Oh gosh, where do I start? A lot was happening in the past weeks. Even if I came back from the trip, it was still a blur, bliss, mixed bag of emotions, and unusual events. I can write my life stories into series of books, but then nobody would have the time to read them all because so many situations happen. Haha.
Why New Orleans and not Las Vegas?
I dodged the Vegas tour with my bosses and some coworkers for many reasons. They most often won’t go for local foods or try new things. They just rarely go out of their comfort zone. Versus me, I’m pretty adventurous when I travel unaccompanied. Because nobody knows who I am, I could be a little devil in that regard and bring someone back to the hotel room while not getting judged by it.
I don’t have to stack with the boys in one hotel room either. Come on now; it’s not college time anymore.
But the crucial justification I decided I had to go somewhere was that I didn’t want to stay at the shop and work with just the 3 of us: my boss’ sister, Danny and me. You know how I “love” Danny.
Great minds think alike because Danny did the same thing and hopped West to California before we even started the journey. So it forced Tracy to close down the shop because everybody would leave except for her sister, who doesn’t speak English. Lol.
It’s legit the first time I’ve ever seen this shop close down for more than one day. Lol. When she had a family member passed away in OKC, the shop was still open, and she was working! Her hand was forced in this case, but shh, don’t tell her that.
I’ll skip the main NOLA tours and mention other stuff, so I won’t repeat myself because I plan to post the tours separately and with a different, brighter tone.
But I planned to visit my friend for one week. That’s it. So I don’t have to work during those four days when everyone is away. My friend, however, would be occupied with her fiance’s family during my first two days. So I checked the geography map and was like, hey, let’s detour to New Orleans for a few days. I’ve never been there before. And now that I’m back, it’s tough not to think about NOLA at all or the memories it traces behind.
Yep, a friend that I’ve known for 16 years since high school. I visited her in person to congratulate her engagement. I brought some handmade aprons, pot holders, oven mitts, and a romantic recipe book.
I don’t think they expected me to bring anything, so they were both astonished. Her fiance took a liking to the recipe and read it all night.
The next day I took 36 mins Uber to visit NASA. There are two different NASA addresses. Lol. Dumb me didn’t know that.
2 mins before we got to our destination, my driver, was like do I have an ID to enter base? I was like, “Mmm, I’m sorry, sir? What? I tried to get to NASA, the space camp?”
He got a quick turnaround. Then I made sure to punch in the correct address so he wouldn’t get his lost miles. Remember, it’s space & rocket center. So you won’t go to the developer’s area next time. Lol. The space camp should be worthwhile, but I intended to be around friends, so maybe next time.
Next, I visited Lowe Mill Arts, which is revamped from a textile factory. It’s wow, one of the most creative art centers I’ve seen. It’s divided into different studios, and each artist has all the freedom to decorate their lovely corners.
I spent way too much time there just wandering about before my tummy growled too loud. So I turned to Commerce Kitchen for a late lunch, and it was perfect. Their dish is to die for.
I wanted to go to a couple of places, but they close down because of COVID. However, I got my feet in time for the Hunstville Museum of Art. I’m a big sucker for art, or you can say those high-dollar paintings I’d never be able to afford. Oh well, one can dream, right? Or maybe it’s time to find that sugar mama. JK.
My friends drove me to Nashville just for some cafe shop the next day. It was when things started to go downhill. Sitting across us was some good-looking gals, about 16 or 17 of them. My friends began to get real loud about racialism and how those girls are bitches. I felt highly uncomfortable because everyone in the shop is white, but us. We’re two Asians and a black man. So what is your point, sista? And you don’t know anything about these folks; you don’t own any right to generalize.
I have a deja vu as I courted similar gals, and they were nurses, modern heroes. That they work themselves to death, they barely have time for self-care. But when they do, they make the most of it with their friends and loved ones. Just think about it makes my heart shrinks and pulls me back to the table we’re sitting in, just across the bar. Some of those girls could still be heroes in their working fields, and we don’t know them at all.
Everyone can be racist; it doesn’t have to be white people, you know. It’s the people who are racist, not their skin color. It wasn’t much of a trip after that brunch; still, I kept my cool.
We bought some beer at a nearby brewery and hit home. Her fiance ordered some pizza too, and I made a joke about it because he was so controlling while I tried to help him clear up the backseat to lay the pizza box on top.
Unfortunately, that same joke got us into a fight the following noon. Then I got lashed out of all the shit for the past years.
She was like, I couldn’t say that she assumed about those “bitches” at lunch yesterday. I was like, why not? You legit assumed people. You don’t know them. Then one thing led to another; I was supposed to do thing A, thing B, even thing C, as an average person would, or what she expected me to be. But, hello, I have a life. I’ve been there for her my whole fucking life. So I’m sorry if I couldn’t be there because I have shit to deal with.
The climax of it all was when she told me I’m a mental disorder person when I say I have battled with depressions because of my current job and the burning incident that I nearly took my life away seven years ago. It’s been rough with 8 locations and four different jobs. So who has been confiding to this “mental disorder” soul for years? What should she call herself now?
I was angry, sad, and stunned at the same time. I didn’t expect all this to happen when we started talking about serious subjects we never discussed before on so many levels. And having a friend spoke to you with a high horse tone like I’m some idiot hailing out of a bubble for the first time was just the last drop.
I’ve been soloing alright on my own for a very long time. I don’t have someone padding my back from the fucking Pentagon as she does, so her expectations are just unrealistic. So thank you very much, I will do fine.
Those were sadly still just thoughts; they couldn’t come out at the moment and be listed as insults in her perceptions. Even the last slur I have about her, I couldn’t even say it because I have always respected her as a friend.
I remembered her as someone soft at heart, cried at every twist and turn, wore her heart on her sleeve. Standing in front of me is a “mature,” hardened, somewhat bitchy, judgemental, sharp eye beauty, and engaged to be married. I should realize that hair chop happen for a reason.
I sat there like a stump, and from the corners of my eyes, something wanted to burst away. The tears melted with the definition of time. I didn’t know how long I remained after that we were done talking. I tried to write something on my phone, but I was busy wiping those droplets off my cheeks for the remaining hours.
It was more of a wake-up call kind of tears. She’s been like this our entire time together, with the demanding tone and the extreme demeanor. It was what she wanted, was never once about me.
The sad part is that I don’t even have a crush on her like most besties’ stories out there. I let it slide every time because I thought it was her expression; she didn’t mean any of it. It must be.
As much as our other friends got in between us and said, ooh, it’s just her way of speaking, it’s nothing. Still, it’s not okay. I don’t deserve to be treated like that.
I have come quite a long way to learn to respect myself, and sometimes you have to say no, even if it’s something you hold dear to if others don’t treat you right.
I blocked her number and all the social media that I’m still on these days. She texted me some shit with CAPS, but that was the last thing I glanced at her. There’ll be people taking sides when something breaks; it’s understandable. I’m not going to hold a grudge against anyone. It’s still their choice as this is mine to make.
I ignored my ticket the next day and booked another one-way ticket back to New Orleans within the day. I sat at the station with thoughts as blank as papers can get while let the sadness consume me for just this one night. I couldn’t sleep the next day at all and hoped somebody would take my mind off, even for a little bit.
So I flicked through escort profiles again, entertaining the idea in the back of my head. I just wanted to find some other diversions to fill the void of a lifelong friendship that just got unlinked. A friend that I must unfriend.