Bourbon Street

   When I entered the French Quarter, I felt and smelled the rich history of Jazz and everything that goes with it.

   I felt a little selfish because I was glad to be alone.

   But it felt so good to be able to experience everything in my way and with my emotions.

   Words were only distracting noises.

   There were tap-dancers on the street and the sounds of Jazz and Dixieland came from the many Jazz clubs situated on this street.

   It was around half past ten when I walked back from the other end of this famous street. When I was halfway back, I could not resist the sound of Jazz anymore. 

   Above the entry of a club, situated on a corner of the Bourbon Street and a small dark alley, I saw a sign above the entrance that read “Maison Bourbon dedicated to the preservation of Jazz”.

   Promising! So I went inside!

   No band was playing, and the room was only half-full with public. 

   It made me hesitate and I thought about a quick exit.

   On the other hand, the atmosphere was really jazzy.

   Pictures and posters covered the walls with famous Jazz musicians.

   This atmosphere deserved an honest chance!

   To be absolutely sure, I asked a waitress about the program for that evening.

   She told me that life Jazz would start at ten.

   I could select a good place in front of the podium and asked the waitress for a beer which cost me $3.25.

   While I was waiting, accompanied by my beer, more and more people came in.

   Around ten, the Jazz club was overcrowded.    

   From the conversations of people around me, I understood it was a performance of some legends in Jazz and most of the visitors came especially for the pianist.


   Their names did not ring a bell, but that tells more about my knowledge of Jazz, which was very basic.


   I told myself to write down the name of the band as soon as I was at the YMCA.

   I was glad I decided to visit a Jazz club tonight. In case I would find out tomorrow that Stephan isn’t interested in life Jazz, it wouldn’t be a big deal for me anymore.

   The excitement of the crowd affected me too.

   On both sides of me, a couple joined my table.

   Soon the glasses beer filled the table.

   I ordered a second beer because all the excitement made me thirsty.


   At 10:45pm22:45, forty-five minutes later than the waitress told me I watched a scene that I will never forget.

   The first thing I saw was a gigantic fat ass, slowly followed by the rest of the body. This butt wobbled, trying to move the curtains that separated backstage from the podium. The feet associated with this bottom moved, shuffling backwards and in an awkward way.

   When his head appeared, from behind the curtains, it was completely red in stress and his mouth was panting like a winded dog.

   The only part I was missing was his left arm, but a little later the reason for his exhaustion was suddenly clear to me.

   The first thing that came along with the arm of the fat-guy was the left side of something that looked like a piano stool.

   Something was sitting on that chair. It was a severe frail man who was too weak to walk.

He was very, very old and after a quick scan, my eyes stayed focused on the hands of the men.

   I had never seen fingers as long as his.

   Because the man and his hands were very small, his fingers seemed even longer.    

   A third person carrying the other side of the piano stool followed the pianist.

   It took the two men ten minutes to carry the old legend to a Steinway’s piano, placed at the center of the stage.

   Still, on his seat, they positioned the pianist in front of the Steinways.

   To me, the Steinway seemed too big for this old man.

   The only one who saw the funny part of this whole entry was me.

   All other visitors stood up, applauded and enthusiastically calling the name of the pianist fulfilled with respect.

   The enthusiasm of the audience took me too.

   I felt I knew the man, a man I’d never met before

   In a split second, it was also completely normal for me.

   After the last standing ovation, everyone sat down, some were already emotional. The next ten minutes the band was tuning their instruments and at 11:15pm23:15, the band started with their performance and overwhelmed me completely.

   The old man was the Central Point and the others were extras.

   In ninety minutes, the band played many Jazz classics.

   I lost track of time and smelled the intense atmosphere.

   Like the others, I sometimes closed my eyes not to be disturbed by the surroundings.

   It was also nice to see the audience respond to the way the old man was playing.

   When I looked around, I saw grown-up men with tears in their eyes.


   The ninety minutes went by too quickly. Even when the old man finished playing and moved backstage the visitors were cheering.

   Almost without realizing, I conquered five large glasses of beer, offered by the couples next to me.

   I had to promise them to tell my country about this great Jazz player.


   Once outside the club, I felt the alcohol was running around in my brain, and it still was a long walk to Lee circle.

   It was well after midnight but still crowded in the street, and tap dancers did their tricks.

   When I was almost at the end of Bourbon Street, I heard a loud shared laughter of five probably a little bit tipsy ladies who stood in front of a strip-club.

   I guess they had just experienced some exciting things inside.

   One of them looked at me and whispered something to the others.   

   When I passed the group this black beauty, I guess twice as old as me, stepped out of a group and came straight at me.

   Before I knew, she kissed me full on the mouth with her tongue trying to penetrate my mouth and her hands pinching hard into my ass.

   Her strong hands prevented me to struggle against her kiss.

   The amount of beer made my resistance low and my mind week.  

   Her tongue tasted like a liqueur of a very high alcohol percentage.

   To be honest it was a delicious liqueur.

   After her breathtaking kiss, she whispered something in my ear.

   “You have a lot to learn, and I will be your teacher tonight.”

   For a moment, I was perplexed, and I stuttered a few stupid Dutch words.    

   Luckily, I regained myself in time.

   Despite the alcohol, I came with the only proper response in which nobody got angry or hurt.

   “It’s a very tempting proposal, but my wife is waiting for me in the hotel.

   She is very envious and suspicious!”

   As a response, she pinched my ass harder and then left me, searching for her next prey.

   The other four ladies, who were standing ten steps from us, burst into a loud unrestrained laughter, so intense that tears came out of their eyes.

   It was a long walk, and I was disordered by the beer, the jazz, and the black lady, so I don’t remember much about my way back.

   Probably my instinct brought me in front of the YMCA at 2:00am2:00.

   When I was in my room and in my bed, I could not sleep because my head was full of new impressions.