It’s rare enough for me to pull an all-nighter anymore, but this one took me totally by surprise.
See, Xy’s cousin Rusty is in town this weekend with a bunch of buddies from Bloomington, including Dylan, who’s getting married soon — a roving bachelor party.
And then there’s this guy Avocado Tom. I’d never met him before last night, but he’d seen ROX and said he wanted to buy me a drink.
Oh, and it’s the second weekend of Jazz Fest.
Anyway, one thing led to another. I saw Bernie Worrell rock the Funky Butt.
Then some of us made it Uptown to the Maple Leaf. I was astonished that they were charging a $20 cover at 3:30 am, but damn if it wasn’t worth it. Vinyl took the stage shortly after we arrived, and we caught the entire set, and it frankly blew my mind. I’ve never gotten into any jam bands before, but they played with courage and conviction and by god soul, a passionate and athletic performance. Eventually I started to notice a luminous square which had appeared behind the drummer. I soon realized this was a window; the sun had come up. We had rocked the night away and partied until the sun came up.
As we hung out on Maple street after the show, a completely naked man appeared, howling like a wild animal. He unfurled a cape with a lion’s head, in which he wrapped himself without, somehow, managing to cover himself at all.
But I haven’t been around so many white folks since Oktoberfest.
I never did go to sleep. I spent the morning with Tom, visiting the lakeshore and breakfasting at Robin’s on Canal, then cooking breakfast for Xy.
Later, while Tom and Xy slumbered, I went for a walk. Today was a beautiful day, and the cold front that brought yesterday morning’s thunderstorm also brought a lot of fresh, sweet-smelling cool air.
A couple blocks from our house I ran into Lawrence.
A few words about Lawrence are in necessary to contextualize this encounter. Lawrence is a 41-year-old man who’s been coming around and hitting us up for money lately. I helped him out a few times because he seemed so genuine — very charismatic. But I came to feel he was taking advantage of me, so yesterday I turned him away empty-handed. I just said, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you anymore.” He didn’t beef or act weird about it.
So, I run into him on the street just before noon, and I said “Hi, how are you doing?” He did not know who I was. He hit me up for money just the same as always. But he couldn’t understand why I was talking to him — what did I want?
“You looking for some reefer?”
“Oh no — ”
“Are you gay?”
“What?! No, I’m not trying to pick you up or anything, I’m just saying hi.”
I need some sleep.