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Huge Thanks to the people who helped my parents at the Marriot last night
My parents parked at the Casino and were headed through the Marriot to Baton Rouge when my father, 74, missed a step and ended up banging his head on the floor. There was a couple behind them who quickly called 911 when my mother (81) was trying to help him, and two ladies from NL, one of whom was a nurse, that rushed over to help as he laid there, bleeding from his head wound. The staff at the hotel brought him pillows while they waited for an ambulance and even called the casino to make sure their car didn't get towed if it was there overnight. He spent the night in the hospital, but should be home tonight. I am so thankful that we live in a city where some people still care and will help strangers in need. My mom would have been lost without them. Whoever you are, thank you. Thanks to every single one of you. We were lucky that you were there. We'll make sure Dad takes the elevator next time!
Parishes that have a 5% positivity rate for 2 weeks can opt-in to on-premise alcohol sales.
St. John the Baptist
Storm entering the gulf (information is available above).
Moment of remembrance for September 11th.
Asks that people remember the sense of unity that we had post 9/11 we should be able to gain that unity without having that tragedy.
Restaurants, churches, salons, spas, gyms, and other businesses can open at 75% occupancy with social disgracing distancing required.
Bars have been closed for on-premises consumption. We have done what we can to help them realize revenue. Know there is still a number of them that are closed to on-premises consumption, want to provide a responsible framework for them to open as it is safe to do so. Looking at White House Taskforce guidance...
Bars will remain closed in parishes with a high incidence of COVID-19
As recommended by Coronavirus Taskforce.
Bars can open to on-premises consumption in.. parishes with a positivity rate of 5% or lower for 14 days if the parish gov opts-in. The two-week data is updated by the Dept of Health. The next update is on 9/16.
Bars can open with 25% capacity at 50 people total indoors.
Customers have to be seated for table-side only service.
Only 50 customers outdoors.
Social distancing required indoors and outdoors.
Outdoors have to be seated for service as well.
Live music still not allowed.
Sale and service of alcohol must end at 10 PM with patrons cleared by 11 PM.
Individuals younger than 21 are not allowed in a bar. 18-20-year-olds are not permitted in bars.
Other social gatherings indoors will be limited to 50% capacity with a max of 250 people with social distancing requirements.
Outdoor crowd sizes are limited to 50% capacity up to 250 people if people will be in close proximity and social distancing is not possible.
Casino limitations will not change under the new order. Casinos remain at 50% capacity / 75% of the gaming positions.
Sporting events will operate at 25% capacity with social distancing required and no alcohol sales.
Alcohol consumption at all venues will end at 10 PM.
Include restaurants, event centers, weddings, and casinos.
A statewide mask mandate remains in place.
CDC Recommendations remain in place for those at high-risk
should not go out, are safer at home, and should avoid large crowds unless they need to get food or medical care.
The order will be in place for 28 days expiring on Oct 9th.
Nothing will change for nursing home visitations.
Nursing home population remains at high-risk.
40% of all the fatalities in Louisiana from COVID-19 have occurred at nursing homes.
Congregate living --the type at nursing homes-- is where the virus spreads easier and these individuals with their age and comorbid health conditions are a higher risk of the virus and are more likely to have a poorer outcome.
LDH in consolation with CMS is working to finalize plans for a pilot program to see if we can allow for some visitation, specifically outdoor visitation. It would be a 28-day pilot program. Nursing homes will have to be located in parishes with 5% positivity or less and the home has to have 0 cases in the last 14 days to participate. Additional details to be provided.
People at the Department of Health are putting forth great effort to make sure we are doing this in a safe and effective way.
Data we are looking at when we look at the upper left we see COVID-like illness (people presenting to an ER with symptoms of COVID), below is a graph showing the volume of testing and organs bars show the percent positivity gray line is the 10% line, upper right is the epi curve (new cases remove every day by collection date) black line is the average of incidence over time, bottom right blue line is the hospitalizations and the organ line shows the last 14 days.
We always look at 14 days because that is the recommendation for the gating criteria from the White House.
COVID-like illness has been on a steady decline across every region since we had the mask mandate.
The testing graph shows the interruption that happened as a result of Marco and Laura, the state needed to redeploy its resources and its National Guard partners meaning we could not do community testing at the level we wanted. So you can see the decline from the week that represents the storm, and you are beginning to see a rebound from that due to our wonderful National Guardsmen redeploying our testing sites. However, we are not seeing the line come up very high very quickly.
The people of Louisiana need to know:
Testing is widely available.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
Get tested if you've been exposed.
Get tested if you evacuated due to Hurricane Laura.
As you can see the percent positivity has been declining, we are at about 6.79% right now, which is well below the 10% recommendation for the state.
The epi curve shows we have been on a steady decline since the mask mandate and bar closures.
More recently there has been an uptick in the state. Some of that reflects a decrease in testing with a new increase in testing and some of that reflects quite frankly new cases that we know are evolving in settings like universities and schools, but not over a 14 day period. We have not made that criteria of a 14 day period.
Hospitalizations have been on a steady decline since the new restrictions.
Strictly speaking, looking at the data we have met the criteria for moving into Phase 3.
However, there is data we don't see/know, that is what we need to be watching out for
Impact of Hurricane Laura
We had a week we didn't have visibility for because of decreased testing.
Frankly, there is not as much testing happening as we would like to see from shelterees and evacuees right now. We do not know if transmission of the virus has happened because we are not catching it because we not seeing people taking advantage of the testing.
Testing sites in Lake Charles and Sulphur.
Testing available at points of distribution.
Testing sites in New Orleans and Baton Rouge in hotels.
There is a significant amount of asymptomatic spread, please get tested and protect your family.
Schools reopening - the impact of K-12 going back to school and universities reopening. Part of that is because we paused testing and because people went back home and now they have returned to school.
We know not everyone has gone back to full in person.
Most have done hybrid learning.
Labor Day Weekend - because there hasn't been enough time.
Most people stayed home and celebrated with their household.
Some people didn't and we won't know the impacts until 2 weeks from now.
Hopefully, we will find people by large did what we asked. That cases and hospitalizations stay down because as you saw we have a very active Atlantic season right now. Not a good time for us to face multiple disasters as we have more COVID increase.
Another trend we are focused on is the increase in cases in the 18-29-year-old age group.
The sharp uptick in 18-21-year-old age group.
The age group that has gone back to school.
Still seeing that group come up even with bars closed.
Watch this very carefully especially as we talk about gatherings and football.
Saw last time that as this age group leads other age groups followed.
CDC released a report of childcare settings and infections of those that the child return home to.
Under the age of 21 we really do not want you in the bar setting. You should not be there. You are not of drinking age, and it brings you into a setting where you are at high risk for exposure.
COVID like illness is decreasing across the state. When we look at cases across the state it is a mixed bag. There are many regions across the state where we are seeing an uptick in cases but they do not meet the 14-day threshold.
Note Region 5 is difficult because it is the SW Louisiana and it is difficult because all numbers plummeted because of evacuation and as they return we would expect to see increases.
Concerned as we look at hospitalizations. Our biggest concern is being able to have adequate healthcare capacity to meet the needs of Louisiana.
Watching these trends closely.
As we move into Phase 3 and there are greater capacity in restaurants and some bars and operate in limited services. It is critical to remember that everything that has gotten us to this point still needs to be in place.
The physical distancing of 6 ft or more is really important.
When we call you and ask if you have been in 6 ft of someone for greater than 15 minutes... you will still be a potential contact and need to quarantine for 14 days if you have been exposed to a known positive COVID case for more Thant 15 minutes.
Continue to wear a mask. More and more data shows that people who are shedding the virus mask usage reduces the risk you spread the tother people. You protect other people by wearing a mask and other people protect you by wearing their mask.
Do you have any idea how many parishes are below 5% or less? 5 out of 64 parishes. Mechanically does the 2 week period become effective today or does it become effective on the 16th? As the governor noted we will be updating this, we have been providing these updates and will provide the next one on the 16th. First, the parish has to make 2 (2-week checks at 5% positivity or less so 4 weeks total, and then the parish government has to opt-in. What does the nursing home pilot program look like? What you will see us talking about, is decreasing becomes less relevant than what is going on in the community. The percent of positivity is especially important. What is the level of spread in your community? So for the nursing home pilot we are looking at a low community spread so probably 5% or less in the community. We are also working with nursing homes to establish protocols where people are outdoors. People are wearing PPE and it has to be a pretty nicely mandated visitation where you know who and when someone is coming, being symptomatic, isolated, or quarantined for COVID-19 will all be reasons to not see your loved one. Out of the 5,000 Louisianians, we have lost so far 40% have been from nursing homes. As we look to have families reunite we must do this in a way to not put your loved ones at risk. Not only your loved one but those in the rest of the facility as well. John Bel Edwards
A parish has to be eligible so they have to be at the 5% below the threshold for at least 2 weeks.
Data is publicly available on the LDH website.
Parish has to opt-in.
If at some point subsequent to opting in a parish gets to 10% or higher in positivity then those bars will close again. Then it starts over again and they will have to satisfy the gating criteria again.
Otherwise, you would reopening and closing bars within a few days or so, so this is a way to do this responsibly and safely under the control of the local government.
We've had some positive trends that allowed just to make these moves but I have a concern about what isn't reflected in the data which is why this has been the most difficult decision I had to make with respect to applying the gating criteria to the phasing.
Encourage people to take mitigation measures seriously.
As we reopen more of the economy/our churches, to more occupancy, these things only really work if we continue to wear our masks. Wash your hands frequently. Stay home when sick. Socially distance from that outside for your household
Outdoors is safer than indoors.
If you want to support restaurant pick up, get delivery, or eat outdoors.
People need to understand there isn't a lot of room for movement forward beyond Phase 3 until we get past the pandemic.
Until such time social distancing isn't required how do you go to 100% occupancy?
We do not go from 75% to 100% until the pandemic is over.
Hurricane Laura Info Mod note I am not covering this but if you would like me to please message me.
Missed question I am concerned about the impact Labor Day will have. Experienced the beginning of the Summer with Memorial Day. We Know that is when we had a surge in cases driven by the younger population, particularly those in the 18-29-year-old group. I hope behavior would be different for Labor Day because everyone saw the impact that behavior had on our state. Dr. Birx was talking about, the White House was talking about it. I am hopeful that won't happen again. I am relieved we are increasing our testing numbers again and having more testing sites coming up and will be watching the data very closely. I am mindful that we have started school. Colleges' campuses have also opened to students. But am comforted that there is still a lot of virtual and hybrid learning occurring. We do not have a lot of school systems fully open for in-person instruction. I believe Louisiana will do what is needed to protect one another from having a repeat of what happened after Memorial Day. Is there some scenario where we have those Labor Day numbers come in and they are so bad you change your mind and we go back? There is always [that possibility], whether because of Labor Day or anything else, you watch the numbers. We will not put ourselves on a course where we lose the ability to deliver life-saving care in our hospitals. It didn't happen in the first or second surge and I will not let it happen going forward. Yeah it certainly remains possible, but I am hopeful we will not get anywhere close to that, but if we have to we will. I have said this all along. That is why we keep making the point -- it is not a theory anymore -- we had that huge surge in March and April and we were able to flatten the curve through a stay at home order but, we have shown reducing our curve is not reliant on having to have a stay at home order if people wear their masks, wash their hands, and social distance. You can have a larger portion of your economy open and have and much normalcy as possible without the cases skyrocketing if you adhere to the mitigation measures. It is up to the people of Louisiana to adhere to them. I have a lot of concerns. Anytime you announce you are going to the next phase people tune out all the info they are given that COVID is still here, that abiding by mitigation measures, protecting the vulnerable, all of that stuff and some people will say well we are going forward and that is all they think about. That mindset is what causes us to have real issues as well. Need people to mindful. I ask local leaders to set good examples so we can stay on top of this virus and keep trends going in the right direction. Will Phase 3 have any impact on the state workforce in respect to the public sector In order to make sure all sate employees are working where they can be most efficient and productive in the safest possible way. Where you have offices, for example, cannot be at 100% so some of those people will continue to be home. Some agencies work in office spaces that are less traditional where it is harder to work safer in that environment while people on wildlife and fisheries are on a boat and in a safer environment.
Thank you for continuing to cover this.
If you look at the Gulf of Mexico to the West Coast of Africa you will see a number of storm systems most of which do not pose a threat to Louisiana. The one off of the coast of Florida does, and too soon to know about the coast of Africa. It will be very difficult for our state if we have to go through another hurricane in our present posture where we have people already sheltered from the last storm which we are still trying to recover from.
Lift each other in prayer.
Be good neighbors.
