked, “Who in the hell called this in?” How the fuck should I know…I wasn’t here! Too make a long story somewhat shorter – the jest of this conversation was very clear. If you live in New Orleans – you should know better. One should never call the gas company if one knows of or can smell a gas leak. Period. It’s supposedly an unwritten given. As all of this is being said, I stood silently nodding in agreement, yet utterly horrified. I’ve always been taught that if you smell gas…get out of the building and call the gas company and report the leak. From my experience, this seems like a very rational reaction.
Not here. It was stated that if you know of a gas leak – never report it; call the plumber. Otherwise, the city has to be involved, which takes a long time and a lot of money for the property owner. Huge NO-NO. The conversation ended with the old excuse, “Well, this is New Orleans…”
“Yeah, well I’m from Portland, Oreg…” NO ONE CARES. You’re in New Orleans Now!
I find that excuse frustrating, yet it’s part of my daily conversations. Time for some personal acceptance and surrendering, on my part.
The service tech from Entergy just left. He turned on the gas – and lit the pilot lights. I will be able to wash in warm water this evening. We will be able to cook tonight. I’m thankful for that.