I’m Your Fan


My little Leonard Cohen is never very far; he was in the palm of my hand, but now he’s in my car.

It began this morning, with a necklace.

A tiny pendant from New Orleans, a manhole cover, from my darling trip mates.

The chix next door and I took a trip to see Leonard Cohen at the Mahalia Jackson Theater Read review from Times-Picayune . At 78 years old and with decades of polished style, Cohen and his impeccable ensemble wowed us all; transported us to an ethereal world where sensuality and spirituality were never closer. Watching as Cohen prayed in his Tower of Song on bended knee I wondered if I could, at 49, do this a dozen times an hour on stage without faltering or vocalizing each ascent.

The next day I was taking in the morning air outside the Cotton Exchange in typical NOLA fashion, when a band of bicycling boys (adult boys) wearing tutus and tiaras,; cocktails in hand, headed out for a local race. At the time, I thought it might really be something; alas, this is NewOrleans. Next I watched as a cautionary tale was written before my eyes; two police cars pulled up and extracted a man wearing only a black garbage bag, from one of the patrol cars. I wondered, does the hotel double as an overflow jail? Or is it, perhaps, a local clothes-lending center?! I waited in vain for the ‘party’ to exit the building. Early, though it was, I decided to track them down and ask some questions. I found the officers having breakfast in the hotel.

What follows is the cotton exchange exchange.

ME: So, is there a jail somewhere in here? (I had previously noticed that a side exit through a curtain in the dining hall went to a 24 hour bar next door)

NOLA’s FINEST No. 1: Not that I am aware of.

NOLA’s FINEST No. 2: Nomnomnomnom.

ME: A secret passageway to the actual jail?

NOLA’s FINEST No. 1: Nope.

ME: Well?!!!!

NOLA’s FINEST No. 1: We aren’t going to tell you that.

ME: Pleeeeeease?!!

NOLA’s FINEST No. 2: Nomnomnomnom uhem.

ME: You’ve gotta! Did you arrest him?

NOLA’s FINEST No. 1: Nope; took him upstairs to his wife’s room.

ME: No mercy, man. Have a nice breakfast. Thank you.

NOLA’s FINEST No. 1: Yep.

So back to Leonard Cohen. I just read the Holy or the Broken by Alan Light. Can a book about a single extraordinary, much re-interpreted and beloved song make a good book? Yes. It sent me youtube-ing to listen to each version and countless remixes. I was aware of  Buckley’s, but not Cale’s “I’m Your Fan” part in the drama that rescued Hallelujah from obscurity……Shrek, k d lang, Idol, et cetera, ad Nauseam.

My Hallelujah for today, a shiny manhole cover that catapulted me to a wonderful mini-break, with my wonderful chix.

originally published 7/24/2013

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