Do what is required of us to protect ourselves, family, and one another.
Meant to post this last week but I've been to the casino (L'auberge in Baton Rouge) 4 times since it reopened on the 15th. Place has been absolutely fucking packed every time. Actually feel pretty good about the safety measures implemented. They check your temperature at floor entrance and offer you a mask if you want one. Every other machine is turned off and plexiglass surrounds all the table games. Not sure how many people are walking around disinfecting shit but it legit seemed like every time I got up some immigrant worker was immediately spraying down where I was. Alcohol is still being served. I have an elite players card so my comps have always been pretty good but when Covid hit I lost a solid 2 months of around $1,500 in a week in comps and rooms. Penn recently extended all my comps that were missed during those 2 months all the way through the end of July regardless of play. I've already hit 3 jackpots during my 4 trips and the cashiers I'm close to told me they're paying out a huge amount of jackpots for 25% capacity numbers. L'auberge is reopening its hotel on May 29th. Take all this for what it is. I'm a degenerate gambler but don't sleep on the casinos.
Jesus. I feel stupid writing this. This is not something I feel comfortable sharing with anyone in my circle (family friends, co-workers), so I’ll share it with you, nosleep. I’m new to the group, and not sure exactly how this whole thing works, but I could use some advice, or at least some feedback. First, a quick hello: I’m a forty-eight year old traveling salesman. I provide electrical components to military/defense aerospace companies. My territory encompasses several states which requires lots of travel. Basically, I spend more time on the road than I do at home. I know. Poor guy, right? I get to see where they make the missiles and tanks, AND I get to travel every week. But please don’t misunderstand, I know I’m lucky to have a great job. I’ve been doing this for almost eight years and couldn’t imagine a better way to make a living. My concern is not with my job, it’s where I stay at night. I started out booking hotels (mostly Marriott and IHG properties), but after years of eating those scrumptious ‘scrambled eggs’ and turkey patties from the free breakfast, well, I decided to try something different. So a few weeks ago I booked a Bed and Breakfast. My first experience was in Arkansas. I don’t want to post the name of the B&B, but it is in the Ozarks near Eureka Springs. It is an older home, remodeled with new carpet. I remember the staff being extremely nice and helpful. I stayed two nights while visiting customers. Nothing out of the ordinary happened other than I accidentally left a pair of my work slacks hanging in the closet. The following week, I was in Salt Lake City, UT. I stayed in a two-story house with a view of the Wasatch mountains (beautiful). The first night, I was restless. Even my white noise app didn’t help. The second night, I was awakened around 3am. Dripping sweat, and my heart was messing up a little. I have a slight AFib (Atrial fibrillation) condition that bothers me if I don’t eat enough carbs. Couldn’t go back to sleep, so I watched a YouTube documentary about an island in Mexico full of broken dolls. Next morning, I packed and had breakfast in the common area before heading to the airport. On the way to the rental car facility, I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d left something at the B&B (not my slacks again either- Ha!). I even called to have them check my room. The feeling never really left. Next week was a detached B&B in Albuquerque, NM. It was a converted garage next to the main house. Nice enough but smelled a little moldy. I awoke the first night to the barking of a dog. Again, I was drenched in sweat and my AFib was kicking the hell out of my chest. I tried cooling down with a wet washcloth, but I just couldn’t get comfortable. I tossed and turned all night, and the next morning, the feeling that I’d lost something was back. I checked out without breakfast. Called my wife from the airport- Asked her if everything was ok at home. She sounded worried about me. Last week I was outside Tulsa, OK. Stayed in a little cottage near a casino. The lights seemed dim in my room. And the tv didn’t work. I know this will sound ridiculous, but as soon as a set my bag down, the feeling was back. Obviously, I couldn’t have left anything yet. But I couldn’t shake it. I went to bed and couldn’t sleep, so logged on to YouTube. My Recommended Feed offered a video about a bible in Dalton, GA that leaks holy oil. From that video, I just watched whatever popped up next (When will the World End, The Truth about Imaginary Friends, How to Astral Travel, etc.) Five or six videos later, one came up on Lost Souls and What Causes a Soul to be Lost. It’s a short video of some old lady rambling about souls that can’t find the ‘light’ or something. But after watching it, I started to wonder if this reoccurring feeling could be tied to more than just leaving my slacks in Arkansas. Tonight, I’m in Baton Rouge, LA. I think it was a bad idea to stay in a B&B. I’m a little freaked out. Should have booked the Marriott. I’m near the swamp and can hear the frogs and god knows what else outside my window. I met with a customer this morning who asked me if I believed in demon possession. The question caught me off guard. She realized I was uncomfortable and tried to downplay the question by telling me she had an aunt living in Shreveport who could tell someone’s mood by reading their aura. I said it sounded like a cool trick and changed the subject back to electrical components. She kept glancing above my head. I’ve just felt weird all day. When I got back to my room tonight, I ordered some of that holy oil from the leaking bible. Not sure why. Not even sure what to do with it once it comes. I don’t want to sound cliché, but I don’t feel like myself. I don’t know if it is possible to ‘lose’ your soul like the YouTube lady said. I wouldn’t think you could just accidentally leave it in a B&B. But I do wonder if you can pick things up from rooms that others have stayed in. Like maybe it’s possible that someone left ‘bad energy’ in a room? Maybe it attached to me or my stuff. This may not be the right venue to write this kind of experience, but I’m just not sure who to talk to. Feel free to comment. I’ll follow this post when the holy oil comes.
I smoked crack while I survived Hurricane Katrina.
A sea of suffering called me from her shores. I answered her call, charted a course for the unknown and swam out. No more a child playing in the gentle break of the surf, I was the sole survivor of a shipwrecked life. There was mutiny, fire and disasters of every kind before the hull broke in half and the depths swallowed my life whole. I was lost at sea where only sea monsters survived, and since it is better to eat than to be eaten, I became one. It is true that I survived Hurricane Katrina with my father in New Orleans, and that before our two months together were over, he threatened to shoot me with a nine-millimeter. But before I tell you about that, I need a few paragraphs to tell you about my girlfriend from high school, and that whole thing starts with a large shipment of blotter acid, printed with pink elephants. Supposedly it came from the Lavender family, whatever that meant, and it made an unlikely couple out of us. My family and I were out of town for Christmas break of my senior year, but I can't remember where we went. I think it was Mexico, and while we were gone, the captain of the cheerleading team took some of that acid with two of my friends. They tried to come see me, but since we were out of town, they couldn’t. Somehow their journey to find me and my absence mixed with the LSD to simulate feelings of love and longing for me in her. When I got back, this girl I barely knew wanted to hang out with me. She was the head cheerleader for her junior and senior years, made good grades and loved her mother. I skateboarded, slept through classes, resented the preppy kids, and wore skulls on my black tee shirt. Towards the end of our relationship, I stole 200 dollars from our friend and disappeared for 24 hours with her vehicle, until I came back and we screamed at each other. Later she dropped me off at my parents’ house, and I hurled my cellphone at the pavement in the driveway under the oak tree. Its bark bloodied my knuckles, and it felt like some bones might be broken in my hands and wrist. Inside of the house my parents and I screamed before they told me to leave and locked me out. They called the police. I stuck my fist through the window in a door on the front porch and turned the old knob to let myself in. When the cops showed up I was eating a hot dog. “Put the hot dog down! You are under arrest!” But it didn’t start out like that for us. The first time we hung out, I took two of those pink elephants, and the Jimi Hendrix coming out of her speakers caused my brains to leak out of my eyes and nose and puddle itself in an awkward Technicolor mess on my shirt. She kept her cool and comforted me as I tried to clean it up. We rode to school every morning after that and knew each other in ways that no one else did. The girl shed tears over my addiction and wrote privately in a journal about how much she loved me when we went out. After the overdose that I have already told you about and the episode with Stanky, besides the rest of our miserable 18 months together, she had enough. She moved on, and the break up played in my head over and over again. It left a smoldering heap of twisted metal and mental torment like a train wreck of my own emotions and the memories we created together. I staggered. I struggled to breathe. I fell to my knees as images of her smile and the love she once held in her eyes faded away from in front of me like smoke slowly dissipating or the mirage of a desert oasis, I would never reach. I punched myself in the face until I had two black eyes. I called her 50 times a day. I wrote a poem to tell her how pathetic I was and left it on her windshield in a psychotic spider's web of scotch of tape while she was at work once, but I never got her back. I lost her forever, and I only had myself to blame. Anyway, that gives you an idea of how things were going for me around the time that Katrina came to town, but I should also tell you about the job my uncle gave me. It was delivering trays of medical instruments and every kind of orthopedic implant to different hospitals for the company representatives and the surgeons they did business with. I disappeared into the ghetto in the middle of a delivery one afternoon and would not answer my phone. Somehow the 70,000 dollars’ worth of medical equipment ended up where it was supposed to go, but I disappeared to my friends’ house that night. In the morning my uncle called to tell me he didn’t want me to give up on life. My cell phones never had a voice mail message, but if they did, it would have said something like, “Hi, you’ve reached Riley. I’m not able to take your call right now, because I am smoking crack. Leave your name and number, and I’ll be sure to ignore it, until I need something from you. Thanks.” That brings us right up to the account of the hurricanne, because my friends only let me stay with them for a few days before they evacuated. My mom picked me up from their house and took me home to help my dad board up the windows. I stayed with my grandmother and Uncle after that. The night before Katrina made landfall my cousin and I watched the satellite footage of the huge storm bearing down on the gulf coast just below New Orleans. My uncle had rented hotel rooms for his ex-wife, my cousins, my grandmother and me, and during the storm, the windows cracked on the 21st floor of the Lowes Hotel across from Harrah’s Casino. Raindrops could be seen ripping through the city in the currents of wind pushing through the streets, and the wire and plaster materials used to construct the exterior of other buildings fluttered in the air like pieces of tissue. There seemed to be a kind of divine wrath being poured out onto the city. At least that’s what people were saying, because there had been seven senseless and violent murders in one night just before the storm. Management fed us and moved us down to the 15th floor to another room, but the water didn’t work. Eventually the storming stopped, and we made phone calls to people we cared about. I tried to call the girl whose house I slept at before she evacuated and was happy to talk to her. After that I called my mom. “Riley! The levees broke! I need you to come get me from the house and bring me back to the hotel.” “Okay. Is poppa coming?” “No. He has too many animals at the clinic. I tried to talk him into it, but I don’t think he will come.” “Okay. Well I should probably stay with him.” “Yeah. I think that would be best but come get me and bring me back to the hotel, please.” My grandmother let me take her Camry to get my mom from the house, and I went up Tchoupitoulas to get there and remember the feeling the houses gave me. They were abandoned and desperate and vulnerable prey to the looters and pillagers running around the city. Once I picked my mother up at the house and headed back to the Lowe’s Hotel down St. Charles, men hung halfway out of cars they did not own and sweated trying to get them started. All storefront windows had holes smashed into them, but everything inside was already gone. Our dog had puppies during the storm, and my dad told me about how he went outside to see what it was like and got locked out. My mom couldn’t hear him knocking so he was out there for over an hour in the rain and wind. We slept on the roof of the front porch that first night, but somebody at the hotel had given me some Xanax. I had 20 dollars in my pocket and decided that I would sneak out the front of the house and take the Camry to go smoke crack. He flashed his light on me from the front porch roof as I started the Camry and took off into the dark. No automobiles made any noise in the streets, and not one streetcar ran up or down the tracks. Telephone poles lay on the ground with their power lines tangled in messes of large live oak limbs that covered St. Charles Avenue from one end to the other. It was a dangerous prospect taking off like that into the desolate city in a small car, and it was almost impossible to get the Camry from Palmer Avenue all the way to ghetto by the parish line, but I did it. When I got to the ghetto by Leake Avenue and Oak everyone in the neighborhood converged in the streets. An atmosphere of panic hovered over us, and they walked around with the energetic fear of bees in a hive worried they would perish. Water came out of the drains and pooled in the streets. There was a man carrying a large box fan on his shoulder in the crowd, and he had the twitch in his walk that I was looking for. I flagged him down, and he ran over to the car. “What’s up, wodee?” “Looking for a 20.” “I got you. Let me put this in the car.” He put the fan into the back seat of my grandmother’s Camry and took my 20 into a house. Historic buildings across town lay in heaps of ashes smoldering, and other buildings waited to be consumed by fire or looted. A deluge of black water destroyed whole neighborhoods where families once lived and kids once played. Pandemonium swept across the city. Those who remained realized that our beloved New Orleans was drowning, and it looked like the city might never recover even if it survived this catastrophe. I sat in the car waiting for the crack head to come back with my crack rock, and my father sat on the front porch roof of our house wondering if I would come