For a few weeks now, the tears have been just under the surface. It doesn't take much . . . remembering something the Old Woman liked, or said, or wished she'd done would bring them rolling.
So, I was a little afraid that my quick weekend in NOLA would turn me into a sloppy, weepy, sad drunk. I'm happy to report, I only dissolved into tears once.
Phenom and I met my oldest, dearest friend in the world and her husband in NOLA. This was her first trip. He'd gone once before in another lifetime, but it wasn't the right experience. Pretty much, the agenda was to eat and drink our way across the city. And, we accomplished that goal.
We ate oysters in every possible variation. Pounds and pounds of crawfish did not die in vain. And cocktails were plenty. We took one afternoon, and barhopped the "finer" establishments . . . the Sazerac, the Carousel Bar, and the French 75. All this, after having lunch at our favorite Herbsaint.
I felt a tad guilty, having so much fun on the heels of sadness. As we were leaving, I was reading the introduction to the new NOLA cocktails book we bought. The authors said that New Orleanians embrace eating and drinking and all the good things in life not out of tireless joy, but from the awareness of inevitable sorrow. Sounds about right.