Friday, January 30, 2009

Love and Mr. Tuba

It was a cool, crisp and clear day in the French Quarter today.
While walking through the Vieux Carre this afternoon I saw a familiar face, sitting on a park bench in Jackson Square, an old gentleman named Mr. Tuba, so I decided stopped for a while to talk and see how he was "makin' out" as we say here.
I suppose the name Tuba might seem a bit odd to those not from the area, how he got the name is certainly a mystery, no one I know has ever seen or heard anything in evidence in the form of a large brass instrument to explain the name, but I think that someone with the name Tuba has certainly no explaining to do- non?
One of the most amazing things is simply sitting and talking with him, listening to Mr. Tuba is like exploring a rare artifact or manuscript and deciphering it's secret code.
Mr. Tuba is somewhere between the age of 80 and 110 years old, he claims his own birthday wasn't ever that important a day to him as were the other special days of his life, His first amoureau's kiss, his first dance, the birth of his children, and his children's children, (some of whom are still around and, "some dead, some moved off") the day he learned to spell his first words, "I learned to read the almanaque, spelled out FĂ©vrier" and the day a black man was elected President of the United States. "I told my friend 50 years ago that if a colored man ever got to be the President, I would walk down Bourbon street in a dress, don't think nobody would care much to see that nowdays, but then!" leaning in, he confided with a chortle, "But you know cher, I still got them legs!"
As he spoke, the days that make up his life seemed to stretch out like his shadow in the late afternoon sunlight in front of St. Louis Cathedral.
I looked at his beautiful, yet time weathered face and saw the traces of a much younger man, who at one time must have been quite the Don Juan, one who was -and still is- quite the raconteur.
There was a young couple, walking arm and arm, that spoke to say hello as they passed by - Mr. Tuba whispered, "I know that boy, galeux for true he is, got the girl now, but the keepings the thing!" as he roared with laughter, I asked him if he had any advice about love.
His answer came with a chuckle and a wink in the form of a limerick of sorts- in the queer, almost French plantation society dialect you never hear anymore:
Ta maitresse est bien trop coquette
Elle te ferma mille tours
Et sera bon `a tes amours
Pour te mener: `a la baguette!
Cheers, to love...
Mr. Tuba's Love Potion #9
4 cups lemonade
1 package Kool-Aid mix
1 cup vodka
half cup white rum
Pour lemonade into a jug, add vodka and rum, 1 pouch of kool-aid (cherry or orange), cover and shake.

1 comment:

L'Orignaux said...

Really nice post, I loved this one especially...made me nostalgique pour la nouvelle toi aussi cher.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man