back with the car or get killed trying to smoke crack in the chaos. I lost the hit in the car before I could smoke it. There was nothing I could do to recover it, so I got out and tried to cut a deal with a guy who desperately needed gas. He said he would help me out, and we tried to siphon gas out of the car, but it didn’t work. Since I tried to help he waved his friend off who followed us around and looked like he had his hand on a pistol in his waistband. When I got back to the house my father gave me a Tylenol PM and begged me to sleep. In the morning the crack had worn off, and we began to navigate our stay in post Katrina New Orleans. We parked the Camry at his clinic in Jefferson Parish and rode around in the old Landcruiser. Sometimes we picked up the displaced people walking up and down St. Charles and took them to Oschner Hospital. There was one lady who carried a bunch of cat carriers with frizzy, frazzled hair and looked like she had lived her life as a recluse in one of the nearby neighborhoods, but the flood brought her out. When we stopped and asked her if she wanted a ride or needed help she just turned around and walked the other direction. Sometimes we got calls at my dad’s clinic from people who wanted us to break into their houses and rescue their animals, so we did. At night we tried to sleep outside, because it was so hot. Mosquitoes hung around us in softly humming clouds and bit hard even through sheets drenched in Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray. I tried to cook some steaks over a fire but had caked the seasoned salt on them in the dark so badly that we could barely eat them. There was a silence that filled the air and gave us a dread we had never known about the future of our lives. The destruction of the city matched the broken emptiness inside of me. It was fitting for me to be there and see it all. Not that either one directly caused the other, but the dire straits of the city mirrored the reality of my own insides. My childhood pediatrician hung himself over the city’s devastation, while my father focused on the litter of puppies our Italian greyhound had to get through it. As if everything happening at the time wasn’t enough stress for him, I gave him hell by smoking crack, stealing money and getting violent. I found my sister’s Adderall prescription and took the whole thing at once. Then I chugged warm beers we had until I couldn’t talk or sleep, and I smoked crack with a pimply skinned lady and her boyfriend in a crumbling apartment building called the Studio Arms by Oschner Hospital. On the way back home the cops stopped me for being out after curfew but let me go. We made trips to the house in Orleans Parish during the days and shot the trunk of a magnolia tree with the 9-millimeter out of boredom once. Two members of the National Guard robbed the house while we slept at the clinic. Both were arrested and received dishonorable discharges. After a month my dad got me a job with a contractor who lived in Harahan, and on our first job we demolished the insides of a man’s house, whose wife had just divorced him and left with his daughters a few weeks before the storm. We carted mildewed art projects made of construction paper and Elmer’s glue and photo albums in wheelbarrows out through the front door and into a dumpster. Every single memory he had of his daughters’ childhoods had fallen under the chalky brown water line a foot below the ceiling. The man sweated and took pictures hoping that his insurance company might pay him for his losses, for the things that have no price. I quit after a week. Sometime towards the end of our time together in the shambles of a post-Katrina New Orleans my dad got on the phone to help me get the 2300 dollars FEMA gave to survivors of Katrina, and after that I got into it with my dad. It was over something stupid, but I got him in a headlock and rammed the top of his skull into the corner of a doorway behind the clinic. We struggled for a few minutes before we stopped, and he said, “You attack me like that again, Riley, and I’m gonna shoot you. You hear me?” I knew he meant it, and he would have been right to do it with the way I acted. It reminded me of the time he told me he wanted to fight me as a teenager but remembered how much he paid for my teeth to be straight. I tore off in the Landcruiser up to Baton Rouge where I stayed with my mom and sisters at my grandmother’s until I could figure out what to do. Eventually, my mother and I devised the plan for me to go live in California, with my friends who had all moved out to San Francisco and planned to grow weed. They needed another roommate to make it work, so I told them I would be out there soon. My mom bought a ticket, but it would be a week or so before I could fly out. In that last week, my friend stole a car and picked me up in the middle of the night. By the time the sun came up we were trying to buy some crack in the ghetto with a fake 100-dollar bill, but when the dealer wanted the rocks back I rolled onto my back and kicked him in the face and ground his fingers under my heel before he fell out of the back seat. We may have run over him, but we definitely drove into a ditch before we escaped. All the while the kid in the back seat next to me snored and had a strand of drool hanging from his lip to the floor and his head between his legs. My mom had to come get me out of a crack house the morning of my flight to San Francisco, and my father hadn’t talked to me since we’d fought last.
warn you now, this is long, and it will be impossible to include all the details. will try to TLDR at the bottom and sum it up best I can Me (26) and my wife (24) have been together for ten years. I used to take a greyhound bus every other weekend to see her (She lived three hours away) and spend time with her. For the most part everything was wonderful. She was always very depressed but when I was there with her seemed like a completely different person. My mom paid for the tickets to go down everytime, which ended up causing alot of friction. For the most part the first two years, we never even really argued (current wife, and I). Then she moved to Oklahoma with her dad (we lived in Louisiana), and me being a stubborn in love 17 year old, had my dad come down (Also lived in OK), pack me up while my mom was gone, and move up there too. On the plus side, my mom didn't really seem to mind too much. We now lived about an hour apart from each other. We ended up seeing each other less. My dad never really wanted to drive me to see her, and didnt seem interested in taking me to get my license. We started fighting alot more, and one thing that I still remember is one fight we had because my step mom had one of her female friends over (My step mom is entirely immature so hangs out with people my age or younger) and she is convinced that EVERY female that I talk to, or talks to me is trying to have sex with me. So we get in an argument about it and she just yells out "I would be ok if my boyfriend weren't a manwhore!" at this point in my life, She is the ONLY person I've had sex with, even talked about having sex with (not because of religion or anything like that. Just never was interested with anyone else) so clearly this pretty much broke my heart. Fast forward, I join the National Guard before I graduate High School that year. she seems real supportive and happy for me. We go down to visit her family in Louisiana for the summer, so I go with her before I leave. A perfect summer. I dont have any other way to describe it. great sex, great times, and just alot of fun. I leave, everyone's upset. She moves back in with her mom. We send letters back and forth, talk on the phone usually for an hour every sunday. My dad goes down to pick her up so she can be there at my Basic Training graduation. All of this is damn near perfect. Get to AIT. (Job training basically) we have alot more free time than we used to, but I spend it all on the phone or computer with her. Hardly leave my room at all because she seems upset with me if I don't. Her depression seems to be getting worse and she starts cutting again (Bad habit she stopped doing when we got together) and I confide in her some male on male encounters I've had previously in my life (Not all were exactly consensual) and she seems to not only like it, but accept it. Which was a giant relief for me because I had been terrified to tell her for so long. (This is going to play a huge part later) Then her and her friend get a great idea to make a fake account on a website we use to talk to each other (Pretty much just a geeky forum site) and start sending me messages out the blue. Straight to trying to pretty much sext me through these messages. to which I just ignore at first. I keep getting mesages for maybe an upwards of two hours, along with my wife texting me getting me extremely worked up sexually. Finally my better sense gives in to my dick and I start talking sexy back to the fake account. As soon as I do I get a call from her crying saying her and her friend set that up to try to get me to cheat. honestly I was devastated. Both in my lack of control and discipline, and her lack of trust and her willingness to try to manipulate me like that. I had devoted the past three years of my life to her and she felt the need to do something like that. Looking back I know we should have called it quits then and there, but we didn't. I actually bought a ring and proposed to her over our Christmas break, and everything seemed to go back to normal.the cheating was hardly ever brought up again, and we both seemed to be able to move past it. I never told anyone about all this because I knew where it would go. I graduate AIT, my dad moved out of Oklahoma, so I had nowhere to go, so they had to drive up two days late and pick me up, and take me down to Baton Rouge. I was enrolled in college in Oklahoma State, and was just waiting for the semester to start. Got my license, bought my first truck with my sign on bonus, would spend a couple weeks every now and then at my wife's mom and stepdads house. Still everything going great again. we start talking about the future, kids, etc. She's still in school and is having some trouble with alot of things guys (My wife is absolutely beautiful. so guys trying to pick up on her was an hourly thing), schoolwork, problems at home (Mom is an on and of druggy, her stepdad was an abusive corrupt lawyer) so she was just waiting for the summer to move back to OK with her dad. we move back, still going great. I go to AT (Two week training deal in the summer) and we go up to Minessota for it. Real nice btw, not sure what part we were in but it was right off the lake, and it was beautiful! About a week in, we have a civilian day, pretty much everybody wears regular clothes and gets drunk off their ass. I don't drink. AT ALL by now. Partly because i'm underage, partly because of my dads issues with drinking (HUGE alcoholic and always gets loud and angry) so I've stayed away from it. The guys convince me to just let loose, and I get..... real bad drunk. I end up texting her mom talking about how great she looks and that I would love to have sex with her and just.... it was a mess. I didn't even remember it until I woke up the next day and seen the texts still in my phone. I apologized to her and just tried my best to ignore it and not drink anymore while I'm there. Few days later I get a picture from a number I don't know (area code is where my wifes family is from) I couldnt really tell what the picture was, just looked like skin, so I just kinda text back saying "Sorry, think you got the wrong number?" I get a text back, it's my wifes step sister, whom I have never talked to a day in my life, even when were around each other. She tells me she got my number from Ashtons phone and wanted to talk to me because she always thought I was sexy (Big red flag in my mind right there) I am not a particularly attractive or unnatractive person in my opinion. I don't remember the exact conversation (This was 6 years ago) bit it followed the lines of me telling her we don't really have a reason to talk and her going on and on about what she wants me to do her. By now I know something is off. No one who you've never talked to is going to try so hard to keep talking to you like this when you show NO interest whatsoever. In my mind I start to think this is Ashtons doing. So I decide to be a smart ass, and play along. Sure enough, first text I send back, Ashton calls crying. miraculously she found out just SECONDS after I send it, kinda like she was sitting RIGHT there. she denies it, tells me how much of a piece of shit I am, and that she knows about the texts I sent to her mom. Proceeds to tell me it's over, which I'm kind of ok with at this point. Her steps sister texts me saying she's sorry and that Ashton was the one that put her up to it. so just confirmed my suspicions anyway. Lo and Behold, a few days later, we get back together. Our sex life takes a..... strange? Wrong maybe, turn. She starts talking about how she sometimes thinks of just giant orgies and people just taking turns with her. I'm not comfortable but I dont want to hurt her or upset her so I play along. college starts, I get put on a floor with a bunch of other nerds (I may not have mentioned it but I am nerd to the extreme) so It's nice to be around people like me. I have all this planned out and actually get active, playing racquetball, going to the gym, being social with people for once. Driving to visit Ashton usually every other weekend when I could afford it out of my drill check or if someone sent me money. Get a hotel room, go out, stuff like that. Was still pretty nice. One weekend we go to the fair with her dad and step mom, things have been up and down lately. All she talks about is all her male friends and is always busy with JROTC. I'm honestly uncomfortable with the male friends, just one that she talks about a bit too much but don't say anything, and I encourage her about her JROTC. The fair was great though, we had alot of fun, and it was a good weekend. I wake up that wednsday after, to her dumping me. Out the blue, a three page text, saying it's all the stuff that happened at AT over a year ago, that was never even brought up. I'm devastated at this point. I thought things were fine and we were still going to get married. I slip into a giant depression, stop going to class, hanging out with people, eating, all I do is sleep pretty much. I think about killing myself (Stupid me) but it doesnt go past self harm. Despite all this, I still go see her, we still have sex ALOT, and it's like were together. I then find out, 15 minutes after she dumped me, her and the guy I was always hearing about were together. I confront her and it becomes a "Oh it was a spur of the moment kind of thing" yeah bullshit. This is a couple weeks after, so the whole time we've been doing this "quasi-together" thing she's been doing it all with someone else too. I become just.. lose it. I start flirting with an old girlfriend, flirting with a guy I know, the self harm gets worse. I think I literally lost my mind for a while. On top of it all, deployment orders to Afghanistan. so it was not a good time for me. She is still texting me, messaging me, about how much she loves me, wants me, needs to feel me, etc. Me and my old girlfriend are still talking, and we mess around once, before I leave to do my deployment training. Me and Ashton are still in contact, mostly me being angry that she's still trying to pull me around and use me as a crutch, while she does exactly that and tells me it's not like that. a few weeks before I actually go overseas, she says she broke up with the guy and wants us to be back together. Save the "you dumb-ass" remarks, I