Our Captain had taken a fancy to the man. We went back to his RV on her behalf to deliver a six-pack of The Curvy Dogs’ home brewed beer and a small special bottle of rum. She wrapped the package up, tucked it in a pouch for safe travel, and charged me with its delivery. “Tell him I got the pouch from a dead priest, the rest of his things were too covered in blood. So, this was all I could get,” Captain Pearly Hawkins Hooke said before my departure, “he’ll know what I mean.”
“That’s such a cute story. Don’t worry I’ll tell him,” I assured our Captain and we regretfully said our goodbyes. If she had chosen to go to New Orleans with us, things would have turned out quite differently.
Trying to find Pirates’ Alley was like trying to find Neverland. Pyratecon was gearing up and somewhere out there, pirates and privateers, brigands and buccaneers from all over the country were beginning to congregate. We circled the French Quarter for what felt like miles. We’d finally have a chance to encounter some of our mates face to face and not a photo on a profile page or name on a pirate radio chat site. We found out we were in over our heads as we later set out on our goodwill mission
“You know what I’m gunna do with you?” He got in my face.
“I’m a member of the press. People will know if you do anything.” I drunkenly challenged him and hid behind my boss’s camera; quickly snapping “photographic evidence” of the corner of the dinner table as I precariously backed away from his advances.
“I’m a true pirate,” he grumbled in a gravelly drunken drawl. His breath smelled of rum and absinthe. I chanced a glance at my surroundings. The girl was gone, passed out in his bed. She was the fortunate one, our little stowaway. Lucky bitch was unconscious comfortably oblivious with what MAD and I were forced to deal with. Somehow we ended up spending the night at an RV resort behind the overpass. Two Curvy Dogs verses the One True Pirate. Unfortunately, Captain Jack Sparrow was occupied elsewhere dealing with AAA after the keys were locked the car. The crew brew was long gone, so was the rumsinthe and we started on his wares. We found ourselves treading treacherous waters. I desperately needed sleep but was afraid of what might happen if I did. We were with someone we only just met in person, an alter ego in a chatroom. We knew nothing of the man and there was no telling what he would do if we let our guard down. If worse comes to worse, I thought of our stowaway, best to offer her up before any of us dies. The word Kamikaze was tattooed across her chest. Naturally, I was preparing her for sacrifice. Wait, that’s murder, I balked. How could I think such a thing. She’s a human being… Think of the headlines…
“You know what I’m gunna do with you?” He persisted, swaggering ever closer. “Don’t get me blood up.” He drawled and growled. I was running out of room in the RV. Face to face with a rogue, a true pirate, and I completely folded. I’m nothing more than a damned Disney pirate, a big fat fake. Tears welled up and my chin quaked.
“You need a cigarette outside.” MAD stepped in between us, and I was never more glad to have such a true friend. I nodded, screwing up my face, “I’m sorry.” I whispered, most of this mess may have been my fault. Somebody could die tonight. Risking one last glace towards the bedroom, just to make sure, I stepped outside to get a better handle on reality.
Reemerging a few minutes later, I found my brave mate engaged in deadly game. Drinking The One True Pirate under the table, taking shots of scavenged alcohol from the wreckage of our party. He had to pass out sometime she was trying to speed up the process. Foolhardily, I joined them. One slug, two slugs and so on. Time wore on it became perfectly clear, we’d run out of beer before he’d even flinch. I wasn’t doing so well. Bobbing and wobbling I burped up foam, and finally broke. “I can’t take it anymore! Its not working! And how are you still standing!” I turned to MAD, then it hit me all at once. “You were faking.” MAD nodded. Defeated, I slumped into the fold out bed, and looked wearily out the window. A pinkish hue tinged with lavender grew over the Vieux Carre. The color was quite lovely. “Is that the sun?” I asked. The madness stopped for a second. Those unlucky enough to remain awake turned to gape. It was Friday morning in the French Quarter. I sank into the blankets and hugged The One True Pirate’s prized rifle as it lay beside me for protection and moral support. “I think it’s time we get some sleep. We have a big day today.”
The sun reached it’s zenith and was well on its decent by the time we were ready to greet the day. We missed not one but two parades and wholly neglected our vending venture. Our rogue host graciously served us breakfast of toast, scrambled eggs, grapes and orange juice. He acted as if the last night’s indiscretion never happened. By the time we showered and got somewhat situated it was nearing five in the afternoon. After a good days sleep and food, the RV park shower was like stepping into Narnia. Feeling refreshed I joined MAD where she waited soaking her feet in the Jacuzzi. “We really should move down here,” I had no idea what made me say that, apparently I bounced back fast from last’s woes and was surprisingly itching to hit Bourbon Street again. Ready and more than willing to take up residency.
“I dunno,” MAD said after admitting she was thinking the same thing, “I love it here, but you know how I get in the sun. I might just burst into flames and you…” she didn’t even have to finish that statement.
“Yeah, you’re probably right, I might end up like that one guy at that bar who said he was born and raised behind a bag of potato chips.” His Star Trek tattoo was the nexus of the universe.
“We should get going,” MAD said after we had a good laugh, “they’re probably wondering where we went.” The sun sank and the low grumble of music and voices rose as the nocturnal beast of Bourbon Street awakened. Heeding the call, we had no choice but to lace up our bodices, hike up our stockings, stuff our weapons in our belts, and face whatever madness barreled toward us. Larry Sparrow donned his Captain Jack gear. As we dressed up, I dropped my double-barreled boarding–pistol knocking the flintlock clean off. I was sober. Our host gave me his deck-sweeper, a very fine piece with considerable heft and suspicious red stains on the butt of the blunderbuss. I didn’t deserve something so pretty, let alone be trusted with it while inevitably getting paralytically drunk. Then again, as a pirate, I never felt right without a weapon. What was Bloody Lynne Flynnt without something that could stab, shoot, or bash your head in? It was part of the reason I took up a pirate persona in the first place. It’s socially acceptable to stroll into a bar armed and no one would think twice. It was the same thing about getting ridiculously if not belligerently drunk in public. “Besides,” I’d tell people whoever wondered about my choice in dress, “any excuse to wear a bodice.” Everybody loves a pirate.
“The American Dream is dead!” I exclaimed as our crew headed out on foot down the street. “Fuck it all! Take to the seas!” We had a few drinks before we departed, so I was feeling good. It was a wonder there was any more beer left. Someone must have went on a run, but the logistics have long since escaped me. We stopped at a bar for pub grub and mingled on the patio. The One True Pirate treated us to three-dollar rum and cokes. When Larry Sparrow started taking shots of ranch dressing and I found out my bodice hoisted my breasts so high that I could literally motorboat myself we were with full sails, swept into the gale, and speeding headlong into iniquity.