Last night my friend Lisa who lives in Colorado and her friend Fawn came into town.... out of the blue.
A few days ago, she startled me with this email:
:) How are you doing? I have a surprise! I am coming with my friend Fawn (whom you've met, remember? To New Orleans next week! We will only be in town a short while. My brother bought a pickup truck on Ebay, and it's located in Gulfport, Miss. I offered to go and get it and drive it home to Colorado! So Fawn and I are going to play a tamer version of Thelma and Louise and make a roadtrip of it. What an adventure.... Anyway I would love to get to meet you in peson even if it is just for a meal or drink or whatever. We will be arriving in New Orleans by air about 10:15 pm on Wednesday the 18th, and then going on to Gulfport the next day. I realize that falls right in the middle of your work week. I wish we could stay in the area a while but we have to put 1600 miles behind us in four days, so we can't stay long.
Is it possible to get together?
Can't wait to hear back from you-
Lisa and I have been friends for, we counted it up....6 years. It's hard to believe. We've been corresponding online for 6 years, and had never met...so I *had* to meet her...even if I was dead. It was strange, even though we only got to spent literally a few hours together, it felt like we had known each other forever. I guess in a sense we have, but I've often been amazed at how natural it is to meet after such a long correspondance.
They got in at about 11 pm. I picked them up at their hotel at about midnight, then we went to eat (at 3 am...it was not easy to find a place). I decided to take them down the long way to uptown, so they could at least see part of the city that was more attractive than the interstate. We ended up at the Trolley Stop Cafe, certainly not the best place in the city to eat, but one which I knew for sure was open at all hours.
Needless to say, there had been a shooting at a parade that night. The police were everywhere, but we didn't know that until well after the fact. It just seemed like the city was especially ....ummm "safe."
We had a nice meal.
They got to eat vaguely Southern food at 3 am, and, more importantly, I got the chance to finally meet one of my best internet friends. We talked about our time at the site we'd first met, a prayer circle of sorts, about the city, about Colorado and her family, about our trapper forebearers, about the school system, about men, life and more. They were only going to be in N.O. for a few hours that night, so that was my only chance to see them. They were leaving for Mississippi the next morning to fetch the truck, and then drive all the way back to CO, like "Thelma and Louise" as Lisa put it. I had to go to school the next day too, 5 am I was back up...no sleep....so you can imagine how beat I was.
Anyway, I'd actually met Lisa's friend Fawn before, but never Lisa. Some of Lisa's friends had come down from CO last year I think? Or the year before that? I can't recall...anyway, I met them then. It was an awful trip for them, I know. It was New Years holiday, and the city was crammed with Sugar Bowl tourists. The weather was bitterly cold, colder even than Colorado, and rainy and miserable. I felt personally responsible for the horrible state of the city. I know they hated it. Thankfully, Lisa's own trip was much much nicer, (I hope) if shorter. It's the middle of Carnival of course, but the weather is beautiful now. I didn't want another group of guests getting a bad first impression of "home," you know. As much as I sometimes hate this place, it's still home, after all.
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