“Jeudi, we will go out.”
I never know exactly what it means to “go out.” Are we going out to eat, drink, or dance? to see or be seen? by people we know, we haven’t met yet or ourselves? What is late?
I’m this confused when the subject comes up among my peers, so when it’s raised by people with whom I don’t share a language, who haven’t yet had a quarter-life crisis, and don’t think it’s strange to have a president with a girlfriend who’s not the mother of his children, I’m utterly hopeles.
Thursday rolled around and I tried for clarity. – What time might we leave? – Not too late, maybe 9?
We sat down for dinner to the strains of Bach at 9 which at least clarified for me that we would not be “going out” to eat, but what of the timing? We opened another bottle of wine. At 10.30 we dispersed and I thought perhaps our plans had fizzled. It was now definitively late and we had both eaten and drunk.
At 11, “Zho-naaahhh-taaahhhhn!”
This is the call I’ve come to recognize as a prelude to adventure and confusion.
We left the house with plastic cups filled with mint from the jardin and rum (some dubiousness as to the legality of this; NoLa is not actually France). We ran into childhood friends (I don’t think I even remember anyone’s name from kindergarten) on the way to our first stop, where we ordered a kir. There were many more stops.
Eventually we take cafe at a college friend’s downtown flat, listen to some Edith Piaf. There’s a walk home, before I can tumble into bed. . . at 6am, which is, I think, in any language or culture, definitely not late, it is the definition of early.
But now the question: How could I have remained charming speaking Frenglish for seven hours without a lunch break? Detailed descriptions of food trucks had a lot to do with it, I’m thinking.