Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 31 - What is a crux?

New Orleans:

I called Sunrise Hotel in Houston for tomorrow night's lodgings, and the man who answered said I shouldn't stay at his hotel because it's in a bad neighborhood. Cripes! The next-cheapest motel I called was America's Best Inn. I asked the owner if his neighborhood was safe, and he answered in an Indian accent, "If bad things are going to happen they're going to happen anywhere." He answered my question without really I booked the room. What the hell. I've stayed in the pits on this trip.

Why am I not talking about New Orleans? Simple...I met a very strange and kind woman who walked me to the nearby liquor store and shared a bottle of white wine with me at her place - the Tennessee Williams home - at ten o'clock in the morning. Yes, this is a very odd story.

I parked the car so that I could pinpoint the historic house. The streets were empty so I kinda got frustrated. Then a woman unlocked a side gate and I semi-yelled, "Excuse me, where's the Tennessee Williams house?" She pointed at the house she had stepped from. "This is it."

The landmark was a two-story yellow house with all the curled wrought iron railings of New Orleans. The woman with blond hair and deep blue eyes smiled and said, "Would you like to see it?" Of course I nodded like a sugar addict. I took a look at the swimming pool and the grounds. I thought that would be it, but she pointed up the stairs and I followed her. She let me in the living quarters decorated eclectically. Instrumental music played in the background. The woman's name was Emily and she was 61 years old. She asked my name and nodded as she entered her room furnished with a massive bed and red tapestry.

"I just finished this painting this morning. Her lips I did with nail polish," she said, handing me the picture. "It's St. Therese of the Roses. She's also known as St. Therese of the child Jesus."

"I was named after her," I said. She gave me the painting. Serendipity. We brought the wine back, and I nervously patted my stomach. I'm not a wine drinker...or a drinker period. My favorite drinks are root beer and water. Nevertheless I drank the white wine with a giant ice cube in the glass. She said, "Where you have drugs in L.A., we have alcohol in New Orleans. It's legal."

This is what I learned about her...her family was part-owner of the NY Mets, and they were responsible for hiring Jackie Robinson; George Bush fell off their horse; she has expensive art in the house; she's a crux (???) and a psychic; she speaks Aramaic and she spoke in tongues in front of me; she can crush her enemies and blood will flow; she called the police on her boyfriend for trying to stab her with a knife last night that's why she needed her wine; she said that she was there when Jesus was crucified and was brought to life again in 1949; she has good skin and raised her leg to demonstrate how fit it was.
Then she said that it was fate that we met. She smoked copiously while I shook my head to decline a cig. This went on for two hours. She summoned T. Williams (whom I didn't see) for me and told me to stop taking prescription meds, I guess. Then she sat on a stool in front of me and told me to stare into her eyes. I did...for like ten minutes. She said I needed to breathe harder and louder and that I needed to smile more. She was probably right. After such intense eye-staring, she said she cured me of my bipolar disorder. Just wean the drugs slowly, and all will be well. Then she hugged me.

Now, all kinds of thoughts and emotions were passing through me. I didn't know what to believe - but she was very nice although her mood varied. When she took my glass for another serving I told her I had to go.

Well, if sitting in Tennessee Williams' living room with a very nice woman who spoke in tongues wasn't a New Orleans experience, then I don't know what is. Funny if you notice, though, the pictures I took of the house are pretty blurry.

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