say yes. Now I don't stop talking to the ex girlfriend right away though..... I did eventually.... but not when I should have. I do cut complete contact with her as soon as we stop. our deployment gets changed to Kuwait two weeks before we leave. We get there in July, I buy a laptop, some (shitty) internet, and we talk as much as we can with a nine hour time difference and her still in School. She has moved to Missouri now, to live with her grandparents (In ase you can't tell, we move ALOT) I go on my leave in December, we drive to Hot Springs, and get married. It was a great honeymoon, and as perfect as I could ask for. We get our first tattoos, eat expensive food, take alot of pictures, have alot of sex, etc, etc. (I keep mentioning alot of sex, believe me, it ties in later) I go back to finish the last four months and we're both heartbroken. well lo and behold, she gets on her sister facebook one day and sees messages between me and her from god knows when, and takes, and posts them straight to facebook. No talking to me about it first or anything. Well, ex girlfriend sees them, and tells her we had a thing going to. Everything goes to shit, and it looks like it's all over. She eventually calms down and says she would like to stay married and works things out. We agree to that, and I delete every non family member female from my facebook to make her more comfortable. She has my password to it, and my email address, everything. I know I broke her trust and had to make up for it. Deployment ends, I come back. I ordered alot of stuff while I was deployed so I stay in Louisiana for a week to catch up with family there and get all my stuff together I bought, go to Oklahoma to visit my dad and he tells me an Uncle who lives there is having heart surgery. He's gonna go visit and the family wanted to see me too. They hadn't seen me since I was maybe ten or younger so I agree. My wife throws a fit. She can't understand why I would stay for family I don't really know, and it's just a fight from hell about it. I stay anyway, catch up with them, and leave once the surgery is done and everything is ok. I pack up all my stuff (Fits in the back of a GMC sonoma) and head to Missouri to move there. Get there, living with her grandparents, on unemployment until I find a job, she's going to school. Things feel normal, again, alot of sex, constantly. Can't find a job there, so my dad offers a job working with him in Arkansas, I initially say no, but the more I think about it, and longer no job shows up, I think more on it. Talk it over with my wifes grandpa. She doesnt want to go, cant stand my dad or stepmom, which is understandable. I love my dad, but my step mom is a miserable, abusive, pot head. but her grandpa says that if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Well they kick her out..... yeah. So we move to her other grandparents in Oklahoma. I get a job as a shift leader, with a fast track to assistant manager, at a little ice cream place there. We find out my wife is pregnant with our first son, besides the living arrangments for now, everything is looking great. The place I worked at, let you charge things to your check (Fruit, ice cream, veggies, etc) so usually I would bring my wife some pears, apples, ice cream, whatever she was craving when I left at night. one night I was in a hurry, and just thought to myself "No one will notice if I just grab some pears, and ice cream out the door". Well I was wrong, came in the next day, worked a couple hours, pulled to the side, and fired. It was extremely upsetting, because I knew I failed myself, her, and my unborn child. I cried for.... damn near all day. Got back on unemployment, but didn't find another job, so moved down with my dad to work at this "promised" job. Was much less promising than thought. Instead of an actual job, I got paid to help clean up the shop he worked in, and do little things until it was all done. Couldn't work more than 40 hours, lived in a garage at my dad with my wife, though it was pretty comfortable. my friend got me hired on in my hometown selling vehicle parts. less money, but it was steady. Moved in with my grandma, worked there, had our first child. a boy we named Danny Christopher Scott (after my grandpa, and her dad). She started visiting her family alot. I had to drive to Oklahoma every month for my drill for the Guard (Six hours there, six back) so she would stay with her family there until I came back up, so the first seven months of my sons life I didn't get to spend alot of time with him. When they were at my grandmas house, I did all the work for Danny. bathed, fed, changed diapers, put to sleep, got up with at night, etc. just to be at work at 7 in the morning everyday. I hate to say it, but this made me extremely resentful, even now it does. All she did was sleep, and leave when she could. My grandmother told me that we couldn't stay at her house much longer and that we needed to get our own place (Understandable. I was a grown man with a family and a job) and it started to stress me out even more. One day in walmart I was walking past a bunch of house stuff.... and I don't know why, but decided to try to steal a bunch of it for when we got a house of our own. It was extremely stupid and I haven't stolen anything since college. They got me on the way out the store, I had to pay 100 dollars to bail myself out, and since it was a little town, everyone knew as soon as it happened. Went to work monday, got let go because of things missing from the store which fell on me. I didn't take anything from the store, and I found it later it was my coworker doing some real shady stuff, but it happened and I was let go. more problems for me and my wife, always arguing whether she was there or not. my dad had another job lined up in Baton Rouge, so we moved down there. This one actually worked and I got hired on doing chemical trailer repair for 13 an hour, working at least 60 hours a week. It was a godsend. We stayed in some shitty run down trailer park for 400 a month, all bills paid.My truck had broke down a while ago, so I rode to work with my dad who lived a few trailers down. Despite the roof leaking, the AC not working hardly, and wasps, it was the best thing ever. I had my family and we were making it. After a few months and getting a vehicle figured out, we decide to look for apartments. We found one that my wife had her heart set on. It was a bit pricey for my liking, 700 a month for a two bedroom. So I tried to convince her we just needed a one bedroom, which was 550. It was only me her, and our son, so I figured one bedroom would still be plenty. He wasnt even a year old yet, but she wouldn't have it. Had to be the two bedroom, so being the beta male that I have come to learn I was, I folded and we signed the lease. We had found out she was pregnant again. I was still doing almost everything for our son, though he was crawling and playing by himself more. When she got pregnant again it got worse. I had to do dishes, laundry, clean, take care of Danny, and work. It was overwhelming honestly, yet again, I began to feel the resent coming back that I had managed to overlook for so long. we began to fight alot more often again. My ankle started giving me problems (Have had a bad ankle from club foot surgery as a baby but never really bothered me until now) I think mostly from walking on concrete in bad shoes all day, so I started missing alot of work for it. We were already barely affording food, the apartment, and bills, so that just put me entirely behind. I had to ask my dad for alot of money, help him on side jobs, but it still wasnt enough. Our rent bill got to be 1200 dollars one month due to late fees, eviction costs, etc,so I had the choice to either pay it all, or use that money to move and start a new job. We talked it over, and decided to move instead. We moved back to my hometown and I drove an hour to work every morning and back, doing the same thing. Their trailers were a little different and i had trouble adjusting to everything right away. So the guy training me proceeded to insult on me pretty much a daily basis to where I dreaded even having to go to work now. Eventually I was fired because he told them i had no clue what I was doing. We were living in my uncles trailer with my friend at the time. Got on unemployment, my wife found a job at the nursing home in town (Got her GED and CNA license while in Baton Rouge) so we had a decent income with us two combined. we had our second child for around six months at this time. Like the first, I did everything, but now for two kids. My family seen it, her family seen it, my friend seen it. I think resentment is too kind of a word for how I felt now. My wife acted helpless and powerless to do anything outside of work. I drove her to work at 1:30 in the evening, and went with the kids to pick her up at 10 at night. sometimes we would sit for an hour waiting. She started acting different. Keeping her phone close AT ALL times, which she never really did, she used to lose it quite often. she always had her head buried in it, and started hanging out with people who have a pretty bad reputation around town. Finally one day when she wasnt around her phone, I looked. She had texts to a guy she worked with (Dated my cousin for ten years) doing nothing but bitching about me, about being the only one to work, and asking him if he "Liked her butt in those pants" I lost it. I had been taking care of our kids alone, doing everything, so she could go to work and flirt and fuck around with some fat fuck (I know I'm not innocent by any means of flirting. Neither of us were at this point. After we got married I did straighten up and never even entertained a female AT ALL) She told me it wasn't like that at all and that a coworker told her they caught him looking. I still told her it was innaproptiate even if it didnt mean anything flirtatious. She pretty much told me I was being stupid, and just paranoid, and continued to talk to the guy. We got cut a GREAT deal on a house from a close family friend. a rent to own deal, 2 acres in town, 3 bed, one bath house, for 15000, 300 a month. Its older, but you cant beat that deal if you try. We jumped on it, moved in, she got her own license because I got a job at the boat plant in town. I worked 6-2:45, she 2-10 so it was stresfull with one vehicle making that work and we never spent anytime together due to her weird days off schedule, and what few days we did get to spend together, she spent sleeping constantly, or being short with me and the kids. She had also signed up for the Guard herself and was due to leave for Basic training in 4 months. We talked about it, she made more than me, we didn't get any time, and we could make it on what she made. so we decided for me to quit and stay home with the kids while she worked like it used to be so we get time before she leaves. She ended up working more and more, and spending time out when she was done working. Yet again, she started talking about another guy she had met through someone at work, and it was always "Yeah, he brought me some food, so you dont have tonight" "he let me use his jacket because it got too cold" etc, etc. the usual giant red flags you see and hear. I ignored them for as long as I could and tried to trust her. One night she stayed at her friends house, they were supposed to go out to the casinos in town, but ended up canceling to stay at her place and drink. She was sending me pictures of her being all dressed up in sexy dresses her friend had. then told me that the guy was there. She was supposed to be home around 1:30. She quit texting around 12, and dissapeared until 3:30. I stayed up all night worried, the kids were being restless and difficult. She finally came in drunk as hell, and ended up having sex with me, and it all just felt..... off. Couple nights later, she is glued to her phone, even worse. So she goes to take a shower, I grab it and look. Text from the guy "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to leave a mark on you" her reply "It's fine, I don't regret it all" I confront her. I get fed some bullshit "It was just a kiss, and he kissed along my neck, I was drunk, I'm so sorry" I don't believe it of course for a second, but I let it go because somehow despite everything I love her and thought she loved me. Over the summer her other sister comes to stay with us for a month. I get a little drunk and don't really make a move on her or anything, but we just talk about games, and stuff like that, and I just tell her she grew up to be pretty cool, and (jokingly) tell her if me and Ashton don't work out, I'm gonna get with her. She's 17, so it was a complete joke, inappropriate yes, but not serious. So my wife gets on my computer, snoops through Facebook, sees the messages, and immediartely tells me I'm trying to fuck her little sister. Proceeds to insult me, push on me, tells me to get the fuck out, etc. So I pack my stuff up and leave to let her calm down. Come back later, and we make up and try to get along. She leaves for Basic, and everything I had seen her telling guys just hang over me. I stay in the house constantly because the vehicle has crapped out on us. I take care of the boys alone constantly, and only get letters from her once every two weeks. I'm having a tough time, but I'm hanging in there so far. She graduates Basic, and due to a big fiasco, we cant make it there for it. She goes to AIT. She prettu much starts to just ignore me. She is always posting thing son facebook with friends, (Mostly guys) and never anything about our kids, doesn't attempt to try to video chat us, and barely has time to call. Her family starts to talk to me about it, I don't really know what to tell them. Her and one of her girl friends have a little thing go on, and I'm fine with it honestly. I know she's sexually frustrated, she sends me videos, win win right? She ends up getting caught at a hotel with a big group of people that she was "drug along to" and gets in a lot of trouble (thats where people go to have sex) and they give her an article 15 (something you REALLY dont want on your record) but remove when they talk to her about it and think she needs therapy. So she ends up not coming home when she is supposed to. She has been gone 8 months at this point. One night she is crying to me, upset, and I'm telling her it's ok. She keeps saying I dont understand and that she's so sorry. I just keep asking what. She admits to having sex with Chance (Fat fuck at work) guy that was at the friends house (Knew that one deep down anyway) and messing around with a guy that eventually tried to force himself onto her in Arizona (where her AIT is) I break down crying because even when you know the truth, having it spoken still hurts alot worse. I still try to push through. she's going to her therapy there, I keep trying to supress the anger, and hurt, and tears. Finally it breaks one day and I say i want a divorce. She tries to talk me out of it, I ignore her for two weeks. Only talking to her about the kids, or finances. After two weeks, I get ahold of myself and try to talk to her. She thinks I've found someone, which I haven't. She says she hasn't either, but then 30 minutes later tells me she's with someone. So clearly she lied, I found out she's been talking to this guy for months now. I think at this point I begin to hate her. All the time she told me she was so sorry and never meant to hurt me, and just wanted us to be ok, she was STILL talking to other people. I start talking to someone on facebook who I find I like quite a bit. I don't attempt to make a relationship though. She's going through a divorce and is clearly hung up on her ex, just as I am. Recipe for distater. Ashton finds out and just loses her