Fifth Floor, One Window

It was sometime around 4am the party was still a party, they staggered, they danced, drinks in hand, music so loud.  The corner of Conti St., and Bourbon St., New Orleans and the home of the Hotel Le Marais. This was the place the band had been staying since the 70s, their favorite stay. For me it would mean a nice soft bed, a bed so large that I could spread out and roll for hours, six maybe eight pillows, a TV and my own bathroom with glasses wrapped in paper.

Yes I love traveling on a tour bus, a bunk with a six-inch foam mattress, a curtain for your privacy and a bathroom, well if you have been there you know what I mean. Really I do love it, I do, but then there is always the luxury hotel room just to balance things off now and then.  We all slipped through the crowd, dragging bags half asleep, escorted by two gentlemen dressed in dark blue bellhop uniforms almost military in look, but so cool they just made you feel important. Plush marble, the smell of flowers and a smile as I was handed my key.

Everyone scattered, off in different directions, off to different floors, off to our 24-hour paradise.  Five floors up I went, an elevator to myself, no music, just the sound of my wheels rolling through the carpet. As I opened the door, it was the window I saw first, and then the party below filled my head. One window maybe three feet wide, white sheers were all that was between us.  All I wanted to do was sleep, yes there were six pillows and the softest most desirable king size bed, all I wanted to do was sleep.  From five floors up it was as if I were there, from my one window I could look down on them all.

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The party was mine to watch. I could see them talking; almost could hear their words. They danced, they kissed, and not just two of them—an entire corner filled with people from all different places near and far. The corner of Conti and Bourbon was now mine; all mine for the next 24 hours. I don’t know how many images I shot, but the sun rising and casting a glow onto the rooftop across the way was my last.

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As I lay with my six pillows I was reminded of a line I was told once “just think of all that has been inspired by 3 a.m.” was what she said. It will be the title of a book she will write someday. I thought of her as the sound of the street drifted away to silence and me to sleep.  It sounded like a handful of pellets against my window and then the sound of thunder. It was 10 a.m., coffee, TV, and maybe more sleep was all I could think of. The rain came down as the steam rose from the streets and rooftops. As I looked down, I saw only umbrellas with the occasional one popping up as its carrier leapt onto the curb.

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They stepped out of the bars to have a smoke, to watch, as the streets became a river. As the rain came down harder they never went away. They wrapped themselves in plastic and walked about on the sidewalks as if they were on the beach.

Down I went. I had to see as they did, and I had to join the party. Despite humidity and trash floating by, most folks just tried to stay dry, while others had to play. I just took it all in with a coffee and a beignet.

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The sun soon replaced the rain and the air became so thick and sticky, I had to go back to my paradise, I had to get some sleep, I just wanted a dream.  As I left for the show, I peaked through the sheers just one more time.

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It was time to do what I came for—head backstage for some loud, oh-so-good music, rock stars, and a party of a different sort.  After a late-night, post-show dinner, I headed back to my window where the view now was different. Sometimes I think there are moments that can only happen once, moments that can’t be repeated, a moment that you want to be the same but turns out different, and that’s ok. I watch for just a short time, it was sometime around 3:10 a.m. and I thought of her. I finally found some sleep; I finally found a dream.

 

This  blog post was featured  in Nashville Arts Magazine as a guest blog   http://nashvillearts.com/2014/08/25/anthony-scarlati-fifth-floor-one-window/