This one is for the Local Rebel:
I really hope that the fun wasn't misconstrued as glory in the game of name-dropping. That really wasn't my intent at all. I just like what it does to connect us. I did not tell a story of meeting a very famous guy--actually I saved that one purposely for last.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails lived here in New Orleans at one time. He may still, I don't know. It's not the sort of thing I worry about. And actually, I didn't even know who he was until afterwards. He looked, actually, like a guy on a bicycle. I shrugged and played my video poker game and he walked in after locking his bike on a post just outside. He nodded to the bar so I figured he was a regular.
I had aces.
I'd have to ditch an ace for a possible flush...
I kept my aces.
"Why'd you do that?"
I frowned annoyed at the interruption.
"What? I just won a free play!"
"But you gambled away a possibility that came cheap--" he grinned wicked. "Stop repressing yourself." He had said it low in my ear and then he walked upstairs to the "private" balcony.
* * *
My friend was playing keys that night at the Tropicana and he came up excitedly asking me, "What did he say to you?"
"TRENT REZNOR--that was HIM!"
I told him my story and of course, he loved it. He kept beaming at me, saying, "sounded to me like he was hitting on you...let me touch your skirt!" he teased.
"SHADDDDDDDDDUP..." I said, but I was pleased at the thought, I confess.
Then I laughed thinking how unimpressed I had been with "the Trent" initially, remembering Ruthie The Duck Lady, and my grand debut with the inner circle of Rock and Roll, one fine Mardi Gras Day when I had attended the only MTV party ever hosted on Bourban St. on Carnival Day.
* * *
I knew I'd be there.
Afterall, my boyfriend was the ultimate backstage pass, right?
So we prepared as we always did (that requires more explaining than I wish to go into here) and I packed my knapsack and we tred through the streets of downtown, through parades and carnival to find our mecca of MTV in the Quarter. And yeah, getting in was ludicrously easy. The hubby busied himself with the lifestyles of the bitch and famous and I wearily found a seat.
"Y'gotta beer for TUESDAY?"
Now, I'd heard of Ruthie, and her famous inquiries, but it just happened to be a TUESDAY. FAT Tuesday. And YES, I'd heard she'd dressed as a bride, (carrying a duck) but hey? IT WAS MARDI GRAS DAY.
I didn't even blink.
"Nooooo..." I answered, "but I've got some chianti!"
I offered her my wineskin.
She looked disgusted and I took it that wineskins and chianti were not to her taste.
"Y'gotta cigarette?" She smelled bad frankly and people were watching us, so I shrugged a "sure" and gave her a cig, lighting it, wondering why so many people were taking our photo.
I took note of her costume and asked, "What are you dressed as?"
"A Briiiiiiide......" she grinned at me, and teeth were missing. Her breath made a fog in my face and I winced.
"What are YOU dressed as?" Then she cackled, and everybody around us laughed and I was feeling weird, understanding that people were paying much too much attention to this scene for it to be "normal".
"I'm just me," I answered her, and I saw some lucid in her eyes for one second as she slapped me on the knee, asking again,
I gave her one for the road as she rose. She wasn't carrying her duck that day, but I noticed on the weathered smelly lace of her dress a button:
"F*ck off and die"
I smiled. I swear it was printed just like that, asterisk and all.
She walked away as people looked on, seemingly protective of her, and looking at me oddly, like I'd just been touched by "holy".
* * *
My husband walked up then, he'd been watching us.
"With all the people you could be talking to here, you're talking to a bag lady?"
How was I supposed to know? I shrugged.
* * *
She's famous now and he loves telling people about how I met Ruthie. His disdain of the situation is conveniently forgotten, but I remember it all.
So I thought I would share her with you all, 'cause fame ain't nothin' but a name game and yes, Reb, there's six degrees of separation restricting marriages--we gotta guard those chromosomes and I wish I had a smilie with missing teeth to type here for emphasis. sigh.
* * *
Meet Ruthie the Duck Lady:
I rather enjoyed her m'self.