Long Cab Waits and a Little Dancing
With my folks still out of town, I had to get myself to work again this morning. I wanted to get to work earlier than I did yesterday but it didn’t work out that way. I called a cab at ten and it took about an hour and two more calls to finally get on at my house.Although Friday is a doctor day and we had a couple new patients scheduled it was a calm afternoon. I was tied up more than I would have liked and didn’t get much tangible work done. Annisha was going to Dillard’s on the west bank after work and gave me a lift over the river. I figured I could go to Sears, maybe buy something and get a cab the rest of the way home.I wasn’t really interested in anything particular but the two pairs of headphones I carry around and getting worn and I did walk out with a pair of those Sony ‘street style’ headphones to replace the pair I have now that’s getting worn out, cosmetically at least. The news ones are nearly identical although the cord is thinner and these are more comfortable.I called a cab to get the rest of the way home, three times, and it took about 45 minutes to arrive. It only took 20 minutes of waiting for me to regret not just going straight home from work. I finally got home at about 5:30. I cleaned up my room and got some laundry going, checked eBay and that sort of thing.This evening, the Tulane ballroom dancing club had an outing at Ray’s Boom Boom Room on Frenchman Street. Every Friday, Freddy Omar gives free salsa dancing lessons at nine followed by a regular performance from ten to one. I called a cab from my house at about eight. I got a call back almost immediately from ‘Elliot,’ the same driver that took me to work on Thursday. He said he recognized the address and was on his way. On the way downtown, he told me a little about his years as a cab driver. He told me a story about a guy who called for a ride all the way down in Venice, LA back to New Orleans.I arrived at “Ray’s” at about 8:45. Another act was playing when I got there. I think they were called the “Soul and Spirit Band,” but I’m not sure. For a lead-in act they sounded pretty decent. Their female vocalist could really project. Freddy Omar started the lessons a few minutes after nine, before most of the other Tulane students arrived. They didn’t miss much though, just a simple set of steps to the left and right. I presume Mr. Omar was aware who most of the participants were because he made a handful of comparisons between ballroom dancing and salsa dancing. There were two sets of movies he went over. The steps done by oneself weren’t so bad, but the pairs moves were more than I was able to pick up on in under an hour and it showed.During the lessons I was in the front ‘row’ with a couple people including Megan, who graciously served as my partner during the lessons. Mr. Omar used her as an example later on. Since I was right up front, Freddy saw me stumbling around and tried to help me himself. He was patient but I wasn’t quite picking up on the more complicated things. Megan didn’t seem to mind much though and did seem enthused when we did get something right. The hour passed rather quickly. After a short break, the band started their first set.I found a spot to stand off to the side with Veronica, Shona and Andrey. I didn’t get to rest too long though. Nicolle, who was my partner through most of last Tuesday’s practice, asked me to dance and I happily obliged. It was a lot of fun even though neither of us really knew what we were doing. After one or two songs we both needed a break and went to sit down. I went to the bar to get some water. I think I got the last two bottles they had. We talked for a little while and were soon joined by some other wary souls. After a short while, Megan asked for a dance. I still didn’t know what the hell I was doing and she was visibly disappointed but still cordial. I went to sit back down after that. There was plenty of rotating company.Not long before 11:30, Andrey called the “last dance.” The students who came from campus were on a couple of vans that were scheduled to leave on the half hour. Nicolle got me up for one more before they left. Neither of us looked like we knew what we were doing but it was a lot of fun anyway.After everybody left I closed my tab and grabbed a cab home. I had a nice conversation with the driver who was from Gabon, Africa. He was much more educated on matters of current events and politics than most natural born citizens I encounter.After I got home I put a little laundry on, took a shower and talked to Krystle on the phone for a while before I finally went to bed around two.