I ran into my friend James Taylor (a British bloke, not to be confused with my beloved Fire and Rain folk singer) at Mojo yesterday morning. The cold front swooping into New Orleans right now seems to bring with it clarity, or maybe just a refreshing awareness that isn't as tangible in the humid soup of summer, spring, and fall here. So I have realized some good things. James invited me to come see the house he's been working on two blocks from my own...none other than the house of STIFLER'S MOM. For real. (I once saw her in Starbucks in some red platform heels and glimmering lipstick trying to go unnoticed. It wasn't working). Nonetheless, I love seeing famous people. I don't approach them, and I would never want to shoulder the burden of celebrity life, but seeing them, especially in New Orleans, is like getting a rare glimpse of a bald eagle on a busy highway. What are you doing here? Where are you going next? Can I follow you? Or can I just look at you? I'm not looking at you, I'm looking past you, naturally. I have a staring problem, as is, and with celebrities, it worsens.
Anyways, I join James in the afternoon today to admire the crown molding, renovated servants quarters, antique treasure troves, multiple staircases (I love this), marble fireplaces, wrought iron balconies, and three stories that compose Stifler's Mom's home (I realize this pseudonym may be disrespectful. I'm not giving her real name because I don't know if that's liable or something).
"Do you ever get to talk to her?" I ask James, who by the way, at this point in his American life, is rocking a mohawk.
"She's really cool," James tells me. She must be. I believe everything James says because of the British accent. "One day, when it was really cold out, she was worried about all the people working on her house because there was no hot water. She spent all day on the West Bank looking for a water heater, bought it, and brought it back so we could have hot drinks."
I don't know if they had tea or hot cocoa or coffee or if construction workers even drink hot drinks at work, but I think this gesture of generosity is exemplary. I wonder why more people don't take care of each other in the cold. Down at City Hall, there are 12,000 homeless people, and only 1500 empty beds for the homeless in the city. This is messed up, but I digress...
Fall Epiphany Number One: I now love Stifler's Mom.
Fall Epiphany Number Two: The value of a hot drink gift in cold weather can never be overestimated.
Fall Epiphany Number Three (maybe not an epiphany, but I want to share this): Nicholas Cage just joined my gym. He works out, allegedly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 7:30. I haven't seen him yet.
Fall Epiphany Number Four: The streetcar is on the verge of running! I heard the familiar whir of metal sliding across wire cable, and lo and behold! Four white coat officials, cruising down St. Charles on that wonderful piece of machinery.
Fall Epiphany Number Five (realized in Audubon Park): People, in total seriousness, still in-line skate.