shit. I begin to realize she doesn't want me, but doesnt want anyone else to have me. Begins to tell me that I sexually abused her (Our sex life was..... wilder than average, but she would tell me she LOVES it) that I was emotionally abusive, I admit to that now, after reading more. I feel she played a big part in it too though, but I'm to blame also. She also claims I physically abused her (I have never laid a hand on her. I watched my mother be beat for years previously and I would never put my hands on a woman in anger) and then proceeds to tell me I took advantage of her by not working, which we both agreed to happen, and that she is the only one who supported our family. which to an extent she's a right, when I quit the last time, no unemployment since I quit. She still continues to tell me she loves me and is heartbroken over us divorcing. the usual stuff she did when she left years ago. it goes back and forth like this for months. She finally gets released and comes back. she has nowhere to stay, so she stays at the house. I try to stay out of her way, because any kind of interaction leads to fighting. We try therapy a couple sessions, and I finally tell her she has to pick me or Justin (the other guy) because she is in between and its not right or working. She picks Justin, just to have him tell her its not going to work (He's in Kentucky) and that distance wouldn't work. So she of course goes "Heartbroken" after six months of on and off with this guy three times already. After telling me we could never work anyway, she begins to "magically" think we can, at this point I really don't want to. I've gotten used to being a single parent and I'm realizing how much of a train wreck she is, but she seems upset that I don't want to. So I agree, at this point she has told me "I will never feel comfortable around you, cuddling, being touched, sex, or anything" yet the first night we have sex again, its the way it always has been. Dirty, hard, etc. All the ways I "sexually abused" her before that she didn't want but is begging for again. We resume normal sex, maybe every other night. Then I find out she is STILL entertaining guys over facebook. So I call it quits, kick her our eventually because it's not working for either of us like this. She gets an apartment in town, her friend lets her use her vehicle. She's going to "get her life straight and prove me wrong" that was over a year ago. We have tried again, she moved back in, sex was non existant almost (3 times in six months, two of which were the same day) She stayed up late at night and would ignore me to play xbox with her male friends. Her friends she work with pretty much insult me every chance they get, insult her for being with me. so I call it quits yet again because to me it seemed she had no real interest in earning my trust again, or actually trying. We get in a huge fight one night. She is now throwing things at me, books, dvd cases, etc. following me around the house pushing me, hitting me on the chest and back. She goes to my bookshelf and attempts to flip it over. at this point I wrap my arms around her. Just to hopefully make her stop. She goes nuts and starts throwing herself around so I tighten up to keep her from hitting the bookshelf. She then calls the cops on me! I go outside to wait for them, in my mind I have done NOTHING wrong except try to stop her from destroying anymore of my property. They show up, I tell them the truth. exactly what I just typed. I'm assuming she doesn't, because the cops proceed to tell me, the first person to "Place hands on their spouse" is the guilty party, and that I'm now looking at felony domestic battery. Kids are asleep in the bed, they have no clue anything is happening. The van for the correctional center is nowhere near town, so that's the only thing that stopped me from going. I again, told her she "needed to get the fuck out of my house" she cries, tells me she "doesnt mean or want to be this way" I still make her leave. She spends everyday telling me how sorry she is, blah blah blah. After around two months she tells me she has been thinking about dating again. I tell her thats great and I hope she finds someone who can take care of her. She thanks me, and says she hopes too and that she thinks she found someone. I'm happy for her. Despite everything she's the mother of my children. For at least our childrens sake I want her to have a succesful life. My curiosity gets the best of me, because I think I know who she's talking about (guy she played xbox with everynight) so I just facebook him. Turns out they had been together over a month now. In this month she has kissed me, flirted with me, told me she still loves me, etc. So now again, I am pissed, say some very choice words to her. The usual, betrayed reaction. Our counselor made us PROMISE that if we got involved with someone, tell the other so there's nothing like THIS situation later. Yet again, I was lied to. I gave up for a while. She would text me about how depressed she was, how the relationship isn't going the way she'd like, that she wants to be with me but is scared. Three weeks ago, we agreed to try again. She has already gone through my phone to look at facebook messages while telling me she was wanting to "Pick a song on my phone" By now.... I am drinking whiskey on a regular basis. smoke pot maybe, once every two weeks, I can tell I'm losing control of my life. In two years, she has kept our children two weeks, one week was WITH her boyfriend who she had been with for two months. But I agree. She had a friend die from her unit monday night, and she didn't want to be alone last night. So she packed a bag, and xbox and came over. I got..... drunk last night. 11 beers in an hour drunk, and I was worried her friend might have been more than a friend and just asked. she exploded on me. Which led to a fight, me punching the wall (Pretty sure my thumb is broke right now) and her going home. She is now saying she is done completely, and if she is then I am too. I moved EVERY year of my life, different schools with each move almost. I don't have friends really. I don't understand basic human things like mourning. It sounds stupid but I feel so far removed from people that I just couldn't comprehend her being upset over someone dying. I feel stupid for asking and knew I should have stayed shut up. I tried explaining that but she just turned it into me thinking she's a whore, and I haven't told her, but that's all she has shown to me in the past three years. I know it wasn't right for me to ask that, and I'm addressing my drinking. this broken thumb is kind of a big wake up call to me. I'm just a wreck and I have no support from family, or my few "friends" i've managed to keep. I just feel like I'm losing my mind. She blamed everyone for everything that's ever happened to me and it's all fallen on me. It has sucked my will to live or anything. I don't know what to do right now. I am currently enrolled in a community college for Healthcare management, trying to get an actual career instead of the jobs I've been working. I'm done drinking, and smoking, and trying to be more active with my boys. TLDR: me and my wife/ex wife have made a complete mess of our lives and relationship. Have two kids I have always, and still do everything for. Began covering up my problems with alcohol, realize that it was making more problems for me. She blames me for EVERYTHING that has gone wrong in her life. I really do want to be free but I still love her. How can I let go of this abusive, toxic person, and get my life where it needs to be? If you read ALL of that, then Kudos. I will take any advice, just keep it constructive please. I'm well aware of how much of a push over i've been and how alot of this does fall on my shoulders. Whether it was by my sheer imcompetence as a man, husband, and person in general, or things I knew better than anyway. so save that part of the speech please. Thanks guys, and probably some gals!
Weekly Summary (Apr 21 - Apr 27, 2017) UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES Hi everyone, Hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for the gold on last week's summary. Take care and stay safe. ✌ ♥ ☺ Last week's summary (April 14 - April 20, 2017) UPDATES
October 23, 1979 - Harry (53) and Mollie Schlesinger (54) were shot and killed in Austin, Texas (US). Harry and his wife Mollie ran a liquor store and had been preparing to close their shop for the night when an assailant(s) robbed the store and then shot the couple dead. Police later informed the victims’ family that serial killers Henry Lee Lucas and Ottis Toole confessed to the murders. However, some of the family doubted the validity of these claims due to some glaring inconsistencies in the case. The case is personal to one Reddit contributor Bamont because his grandmother was one of the victims of this horrible crime. What happened on that night? (UPDATE:) Some commenter's from the Unresolved Mysteries community offered their assistance in helping Bamont. In particular, Hotblueglue researched the case and found...
December 1, 1981 - Virginia Freeman (40) was found dead beaten with stab wounds and a broken neck in College Station, Texas (US). Virginia was a real estate agent and mother, who was also actively involved in giving back to her community. Virginia was on her way to dinner when she received a call from work about a man wanting to see a house in a secluded area. The man had a southern accent and said he was carrying a large amount of cash. Hoping to make a sale, Virginia left alone to meet the potential client and was never seen alive. What happened to Virginia? (UPDATE:) National Geographic Explorers were contacted and agreed...Who did this to Virginia?
March 14, 2015 - Cristie S. Codd (38) and Joseph "JT" Codd (45) disappeared from their home in Leicester, North Carolina (US). Cristie was a respected chef, who provided catering services to film crews. She was five months pregnant and had recently appeared in the 8th season of the reality show "Food Network Star." Her husband, JT, worked as a key grip in filmmaking. FYI, a key grip collaborates with the director of photography in productions and supervises all "grip (lighting and rigging) crews" (Wikipedia). The couple had hired their neighbor, Robert Jason Owens, as a contractor to do some work in their home. "Owens robbed, assaulted and threatened the couple with weapons before killing them." He would later admit to dismembering their bodies to conceal evidence (CBS News). Robert J. Owens is still a person of interest in the disappearance of Zebb Quinn (UPDATE:) Robert Owens has accepted a plea deal in the murders of JT Codd and Cristie, and...Will this provide any new information on Zebb?
March 17 - July 11, 2016 - Maryvale (Phoenix) Serial Shooter - "an unidentified serial killer who has been linked to nine separate shootings resulting in seven deaths and two injuries across Phoenix, Arizona (US) in 2016, mainly in the Maryvale neighborhood" (Wikipedia). The shooter's attacks seem to be random, and he targets people who are walking outside or standing/sitting by their homes or cars. Who is the killer? (UPDATE:) Person of interest identified in this... The post originally stated that the Phoenix Serial Shooter was arrested; however, at this time he had only been publically identified by law enforcement.Maryvale Serial Shooter
May 1, 1982 – Diana L. Munyon (16) disappeared from Fontana, California (US). Diana formerly lived in Mississippi but had left home at a young age and frequently hitchhiked with truckers. There isn’t very much information about her on the net; however… What happened to Diana?
May 26, 1982 - Yolanda Jean Maull (30) disappeared from Birmingham, Alabama (US). She was originally from Knoxville, Tennessee and had graduated from Knoxville College. Yolanda was in the middle of a divorce and had planned to be in court on the day she disappeared. On the morning she vanished, Yolanda spoke to her attorney and was never... What happened to Yolanda?
June 6, 1984 - Sherry L. Marler (12) disappeared from Greenville, Alabama (US). Sherry was a tomboy, who enjoyed farm life. She was last seen with her stepfather at a local First National Bank. Sherry had walked across the street alone to buy soda and never returned. There have been multiple sighting of Sherry with an older man... Never Posted
July 2, 1989 – Barbara Elizabeth Miller (30) disappeared from Milton, Pennsylvania (US). Barbara was a police informant, who had recently received anonymous threats before she went missing. She was last seen attending a wedding, and police believe she made it home safely from the wedding that day. Her live-in boyfriend reported her missing three days later… What happened to Barbara?
October 24, 1998 - Kristine Kupka (28) disappeared from Brooklyn, New York (US). Kristine was an honor student majoring in Philosophy at Baruch College in New York. Kristine was romantically linked to her former Chemistry instructor from school, Darshanand Persaud, who was recently married to another woman. Kristine was pregnant with his child, and Darshanand had not been supportive of her decision to keep the baby. Shortly before she vanished, Darshanand had a change of heart and Kristine was last seen with him... Where is Kristine?
December 7th, 2001 - Janine Vaughan (31) disappeared from Bathurst, New South Wales (Australia). Janine worked as a store manager and had a large group of friends. On the day she vanished, Janine took a cab to meet up with some friends at two different bar and grills. At some point in the night, she lost her purse with her phone and wallet. Janine didn't want to end the party on her bad luck. So while they were leaving the second establishment, she yelled something out to her friends about getting more drinks and then jumped into an unknown person's car before they could question her (Western Advocate). Janine has never...Discuss
February 23, 1999 - Shannon Clair LaBau (23) disappeared from Helena, Montana (US). Shannon was a father and a cook, who was close to his mother. On the day he vanished, he had planned to look into buying a car in the nearby city of Townsend. Shannon's friend picked him up that day and claims to have dropped him off later on the street in Helena that morning. Shannon has never been seen again. What happened to Shannon?
July 14, 2003 - Revell Jeeter (59) disappeared from McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania (US). Revell was a divorced father and an introvert, who preferred the company of his dog Bubba to most people. On the day he vanished, it appeared as though Revell had walked out of his home to do something but never returned. His wallet and cell phone were found inside, and his three cars were parked nearby. Revell's family and friends told law enforcement that he'd never leave his dog alone for an extended period. Police later found his ATV at a neighbor, Gregory Rouzer's, home. The neighbor had claimed he was fixing the... What happened to Revell?
July 5, 2007 - Monica Renee Bowie (34) disappeared from Atlanta, Georgia (US). Monica owned two different businesses and sometimes worked in accounting. Monica’s fiance was in prison on drug charges when she vanished. She was abducted from her apartment complex late at night. Witnesses heard her screams and then saw a maroon car drive off... Missing in Georgia
January 1, 2008 - Amy Fitzpatrick (15) is an Irish teen who disappeared from Riveria del Sol, Costa del Sol (Spain). Amy was last seen leaving a friend's home that night. She lived with her mother and stepfather, the latter who she despised. Amy's stepfather, Dave Mahon, had been accused and later convicted of stabbing her brother in an angry confrontation outside their home. What happened to Amy?
