» Town Full of Hoors «
Kevin McGowin
5 ... Where Your Narrator Shares With You Some Truths About Relationships in New Orleans ...

Call me Raphael Fleetwhite.
        That's no more my name than it is yours, but for the time being we'll just make like it is so I can feel like someone I'm not. Which is quite easy to do in New Orleans. Especially when you become that person.
        I moved back here for good after a brief stint as a Different Man in the Northeast after I got fucked over by two Aries bitches in, like, the same month. I started wishing to God I was in High School again. Or something. So I came back here.
        Whatever your deal is, it'll find you eventually, and whatever you want to find, you'll find it in New Orleans. What I wanted to find was Pussy. Sure, you can be living in Cincinnati or somewhere and if you want some, or if you want some cock, or some teats to suckle on or someone to slap you with a riding crop while playing Don Henley songs at full volume, well, just go to matchmaker.com and POOF! There it is. Even if you live in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
        But in Nola, every other woman or girl or fellow or goat you see or run into is what we used to call in High School, "fuckable." Which means not only are they able to be fucked, they're actively dying for you to up and fuck them, see! So, within the first month after I'd moved back in my pumpkin-colored 1976 microbus, I'd had five different ones. Some of those several times and in different positions, I should add. The next month, it was seven. Then . . . you guessed it, nine! Sex is, like death, an odd-numbered thing. This isn't the first Major American Novel of my generation to make that observation, either. But I don't teach literature no more. I used to, to adolescents, until I began to observe their fuckability. Now I just write papers for them to give those stupid motherfuckers who teach them these days. One of my best, "The Scottish Tragedy: Another Look at the Subtext of the Bard's Great Sex Farce" is out there on the Internet. Except my name's not on it. Anyway,
        I'll tell you what else is odd-numbered. The number of times a real Hoor'll fuck you. It's either once or it's thrice, never two times. Rarely five, either. Never give a woman your hard one a second time if you know there won't be a third. And never let it go past that. Why? Because in this town, there's always another one you've never fucked and sweet GOD do you want to. And we don't live forever, as several people have convincingly demonstrated.
        Look, I don't mean to be offensive or nuttin', I'm just going into what they used to call First Person here to let you know what I'm gonna talk about here in this section: just how easy it is to get your cock into some not at all undesirable twattle here in the Crescent City. And you don't have to be sober, either. Better you're not, actually. Hey, look. You're in the City, now. And this ain't no Andy Williams kinda world. Lots of this I know because it Comes with my Job. I work at the French Quarter Wedding Chapel. That's what I do for a Living here in New Orleans. I arrange to get drunken tourists on Bourbon Street hitched, legally, for $99 at this place near Jackson Square. Jackson Square is near Pirate's Alley, which is near this yellow house that one of those Southern Writers used to pass out in, and all this shit's close to the Mississippi River, which has rats the size of hallucinations mutating out of its putrid waters. I think Jackson Square's supposed to be kinda like the Tuleries in Paris, but it is, in matter of fact, pretty FAR from what Paris is like, and why these people want to get married where some dude just barfed after he booted up too much heroin damned if I know, but who the hell am I to talk, anyway. I was married in a very beautiful place, myself, and now I'm not married, and I had something of a honeymoon over here on Royal Street, but oh well ANYWAY. They always want to pass some more statutes to clean this place up, but old history never rubs off, it just keeps coming up thru the pores like last night's booze. God save the queen. We mean it, man.
        So when the going got tough, you could count on Raphael Fleetwhite to get divorced, renounce God, and start hanging out all night on Decatur Street after a short day at the Office watching all these people in vampire costumes stagger around talking on cell phones about how they met the Famous Rock Star who lives here, him and the Famous Writer. Those two. Or the Folk Singer. Or the Photographer. Or the Ambulance Driver. Or the motherfucking Riverboat Captain. This other boat out here on the River, its name is Natchez. It is nothing like that place in Mississippi, though. It's like the ferry that the dude sails across that Other River singing "Come sail away with me, lads" in a voice that sounds like some Toulouse Street Biker Fag after a handsome toke of helium.
        So somebody once said or wrote There is No Beauty Except in Decay, and when I arrange for people to get married in my Chapel I think THAT is the line we should use for civil ceremonies, not "I do" — see, these are both of them DECLARATIVE statements, and all declarative statements like "I do," I will," "I am," etc. are invariably bullshit, I do not CARE if it's attributed to God or Coleridge or Paul McCartney. So why not the other D/s instead? Because it TOO is bullshit. Like something a stoned French Poet would come up with. Not the stoned American poets, who live in Baltimore, San Francisco, New York and Macon, Georgia. No, people in New Orleans write fiction, and they write plays, or else they take pictures of the shit people are writing about. Why? Because New Orleans is NOT REALLY HERE, that's why. A convenient fiction of the aging South, is all. See why you couldn't remember that night at Pat O'Brien's, Arkansas Fratboys?
        Me, I much prefer the people who take pictures of things that aren't really there, like Love between the people married by a Mexican Jew with a License to Marry People at The French Quarter Wedding Chapel. We have a webcam, too. So Roger Bleets of Glory, Nebraska, the Chimney Sweep, can log on and rub his dick thinking about what a blast it would be to be in Nola right about now. Well, remember when we landed on the Moon? No? Well, I can't remember the 60s, either. And that famous play about the Trolley that alcoholic homo wrote, the one that starred that fucker who goes to Paris and gets his self shot, hey! You thought that was a HAPPY play, huh? Well, I guess it's happier than most. Let's hear you say "Let the good times roll" in French. You're a New & Better Man. Well, well, well, Dr. Robert.
        Last night, while walking my ass down Decatur or Burgundy or 5th Avenue or some damn place, I heard this drunk Italian hoe screaming at her little boy that (and I give you the literal translation, just like they do in the Bible) he was a stupid fucking bastard and he ought to go jump in the river if he ever did it again. The daddy was saying "basta" to his sleazy woman (that means "That'll be MORE than enough, hoe.") but I tell you whatever Guido did in this place to invoke the ire of his Mammy he damn well deserved it, and THEN some, especially since he didn't REALLY do it, but 10 to 1 he'll be an adult and end his ass up in New Orleans staggering across Canal Street with a hypo dangling out of his arm. Hey! Don't be bashing your children's dreams, or your granddad's, either. They'll end up like Raphael Fleetwhite. Saying, "Speaking. Yes, this is Fleetwhite. Fine, and you? Yes, five would be fine, fine by me, Mr. Fleetwhite" and that is something you're REALLY gonna regret.
        But at MY wedding chapel, we still give out Mardi Gras beads made out of glass, like they used to be until about 1856 or something. Yes indeed, the town that Care Forgot. So I forgot it, too. M. Toujours! I am. I will.
        I do.
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