It appears my blog hit a speed bump on the information super highway. I haven’t been able to post for a few days, and my post about fog on the Mississippi River disappeared. My apologies to my good friends and family who continue to check in on me even though I haven’t posted anything new lately. Let’s hope things are better now.
We invited our neighbor over for dinner tonight.
Well, actually, he didn’t come over for dinner. He came UP for dinner.
He lives in the first floor apartment, and we live above him.
After I came back to New Orleans, most of my beautiful city was flooded, including my own house, so there was not much to choose from when I started looking for a place to live. I stumbled across this place in the “sliver by the river” that was not only on unflooded, holy high ground, but it was also on the second floor.
It was love at first sight. A pragmatic, utilitarian kind of love, but love nonetheless.
When my Darling Wife, Darling Daughter and I moved in here, we found not only a nice place to live, but nice neighbors, too. The fellow who lives in the first floor apartment is one of those amiable people.
He was living here long before anyone had ever heard of Katrina or spoken that name with such bitterness. He evacuated for a few weeks and came back to a street that looked pretty much the same in a city that was totally changed.
He’s single, and I’m not sure whether my Darling Wife invited him up because she wanted to be neighborly, or if she just felt sympathy for him because he lives alone, or if she wanted to size him up as a potential husband for any of several single women she knows and is always “shopping” for.
No, actually I am sure. It was definitely the last one.
So my Darling Wife served up grits and grilliades this evening, a tonic for the chilly weather that fell upon New Orleans the past two days. Our neighbor takes a healthy portion and says he can’t even recall when he last enjoyed a home-cooked meal. We talk about my daughter’s day at school, the recent roofing work, and finally about him.
Our neighbor works in the music business here. He actually has a degree in music, it turns out, so he’s not just another hack with a loud electric guitar and a bad haircut snarling teenage angst. For the last few years he’s been operating his own recording studio.
I asked him how the music business is going post-K.
Not good, he says. As a matter of fact, it’s not going at all.
He explained that prior to the hurricanes, he was recording and mixing every day of the week. His studio was producing several cds a month. No big names, no blockbuster sellers, but a steady stream of decent work and a fair living.
Since he came back to town, however, his studio is largely unused. He recently finished a new cd for Christian Serpas, he says, but that’s it. The calendar is open from here to next hurricane season.
What will he do now?
He’s going on the road. There are several music showcase/conventions coming up, including one in Austin and one out in L.A. He’ll pack a bag of promo items and see if anyone wants to come record in the city that everyone says is so alive with music, but is literally struggling to keep its head above water now.
We talk a while and he excuses himself well before my daughter’s bedtime. A polite fellow, he’s a man who prefers to be behind the sound board to being in the spotlight. He exits stage left.
My Darling Wife gets right to the point once he leaves: he seems nice, but he doesn’t have a steady source of revenue. She will keep him in mind but won’t recommend him to anyone just yet.
I knew it!