February 23, 2010 - Tameka Anderson (25) disappeared from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (US). Tameka was a working mom, who recently had received her income tax return. She had hoped to buy a car in a nearby community, so she withdrew all of her cash from the credit union and had an acquaintance pick her up from her home. She was never seen... Missing and Forgotten
June 2, 2011 - Siriyakorn “Bung” Siriboon (13) disappeared from Boronia, Victoria (Australia). Bung was last seen leaving her home to walk to school. Bung was born in Thailand, and police believe that her family there or someone else in the country can provide clues to her disappearance. Two years after she vanished, a man claimed he... Where is Siriyakorn?
April 2, 2016 – Sidney Taylor (35) and Krislyn Gibson (35) disappeared from Austin, Texas (US). Sidney and Krislyn had taken a road trip from Houston to Austin to attend a concert. The night before the show, the couple met up with one of Sidney’s friend and went to a night club. They were last seen in the early hours of the morning. Sidney’s car was later found abandoned in Houston… What happened to Sidney and Krislyn?
July 22, 2016 - Eric Pracht (25) disappeared from Lakewood, Colorado (US). Eric was a paramedic, who was planning to wed his fiancé. On the day he vanished, Eric was hosting a party at his home and got into some altercation with a guest. Eric decided to cool down by leaving his condo and taking a walk alone and barefoot at midnight. He was never... What happened to Eric?
UNRESOLVED (& UNUSUAL) DEATHS
June 25, 1968 - Robinson Family Murders (Good Hart murders) - This was the mass murder of a family who was shot and killed in their vacation cottage in Good Hart, Michigan (US). The home belonged to a prominent magazine publisher in Detroit, Richard and Shirley Robinson and their four children. In July of that year, a caretaker for the neighborhood had been alerted to an odor coming from that area. The neighbors had been told that the Robinsons would be out of town, so no one seemed alarmed and assumed the smell was a dead animal. However, inside the home, the caretaker found the decomposing bodies of the entire family. With the exception of their youngest daughter (7 years old) who had been beaten with a hammer alone, everyone else was bludgeoned and shot. The investigation into the deaths found that Richard's business was in trouble. An employee had been embezzling... What happened to the Robinson family?
June 25, 1974 - Maria-Luise Artmeier (25) died after she lost control of her car and struck another vehicle in Munich, Bavaria (Germany). However, Maria was not killed due to the impact of the crash. Instead, the medical team found that she had been viciously stabbed shortly before the accident and had suffered a mortal wound to her heart. Police never found the murder weapon, and there were very few clues left at the scene. Maria had spent the evening at a restaurant with friends and was most likely ambushed as she entered her car alone. Who could have done this to Maria?
February 26, 1977 - Barbara Jean Maclean (16?) was found dead in Calgary, Alberta (Canada). Barbara had recently moved to Calgary and was living with her boyfriend. The night before her body was found, Barbara had gone to a bar with friends, family and her boyfriend (who was intoxicated). Barbara had been arguing with her boyfriend that night, and he ended up leaving her stranded in the parking lot. Barbara was under the influence, so she decided to hitchhike from the outside of the bar to an after party, where she... Why does Canada have fewer missing/unsolved murder cases? Do you think 70s culture contributed to more deaths?
January 14, 1983 - Terri McClure (62) disappeared from Lake Tahoe, Nevada (US). Terri lived in Reno but had traveled to Lake Tahoe for her son Tim's wedding. Terri attended the wedding and reception but planned to return home that evening after the festivities. Tim told authorities that he walked his mother to her car before she left, and he never saw her again. After watching his mother depart, he claimed he went to a casino and gambled alone for two hours and then spent the rest of his night with his new bride partying until the early hours of the morning. Police were unable to confirm his alibi, and Tim made some strange statements... Trail Went Cold
October 18, 1984 - Hot Spring John Doe was a male hitchhiker on his way to California, who was picked up in Louisville, Kentucky (US). The driver of the car remembers that the hitchhiker said he was from New Haven, Connecticut. After the two had stopped to get something to eat, the hitchhiker took over driving the car and then... Who is Hot Spring John Doe?
May 25, 2003 – Mammoth Lakes Jane Doe – A hiker’s dog found the remains of a petite, Asian, woman (30-40 years old), who had likely been killed around August 2002 in Mammoth Lakes, California (US). Police brought in a physical anthropologist to help them identify the woman, and he believed that this woman had been stabbed to death… Who is this Jane Doe and what happened to her?
Vilvos posted some musical mysteries like none other I've seen in this sub. Frankly, I was unaware of one band but found myself fascinated nonetheless. When will Jimmy Hendrix acoustic album be released in its entirety? Ever heard of the Peanut Duck? What is Charles Manson's connection to The Beach Boys? Musical Mystery Tour
June 10, 1876 - James Moon (36) was believed to have committed suicide in a hotel room in Lafayette, Indiana (US). James had meticulously planned his death, and created a guillotine inside the hotel to serve this purpose... Why did James go through these efforts?
November 12, 1966 - The Mothman - Outside of Clendenin, West Virginia (US), a group of men preparing a burial saw a moth-like-creature emerge from the trees. It was manlike in structure and different from anything else they'd ever seen. Later more sightings were reported, and most of these seemed to be near the old West Virginia Ordnance Works. The WVOW is a well known, but abandoned munitions factory from WW II. It's in a highly polluted area, referred to as an 'environmental disaster.' One couple who saw the creature described it as... What is this creature?
January 7, 1970 - Aarno Heinonen and Esko Viljo were taking a break from cross country skiing when they saw something in the sky in Imjärvi, Heinola (Finland). It appeared to be an "elongated, fire colored object...with a 'flame' coming from behind." Within a few moments, they then saw a flying saucer and heard the sounds of buzzing. A strange man soon appeared... Do UFOs exist?
January 28, 1991 - Outside of Las Vegas, Nevada (US), a 23-year-old man was found walking alone in the Mojave Desert. He appeared lost, overdressed for the climate, and severely dehydrated. When he was taken to the hospital, he could not provide the staff with any information on his identity. The hospital would later name him "Tyler, " after he was diagnosed with psychogenic amnesia. After undergoing hypnosis, Tyler begin to remember more information about his past... Who is Tyler? Was this all a hoax?
May 1918 - The Axeman - A mysterious monster emerged in New Orleans, Louisana (US) one who wielded an ax and killed at his discretion. He snuck into his victim's home, then gruesomely butchered a grocer and his wife but left without taking any valuables. Police had no suspects but found that these cases were noticeably similar to other crimes against Italian grocers, who had been attacked years earlier by a man with an ax. As the details leaked out to the public, grocers around the city reported their close encounter with this axeman. The city waited in fear until another family was attacked and killed. Then a local newspaper editor received an anonymous letter from the killer saying he would attack again but would spare the lives of those where a jazz band played... What happened to the New Orleans Axeman?
1982-1984 - The Brabant Killers (Nijvel Gang) are a group in Belgium, who committed violent attacks which resulted in 28 people's deaths and another 40 being injured. The notorious gang was known for their excessive use of violence (like killing innocent bystanders and children) and indifference to law enforcement. Their motive for their crimes is still unknown, some believe they were psychopaths, and others think they may have been politically motivated. The statute of limitations on the...Who were The Brabant Killers and why did they commit these crimes?
June 16, 1991 - Father's Day Bank Massacre - On a Sunday morning (which happened to be Father's day) in Denver, Colorado (US), a man showed up outside the building of the United Bank Tower claiming to be the vice president of the bank. When security went down to investigate, the would-be robber showed a handgun to the unarmed guard and forced his way into the bank. He then shot and killed four employees and made off with... Who was behind this massacre?
February 7, 2008 - Greg Rouzers (41) was accused and convicted of the attempted murder of Randolph "Randy" Walters. Greg held some grudge against Randy and his girlfriend Marian Wertz because Marian had once been engaged to Greg's brother (the brother tried to commit suicide at some point during that relationship). While in prison for the attempted killing of Randy, Greg failed twice at trying to hire a hitman to kill Randy. Greg's girlfriend and father were accused of assisting him in those plots. Greg's father was the former neighbor of Revell Jeeter. Greg has told police that he has information on Revell's disappearance Is Greg responsible for Revell's disappearance?
1979 - 1986 The East Area Rapist (Original Night Stalker) – “an unidentified serial killer and rapist who committed 50 rapes in Northern California and murdered twelve people in Southern California” (Wikipedia). He is believed to have started his crime spree as the Visalia Ransacker. Some of the actions of the rapist are puzzling. His.. The East Area Rapist, Part 4
August 8, 2010 - Ben McDaniel (30) disappeared from Ponce de Leon, Florida (US). Ben was a gifted man with an unflinching sense of adventure. He had recently experienced some setbacks, and with the blessing of his family decided to take a sabbatical in Florida. While he was in Florida, Ben pursued his scuba diving passion and made use of the geographical landforms to explore underground caves in his area. Although these dives were considered dangerous, Ben remain undeterred. Ben McDaniel, the diver who vanished from 58ft below the surface of an Underwater Cave. Part 2.5
ASK THE SLEUTHS
Question on the intro sequence of Unsolved Mysteries Discuss
Thoughts about Backmasking? (Playing song backward, where it has a satanic message) Discuss
Looking for French mysteries/disappearances Discuss
What cases are you constantly checking on? Discuss
What mystery is the best case or has the best evidence for the supernatural/extraterrestrial? Discuss
What are some good unresolved WWII Nazi mysteries? Discuss
What subjects would you personally like to see more posts about on this sub? Discuss
Can anyone help me with a mystery from Calgary, Alberta (Canada)? Discuss
Anyone watch 48 Hours tonight? All about Michelle McNamara and EAONS. Discuss
Argh, matey! Avast ye, do any o' ye landlubbers be knowin' o' any legends or stories about hidden booty? (I couldn't help but read this question in a pirate voice, "Do you know any legends or stories of hidden treasure?")Discuss
What is your relationship with your mysteries? Discuss
What's a mystery that has left you completely perplexed because of its weird circumstances? Discuss
Are there any real-life cases about [law enforcement] officers who are actually informants for FBI, CIA or even organized crimes? Discuss
Need help finding similar cases - Murder of Skylar Neese Discuss
Jane Doe drawn with her hand covering her face Discuss
Mysteries where multiple people disappeared? Discuss
What case has 'shattered' your mind because of its grotesque circumstances? Discuss
What are some good solved mysteries? The more puzzling the original mystery the better. Discuss
10th Anniversary of Madeleine McCann disappearance Discuss
What are the chances dollars spent abroad coming back to the USA? What if D.B.Cooper spent it in Mexico? Discuss
Missing Persons Cases Where You Think They're Still Alive? Discuss
How many 'mysterious' missing person cases can be explained by people getting lost in the wilderness and dying as opposed to foul play? Discuss
Lesser known cases of long-term captivity? Discuss
Help remembering a case! (request) - 20-30 something, young woman, had multiple siblings, helped kill father because her mother was cheating, eventually wanted to confess but then disappeared Discuss
Have you ever personally contributed to the solving of an open, unresolved case? Have you ever actively contributed to a case that remains unsolved? Discuss
Mystery Involving 20th Century Military Man - May have served in WWI or II, naval soldier or sailor. ID card issued in Britain, but he was American. The letter "C" was "figured prominently in his name." May be related to Tamam Shud case. Discuss
This is a short story that looks into the life of two lovers. The main character finds himself in a sudden position of success, but he cannot handle the pressure that is a manifestation of his personal fears. His lover helps him along the way, but because he has trouble accepting his identity, the relationship becomes sour over the years. While his lover is loyal to him, loyalty only goes so far. The main character finds himself hitting rock bottom as he uses substances to cope with the pain. It has a classic ending. Bottom line- The Mirror is about accepting who you are as a person and being a homosexual doesn't define you. It is only a sexual preference. This story is one of my most popular writings.
(Creative- Non-Fiction) By: Max Sparrow
I toy with my wedding band. Turning the ring sideways, I let out a sigh, and read the description out-loud. "To my true love, Max.” Today would have been our tenth year wedding anniversary. I pull out a 200 dollar vintage, 2009 bottle of Dom Perignon from the fridge. It was Matt’s favorite beverage, and I sip it slowly. Everybody forms a concept of love that they feed upon as churchgoers feed on scripture and I have come to the dreary conclusion that no human knows what love really is. This thought sways in my head like the gentle branches of a Magnolia tree as I take another sip of the champaign. I look at the busy streets below my penthouse balcony. People move in different directions as they go about their daily tasks. Some carry briefcases while others hold the hands of children. A few walk at a brisk pace, and further down the street, by the subway, tired and weary beggars sit as they cling to the warmth of their jackets. I often wonder what other people feel— if they feel? Do the people walking on the streets feel the same pain that rips me apart?… It is a pain I have never known until I met Matt. It is something that I can only describe as heartache. The story of Matt and I’s separation is long and unhappy. I learned through the moments of my twisted relationship that there are no happy stories in life. There are only happy moments.
