Wednesday, May 28, 2003
      ( 7:10 PM ) Rebecca  
Coming back from vacation is such a joy. First, there is the pile of unpaid bills. Then receipts you’ve been meaning to organize. A bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned in a month. And absolutely no voicemail from cute boys.

You go from daydreaming on the sultry streets of New Orleans, daiquiri in hand, to sitting alone in a windowless office staring at a computer. You’re clobbered with a backlog of e-mails with subjects like: Worm Virus "w35/Paloh@MN" update, and XSLT Fix: Overloaded titles will now render array parameters properly. And not a single e-mail from a cute boy.

Oh, except from Alt.Country Boy saying he’d “really wanted to call” but had been “laid up” with some “bizarre, horrible cold,” and besides, he really “wasn’t a good person to get involved with anyway.” Yeah, well no duh.

And I know you’ve all been waiting for the juicy gossip from the South, but really, folks there ain’t any. Oh, I had a blast and all, but there was no action. Not one single ounce of action.

Except Memphis Boy fondling my thigh once or twice and giving me a few chaste kisses on the lips. The boy was very sick, after all, and about to go in for surgery for Crohn’s Disease. He was very happy to see me but s*x certainly was not on his mind.

Even so, it was nice to have someone put their arm around me. Touch me, even if it was just a little. And he kept telling me how much it cheered him up to see me. For once, I guess, it was nice to be there for someone else and not expect that much in return. Though that is certainly not easy for yours truly, who wants to be noticed and paid attention to all the d*mn time.

Also, I worked myself up into enough of a sex-starved frenzy to confess my attraction to Sexy-Blue-Eyed Boy while we sat in front of the shark tank at the New Orleans Aquarium. In a short yet very effective conversation, I was told that I'd lost my window of opportunity to date him at some specified time in the past (though I didn’t inquire exactly as to when that time might have been).

Embarassing? Slightly. But whatever. It was a fever. It broke. I’m over it. Even though I think one of the reasons I like(d) SBEB is he’s got a real mean, dark sense of humor like my Dad and he makes me laugh more than anyone else I know. Who doesn’t want to be around someone like that? Especially me, who's never had a funny boyfriend in my life.

But, anyway, we moved on and continued our long-standing friendship, one that is intimate enough that it prompted the guy sitting next to us on the plane yesterday to ask if we were a couple and tell us, when we said no, that we “really seemed like one.”

I had one chance to do something halfway stupid, with the drunken boys at Tipitina’s who were in the city for a bachelor party. One of them was a nice, cute boy from San Francisco who told me I was “spunky” and seemed like a good prospect for a little fun. But when the band finished their first set, they all left for a topless bar on Bourbon Street and tried hard for 30 seconds or so to get me to go. “Come on R., you have to go, you’re one of the guys now!” (yeah, RIGHT).

But my guypals were nowhere in sight, and if they were, I would have dragged them along for safety. “You can call them from the car!” said SF Boy. I was tempted, yes I was. It would all be good, innocent fun, right? Getting drunk at a topless bar with a bunch of cute boys – whoohoo!

Yeah, maybe. But more sordid than innocent, probably. And I guess I got too much early training from my parents about getting in cars with strangers. So they left, I stayed at the bar with my pals, and skipped the opportunity for drunken debauchery.

Just as well, since we were going on a kick-ass swamp tour the next day, and I wouldn't have wanted to be so tired that I fell in the water with the gators or anything. (Speaking of which, I tried a gator dog after the tour. Tasted like sausage).

Every night, no matter how late we’d get home, the three of us would sit outside on the porch in that lovely, heavy evening air to drink water and recover. It was one of those big Southern porches complete with a swing.

And no matter how hard I close my eyes and try to imagine it, this damn ergonomic chair in this damn windowless office don’t feel like no damn swing on a New Orleans porch in flower-scented late May.


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