My interest in you was awakened, it got insatiable. I was really grateful to H.Z., he couldn’t leave the city due to his work at the Zoo (originally he invited me into his house in Florida) but so I could prolong my stay, I won some more days in the „Crescent City“. I could not hide my happiest big smile on Monday when I learnt from a german guy at the Louisiana Music Factory (a CD store with a lot of live performances), you’ll have even two shows in a row that night. I could have kissed and hugged the whole world that I got one more chance to see you (but I just hugged and kissed C.B. as she stopped by for a moment). I disclosed her “I think, I lost my heart in New Orleans“, but I didn’t mention to whom, so she got a bit confused, and responded my kiss. She left then, and I went by foot to my next goal, to the Frenchmen Street. I had a short break at the Cafè Du Monde while listening to a young /too young!/ couple of black, gay street musicians. M.H. had a beautiful face and a fantastic voice, I was sure she would have a promising career yet to come (as she had, I guess). I bought their CD called „Sisters“, left the French Quarter and arrived in the Frenchmen Street for the first time. There I saw one music club after another on both sides of the street, Apple Barrow, dba, Blue Nile, Spotted Cat, and of course Snug Harbor, the premiere jazzclub of Marigny. I felt I got a few steps closer to the true face of New Orleans. I had found the most exciting pulsating musical heart of it. My heart jumped high, as I saw you walking on the street and even higher, as you talked to me with your smoky, erotically voice for the first time. You gave me a big hug, said, you LOVE Austria, and allowed me to take some photos during your show, where I just relived the first time I saw you on stage. The intimate atmosphere of the night club made your presence even stronger, the impression you left even more catarsis-like. It just happened there, in the orange-red light which hardly illuminted the spot, that I caught a very special soft, dreamy expression in your beautiful spirited face. I did know immediately as I pressed the button of my camera, still before I saw the result on the screen, that this would be exactly THE picture I wanted to take home with me, for keeping you in my mind. I showed the pic to you during the break (you needed glasses to see it) you were amazed and delighted „Oh My God!“ You got quite excited how you could get it, since you did not have a computer. You thought for a moment, then said „wait now, I’ll be back“. I didn’t know, what you were going to do, but I needed already urgently a cigaret. So I went outside. In front of the club gathered some smoking groups. As I lighted my cigaret, I suddenly spotted you, standing apart from all of them, quite alone, buried in thoughts, a bit shy, reserved smoking. I saw a little smile playing around your looks-like-drawn, fascinating lips. Everybody was speaking about you, but nobody talked to you. In this split of tragic seconds of cognition I could see the real person. I saw the loneliness, the sadness around and in you. That was the moment I felt, you’ll need me, the moment you caught my heart. I spoke to you, you looked surprised, eased at me, and there it was again, your big happy smile. You invited me impulsively for the second show as your guest (although it was sold out) and gave me one of your CDs. You did not autograph it, but you wrote your home address inside the cover, so I would be able to send you the photo by snail mail. M.H. and her girlfriend (the street musicians from the Cafè Du Monde) joined us later. They were your neighbors. /The world is definitely too small./ During the second show, I did not take any more photos. I already had done my work, and had got the picture. I just wanted to enjoy your performance, but I hardly heard the music, I just pondered about, how to extend this magic night, how to be together with you for a longer time. I thought about to take you out for some drinks. /I know. Not very witty./ But after the show the crowd caught you, everybody wanted to take a picture with you. Impromptu I wrested you from them, to make a photo with me (our first). We hold each other tight, I could feel your petite but thewed sweaty body in my arms, your soft skin, your face by my face, your lips just a few thoughts away from mine. The attraction to you just exploded in my chest, the temptation to kiss you was almost insurmountable. The chance was there, but only for one mystical second long, I thought about too long, I had too much respect to you, instead of doing it. So I missed the right time, the second was gone, and did not come back anymore. I stammered by leaving „we keep in touch.“ You laughed at me and just answered „definitely“.
ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD HART • TREAT HER LIKE A LADY