I loved looking at the blinking billboards and touring the casinos. As I strolled outside the Las Vegas Walkways and looked at one flashing sign after the other, I was in awe. Each sign was seductive in its own ways. Offering great gambling odds, deals on drinks, and shows. I wondered who replaced the bulbs that burned out and how long the bulbs lasted. A woman’s voice swept out into the streets as she serenaded those passing by the casino doors with a sweet melody. I looked up at a flashing neon sign above me but I didn’t bother to read it. The flash of the bright light and the voice was excitement enough. I fought the bustling crowd as I went inside. There were young couples, groups of people, and in front of me an elderly man who kept shouting over the noise to his wife. “I can’t hear you!” She screamed back and I could see the frustration on her face as she pushed buttons on her hearing aid. I was inclined to give a smile of amusement, but I knew a day would come when I might find myself in the same predicament. I was in my early twenties but everybody told me I had an old maid’s perception about the world. One professor in college looked at me and said, “Max, if you were sliced in half, there would be more rings to count than a 200-year-old tree.” The class laughed but I did not. I knew I was unusual because I saw the world in a different light. It was as if everybody around me was watching the world unfold as if it were a movie in black and white while I was looking at the same movie but in color. I felt and I perceived conflict in society from a much more emotional standpoint. This usual perception of the world led to bouts of depression that interfered with my ability to function. At times, I felt like my mind was being spun in a cement truck— around, and around. I passed through crowds of people and towards the seductive voice of the honey-toned women. She had a soft voice. It was like she was singing a lullaby solely to me. I hadn’t been the only one who heard her as I followed the crowd: “That voice” “I Know!” “Beautiful!” I was almost into the theater hall when my eye caught a waitress gliding down a hallway with a tray of cocktails. Her job was to lubricate spenders on the casino floor as they offered customers something more valuable than money— hope. The creation of this illusion would empty their pockets into the casino’s coffers. “Ma’am,” I hollered through the crowd as I battled my way towards her. She was speeding towards the casino tables in a shimmering sequin dress. I picked up a glass of cabernet as she passed without her noticing me. With my glass of wine I finally entered the room that the sensational voice was drifting from and as my eyes gazed upon this talented singer, my heart cried for her in pity. While I wasn’t a music critic, I thought the packed theater was a testament to her voice’s beauty. Sadly, however, that was all that was beautiful about her. Even from a distance, where I stood, I saw her giant clown nose stretched across her watermelon-shaped head. Giant moles were scattered across her face and she had a drooping double chin. I knew regardless of how wonderful her voice was — what people saw on the outside would always deter her from rising up the ladder of success. I wondered what she saw when she looked in the mirror? I was moseying about aimlessly and it was close to midnight when I thought I should turn in. It had been a night full of blinking signs, gasping gamblers, and good wine. I was struggling to walk in a straight line and had lost count of how many drinks I had. My vacation was almost over, I thought dreadfully. I had a consistent problem of taking joy away from things that had yet to end. I was mauling over the return to Louisiana in two days. “Back to the same old,” I told myself. In my mind, I began weaving unneeded thoughts of distress of returning home to the hot sticky, humid town of Baton Rouge when I collided with another person. The content of my glass went flying across the man’s white shirt. “I am so sorry— oh God— I am so sorry," I was babbling frantically. "I will give you money to pay for the dry cleaning,” I said, and I was panicking. When I looked up, I went silent. Our eyes met, and we both looked into each other’s eyes. He had the slightest smile on his face and his eyes were the warmest and inviting blues I had ever seen. “I’m Matt,” he said as he broke the silence and extended a hand. He didn’t seem the least bit bothered that his shirt was soaked in red wine. “I am Max," I replied and shook his hand nervously. "And the name of the red wine on your shirt is cabernet." He laughed at that, and I smiled. “Would you like to have a drink with me at the bar?” He asked and I couldn’t help but stare at him curiously for a moment. His eyes lit up but brighter than any moon I had seen, and they glistened with more beauty than any stars. I saw the entire universe dancing in his eyes. Even more— they lit a fire in me. I tended not to engage with men that made my heart feel the slightest bit warm. Love was a foreign concept that I evaded because I saw it as mindless and irrational. I have scoffed at many people who have told me that I might one day be at its mercy. At that moment I would have had to agree. “Yes, sure a drink,” I said. He led the way to the bar. We talked late into the night. Matt was a professor of psychology but when he asked me what my profession was— I paused. I tipped my drink and guzzled down the contents of the glass before responding. My eyes found their way to the bottom of the floor. “I recently submitted a book for publication. I was given an advance and I thought— what the hell— I’ll go to Las Vegas.” I answered while I propped my head up with my elbow on the bar counter. “I find that incredibly romantic,” He replied softly as he leaned in and gave me a gentle kiss. As our lips met I felt a rush of ecstasy flush through my body. I should have walked away but I couldn’t. There was something about his charm that held me captive. “So, you’re a writer?” He asked, pulling away from my lips and brushing his long bangs away from his dazzling blue eyes. I wanted to grab him by the shirt with my fists and press my lips against his while we tumbled down upon the ground in passion. I downed another drink before replying, “Yes I am. I am a writer.” Matt smiled at this. He told me that he had come to Las Vegas on a similar mission— to explore. “I love traveling. There is so much beauty in the world, and I don’t want to miss any of it.” “Where have you traveled to?” I asked as my eyes were drawn to the red wine stain on his neatly button-down shirt. A simple mistake that could shift the direction of my life. Such irrelevant choices could lead to profound change— simplicity is underrated, I decided at that moment. “Oh, I have been to the United Kingdom. I love Paris and London. I fell in love with their culture. One of my favorite things to do was look down from my studio apartment at night and watch people bustling in the busy street below.” He placed his hand on mine. It felt warm. It felt right. I loved it. We spent hours talking about our traveling experiences. Our conversation would begin to die down after a couple hours and he we stared at each other for several seconds of comfortable silence. “Wanta come to my hotel room?” I did not hesitate. Downing another shot of vodka, I said, “Let’s go!” We got married in Las Vegas and exchanged wedding rings. Matt told me that night, I had something special about me. I was innocent and beautiful. I wanted to believe that. I moved with Matt to Arizona where he worked at a local college, and my book was published. It received good reviews, and it appeared in every bookstore. The book consisted of many references to the homosexual lifestyle and the fear and shame I had because of my sexuality. People bought it. Some Christian fanatic groups burned my books— but either way— my book was being purchased. One week after it was released I was drunk more than usual, and I shared my feelings with Matt. “I am not somebody who deserves success,” I said. Matt eyed me curiously before smiling at me. “We all deserve success, Max. I believe true success is happiness,” he replied. “Are you happy?” He asked me. I thought about what he said for several moments as I looked off in a daze and into the blackness of the night in the far window of the room. Finally, I reconnected my eyes with his and said softly, “Let’s have a martini.” Matt laughed at me. The publisher called me a week and a half after the book's release. They insisted that I go on tour and begin writing another book. After I hung up the phone, I picked up Matt’s cigarettes. It had been years since I last smoked, but the slender tubes of tobacco calmed my nerves. I was laying in bed with Matt as I hung up the phone and struck a flame to my cigarette. “What the hell are you doing?” Matt asked as he lay on his side and looked at me curiously. “That was the publisher,” I said as I adjusted my head against the pillow and took deep breathes from the cigarette. “I don’t want you smoking, Max,” Matt said as he tried to take the cigarette from my hand. I pulled it out of his reach. Mat looked at me with discerning eyes before asking, “What did the publisher say?” “I-I- I don’t want to talk about.” I stood up from the bed and paced back and forth. I was puffing on the cigarette with such fury that the coal had already dwindled to the filter. The heat of the ash could be felt on my knuckles. This was my chance, I thought to myself. I had an opportunity, to show my skill but I knew, I could serenade the audience with beautiful words just like that singer serenaded me in Las Vegas. I could writer wonderful pieces of literature for the publishing firm but at the end of the day when we both looked in the mirror, we were hideous. These thoughts of despair might have all been all in my head but when you believe something long enough, it becomes a truth. I turned towards Matt and relayed what the publisher said. He laughed. “You just got great news, and you are stressed?” Matt replied as he continued to smile. “What is it you’re afraid of?” I looked at Matt and was silent. “Well, let’s hope you never win the lottery. God forbid— cause that would make you go nuts!” He continued to laugh, but I looked away. I finally said in a whimper, “I can’t, Matt. I can’t handle the pressure. I can’t do this.” I put my cigarette out in the ashtray and lay beside him on the bed. He grabbed my shoulder as he nestled my head on his lap. “Yes, you can— I believe in you, and I know you can do this.” He said soothingly while he stroked my hair. He lifted my chin with his hand and gave me a tender kiss. I would begin to promote my book, and started writing the next one. Matt and I would travel the country. The first trip we took was to Chicago, and I was nervous. The doctor prescribed me Ativan. I ate them like tic-tacs. With the Ativan and alcohol mixed, I could successfully handle book reviews and attend book signings with ease. When people thanked me for writing my book, I couldn’t help but squint my eyes in puzzlement and wonder how they could not see who I really was. Yet I still managed to say, “It was my honor.” I pulled it off these events successfully. While I signed books; I took praise, and made small talk with people who bought my works, Matt was in charge of filling the coffee cup with vodka. I would sip on it while listening to people tell me how much my book meant to them. My repertoire with the public was considered incredibly positive as I began to engage with bigger audiences and more fans. I remember the day we ended the publicity campaigns. “I gotta to tell you-you're amazing with people.” I looked at Matt as he collapsed into a chair at the airport. “Looks can be deceiving," I replied and smiled but it was a meager smile. Earlier that day we had attended the last promotional event. It was late afternoon, and we were waiting to board a plane back to Arizona. My attention was focused on the bottle of Ativan I was emptying into my hand. “Why are you taking so many pills?” Matt asked curiously. I didn't reply until he stood up and snatched the bottle from my hands. “You don't need these,” he said, pulling the bottle above his head and out of my grasp. Matt was taller than me. “Please give them to me,” I begged. “Please.” For a moment he looked at me carefully. Then he handed me the bottle but was silent. He was silent the entire plane trip home. I preferred the silence. Days would pass slowly for me. I stayed in our house for lengthy periods of time with curtains drawn and the lights off. I would lay down in bed while I typed my book. Once a month I would make an appearance and read lines from my new work. The readings continued to go well, but as deadlines approached for my second manuscript, I would drink even heavier. Matt continually insisted that we socialize. I was content to drink away the night as my fingers glided across the keyboard. My refusal to accompany Matt outside of our apartment started fights. It would lead to the first of several eruptions. “Max, for fuck sake, we are going out!” He hollered. He was already dressed and looked charming in his blue jeans, Tommy Hilfiger shirt, and a sports coat that fit snugly on him. His black hair was combed to the side. “I have to write,” I replied as I took a long drag from the cigarette and exhaled slowly. That was only half of the truth. “Every day it’s the same shit. You say you will go out with me and never do,” Matt protested as he slammed his hand down on the desk I was typing on. “Look, Max, I know your work is important, but you are becoming obsessed with this. Let that go... Common, Please! We can go to some clubs. Get drunk. Trust me— it will be fun. We can get a banana daiquiri— your favorite,” Matt said as his voice became relaxed. He stood behind me while he rubbed my shoulders. When I didn’t reply he went to the windows and begun to open drapes as he let the rays of the setting sun shun through the windows. At last, I looked up at him with weary eyes, as he said, “We can go out dancing. Perhaps we could dance to your favorite song? The first song we danced too.” Matt walked over to me and grabbed both of my hands and said, “Look into my eyes.” I did, but only for a moment. “I have to work,” I repeated as I pulled my hands away. I began to peck away at the keys. Matt stood still, but I knew he was staring coldly at me. He was angry and I didn’t know how to properly communicate what I was feeling. Perhaps if I had been able to communicate my feelings— maybe our relationship could have been saved. “Fuck you, Max,” he said and he left the apartment. That was the first time he cursed at me. After he left, I put my cigarette out in the ashtray and covered my face with my hands as I cried. Matt continued to pressure me to leave the apartment. We were in New York for an appointment with my publisher when Matt had a volatile explosion that would be the worst confrontation the two of us had during the relationship. “Max, please, let’s go out,” He begged. “This is New York City.” I looked up at him and shook my head no, back and forth. I was stumbling to the bar in the apartment. “I have been by your side and hold your hand through everything! I gave up my job! There isn’t a thing I haven’t done for you! I want to go out, common, Max. You will have a great time.” I was no longer paying attention to Matt. Instead, I was busy fixing a drink and laying out different Benzos on a table. Matt stood still as he awaited my response until he realized he wasn’t getting one. He walked to me, took the glass out of my hand and threw it at the wall where it shattered. Then he picked up the pill bottle with an assortment of different Benzo’s. “What the fuck are you doing!” I screamed. “Are you in love with me or these pills?” He hollered back as he walked into the bathroom. He unscrewed the top of the bottle and emptied the contents into the toilet. With my teeth gritted I said, “Who the fuck do you think you are?” I grabbed him around the waist as the two of us struggled. He was more powerful and hurled me against the bathroom wall where I slumped down and began to cry. “Are you crying over me or your pills?” He asked in a flare of anger as his eyes glared down at me. Then he left the apartment. My second book came out, and it too was well received. Not long after its release, I signed a contract for a third book. Matt and I toasted our fifth anniversary. “I do love you Matt— I do— ya know,” I said as our glasses clinked together. That was the bitter truth. “And I also love you,” he replied, but I felt his words were cold and distant. “Why do you love me?” When I asked this question, Matt looked at me with a narrow gaze. He seemed at a distance. “I just do,” he said and then stood up, and walked away. My drinking increased as my third book progressed, and I would start to find another love— opiates. I found mixing liquor, Benzo’s and opiates together gave a fantastic high. At first, I took prescription painkillers but this quickly progressed to snorting heroin. Matt would find me passed out in front of my computer screen, picked me up, and tucked me into bed. He had stopped flushing my drugs down the toilet. When I awoke in the morning, I would find him beside me in the bed watching television. While my relationship deteriorated, the press I worked for insisted that I continued to tour and conduct readings. The publishing house worked me like a slave, but I was living a life of luxury. I was in a theater in New York, and drinking heavily. The previous night Matt had not come home. I questioned him about it and he said, “If you went out with me, maybe you would have a clue what I am doing!” Since I had engaged in heavy drugs, our sexual relationship had perished. I asked him if he was seeing somebody else, but he didn’t answer. Instead, he walked away from me. His overnight disappearance and possible affair led me to drink heavily on the day of a major book reading. Matt insisted that they call off the event, but I ignored him. I stumbled across the stage and to the podium where l looked out across the hundreds of people. They were all staring back at me— waiting for me to read— clueless about who I really was. These must be weak people, I thought. After staring blankly at the audience for several moments I would proceed to read a portion of my book as words tumbled out of my mouth in slurs. After the event, I was told that almost everything I said was incomprehensible. I would publish my third book, and despite my crude behavior during that reading, it was still a success. The publishing house continued to request my appearance at public events, but Matt was given the authority to stop it if I was inebriated. I signed a document that gave Matt the authority to pull the plug. My drug use continued, and Matt called off many promotional events. We fought tirelessly and when he asked me to talk to him, I couldn’t. The bickering continually worsened until the final night. I was snorting heroin off the sink. In ten minutes I was going to be a guest speaker at a local television station. This was the first time I had done heroin outside of the apartment. There was a knock on the bathroom door. I finished the line of heroin, stood up, and proceeded to the door, but I couldn’t walk. I fell down on my face and lay helplessly. The door finally swung open. Matt looked at me on the floor. “Help me,” I begged my hand outreached towards him. “Please," I repeated. The last thing I remembered was his cold calculated gaze bearing into my eyes— I was desperate and miserable, lying hopelessly on a bathroom floor. I was a man that many people referred to as a brilliant writer but if you don’t see it in yourself, I suppose it doesn’t matter what other people see in you. When I looked in the mirror I saw a person who flawed beyond repair and fighting a battle in life he would never win. I saw a man with a giant nose, covered in moles, and a double chin. I saw a failure. I awoke in my penthouse apartment, under the covers and I was relieved that Matt had brought me home. The heroin must have been cut with something. “You need help, and I am just— I am not the one to help you,” Matt said. I was trying to get the computer in my lap but stopped to look up at him. “Look at you. You can barely hold your head up.” “I don’t know what to say. I - I am struggling. You know that,” I said softly. “Max, I am sick of this relationship. I am sick of dealing with you when you are high. I feel like a fucking babysitter,” Matt scowled, and we stared at each other. He picked up his keys and headed for the apartment door. “Wait, Matt,” I pleaded. He did not pay me any attention. I watched as the penthouse door slammed closed and I let out a long sigh. That night I worked furiously on my computer as I wrote the beginning of my new book. I struggled to stay awake as I waited for Matt to come home so that we could talk seriously. He didn’t come home that night. I fell asleep. I awoke the next day— one year ago to this day— and while most people would describe it as a fabulous April day; I looked out the large bay windows and managed to distort the suns rays, and cloudless sky into a dark, miserable world. I stumbled out of bed as I yelped in pain from a nasty hangover. I looked at my watch. It was 1:30 in the afternoon. “Matt,” I said as I looked over to his side of the bed where he normally sat and watched television. He hadn’t come to bed, and I realized the television wasn’t on. “Matt?!” I cried. The shower wasn’t running. He hadn’t returned, and I expected him to come back in the next few hours or the next day. I was beginning to turn back to the bedroom when I noticed something on the door leading outside of the suite. I walked to it. Taped to the door was his wedding ring, along with a note. The note read, “Many years ago you said you couldn’t do this, and I had responded, ‘Yes, you can— I believe in you, and I know you can do this.’ Max, you can’t do this. When we first met, I loved you, but you’re the person I want to be with. I think you are a monster. You’re on your own.” I now sit on the balcony downing champagne as I realize that I am living in Fear— Fear of success— Fear of living— Fear of intimacy— Fear of judgment— Fear that I will never be good enough. Fear of who I am. Fear is all I see when I look in the mirror. *****Please Subscribe To Get More Information on Published Stories and Book Releases***** Appreciate Comments VISIT MY WEBSITE AT www.maxsparrowbooks.com For Blog and More Reads
Trip to Baton Rouge, LA - Any tips for running locations/safety?
So, tomorrow I am supposed to drive out to Baton Rouge and spend the next 4 days at a conference. I'm looking for some locations to run so I don't have to suffer as much on the hotel treadmill but I hear a lot of different things. Anybody have any tips/ideas or insight on the area surrounding the Convention Center, Belle Casino, or the Hilton Capitol? Thanks in advance!
I have lyrics and chords on the iPad they let us bring on stage. if a song i dont know gets requested a lot, i'm losing money by not knowing it, so i learn it. but sometimes, if i really love a song, i learn it. the last song i learned bc i liked it was "Diane Young" (from the new vampire weekend record). sounds fucking great on piano too.
One friday night about a year ago, i was singing "hotel california" to the piano bar full of people (i think it was around superbowl time. totally packed). anyways, i get to the line in the song "they stab it full of steely knives, but they just cant kill the BEAST." As soon as I say the word "Beast," all of the lights in the room go out. Pitch darkness.
Everyone starts to freak out, yelling, spilling drinks, trying to head for the exit but theres no light, glass everywhere.
Turns out it was a result of a black out in the entire french quarter. Everyone had to leave, because power wouldn't be restored for hours.
Apart from that, Mario Lopez was in the piano bar last night, so i guess that's just as crazy (AC Slater requesting "tiny dancer"). I got douche chills..
The application process involved me calling the GM every day for like a month, telling him i'd play for free for a week, etc. i was pretty persistent (read: annoying) i initially didn't get the job, and had to move to pennsylvania for a few years bc of hurricane katrina. when i got back, the GM called me to play, so i found a replacement piano player for the casino gig i was at, & drove straight there from mississippi. been there ever since.
$1500 to play American Pie. Apparently the guy had just won a whole lot of money at the casino, and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. You better believe I played every damn verse of that song. There's at least 483 verses, fyi.
Its hard to explain, but because i mainly am playing by ear for work, i just have to be familiar enough with a song, the general "vibe" or rhythmic feeling it has, and its not that hard. i have the ipad at work mainly for the lyrics. ALSO, i am pretty terrible at remembering peoples names/faces. i have the suspicion that all that space in my memory is being used up by shitty jimmy buffett songs.
Funny celeb story, zac brown was in the piano bar like 3 months ago, and i was sort of nervous because everyone was requesting zac brown songs. its nerve-racking playing someones song in front of them. i mean, fuck that. seriously. anyways, i played "colder weather" and it went OK and then i noticed the guy had signed "Thanks for the music. -Zach" on the napkin. he was totally NOT fucking zac brown (theres no "H" in his name), he was just a hillbilly with a trucker hat and a grizzly adams beard drinking bud light and signing autographs, hitting on girls. dude fooled the entire place for 2 hours, taking pictures, etc. in retrospect, it was pretty hilarious.
Michael buble came in after a show here in new orleans and was super nice to everyone, taking pictures etc. apparently he requested one of his own songs "save the last dance." During the superbowl in Feb, we had a ton of celebs come through. jerry rice, jason bateman (hero), billionaire jerry jones (great tipper ;), got to meet michael phelps, everyone was super nice. andy roddick and brooklyn decker came awhile back, she requested "don't stop believing." (i DEFINITELY didn't smell the napkin after she handed it to me like a creeper. promise.). the crossbow dude from "the walking dead" comes in every year for new orleans comicon, super nice guy. and last, but certainly not least, Lance Bass.
I guess bayou classic only because its the most dangerous weekend of the year. also, never to wear a pink tie during "southern decadence" weekend. huge mistake, though the crowd is actually really fun and they are good tippers.
In the history of the piano bar, i'd have to say either willie nelson or kenny rodgers, though this was before my time. we do get a fair amount of celebs but i havent had any notable sit-ins, unfortunately...
Thanks man, i am on stage performing at least 20 hours a week. besides that, i am always learning new songs, writing songs, thinking about music. just finished a music video for a new music project. i also do a considerable amount of session work, where people hire me to play piano in the studio for hip hop/country/liturgical/anything... helps to be versatile.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes. my immediate reaction when i hit a wrong note or can't reach a high vocal parts is to smile. we're not performing brain surgery over here. if you stress out over it, the audience can tell. have fun and enjoy it. shake it off, homie.
You will learn SO MUCH MORE from bad gigs than from good ones. and you WILL have some awful gigs, starting out. learn from them. (i still have bad nights all the time)
Don't underestimate the power of a good business card. with design/printing, they may cost you 150-200 bucks, BUT the'll last you for years. makes you look professional. also, always overdress for gigs.
Lastly, i'd recommend going to a nursing home that has a piano sometime and play for the elderly. not only is it good karma, but they are the easiest audience you'll ever have. it will be the highlight of their day, even if you sound terrible:)
Good luck, and feel free to email me if u have any more questions: mageezbeats at gmail.
Woof... i'd rather not try and embarass myself trying to rock out some steely dan on the piano. shit is written for 12-string and is crazy. musically brilliant, but cray. lived in bethlehem, pennsylvania and finished my bachelors in music performance degree at Lehigh University (was at Tulane)
Watched the first episode and but didn't watch anymore. i'm sure its a good show, but it is literally like walking outside of my apartment and walking around (i live in the french quarter near the marigny / treme area). would you watch a show about your yard and job and your neighbors and yourself? too familiar to be interesting. but i do love the wire, so david simon knows whats up.
I don't love bourbon street. actually, i havent gone out on bourbon street in years. frenchman has a lot more new orleans authentic jazz groups and a more laid back / less touristy atmosphere by far. when i have a night off, i usually just watch netflix.
Some piano bars do that, but at the one I work at, we don't stop playing songs just because someone throws money at us. As far as the hardest song I know, it's a toss-up between "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" and "Changes" by Tupac.
Its hard to rap like Tupac and play relatively-complicated bruce hornsby chord changes at the same time. Like patting your head & rubbing your belly at the same time.
Was hired to interview birdman for YRB magazine a few years back, unrelated to the piano bar (i'm not a journalist by any means but a friend needed a favor). he was wearing an all gucci tracksuit and showed up in a stretch PT cruiser. true story.
As far as bourbon st goes, i wouldnt recommend any novelty drinks whatsoever unless you want a hangover. but that's my personal preference bc i hate sugary drinks. some of my girl friends love the "190 octane" daiquiris (they are deceptively strong too)
Without going into specifics about my particular place of work, a piano bar is a place where people can sit a table with their friends, write down song requests on a napkin or paper, and hand it to the players (sometimes with tips, sometimes not). then they get served a strong mixed drink concoction, and enjoy hearing their favorite songs live. it's like a concert where you determine the playlist, and everyone, including the patrons, can sing along and interact with the show. if you want to know about bourbon street in general, i dont know where to begin... it's a place where bad decisions are made, the original "boulevard of broken dreams."
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