Chuck E Cheese of Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana. October, 2011, Year of the Metal Rabbit.
After I stayed in New Orleans all summer for a variety of reasons, I left. But first, I should explain why I stayed and did not drive north and spend an eccentric amount of time in West Virginia and visit my beautiful friends and family.
My parents went to France and I did not want to watch their dogs alone with Zooey
Zooey would not stop biting me.
There was too much work and too little money, the curse of New Orleans summers. I decided to invent a line of accessories fashioned from duct tape and succeeded in making a pants protector that kept Zooey from biting my sock.
This high quality durable pants protector deters puppies from biting.
I could not bring myself to care for the yard, remove the Bon Jovi Shrine, and leave my apartment in respectable shape until Labor Day weekend.
all good things…
I could not bring myself to stop holding vigils from 8 to 9 pm Central time each Friday (see also: The Wretched Hour).
Shrine to Lupe
My car was vandalized and I had to appear in court.
Zooey and I were learning about one another.
Working with Zooey
At times, we saw ourselves reflected in yard waste.
Zoo and Me
And Zooey’s only fear was of the holes on Maurepas Street.
I did not know how to stop wearing Lupe’s collar and missing her. I knew if I went to the north, I would see my family and all the places Lupe and I had gone, and I would grieve for her in a way I was not ready to cope with.
Zooey was not ready to travel.
Zooey got snipped.
And I met someone wonderful.
The wonderful person is what brought me to the Holiday Inn of Baton Rouge, and launched the first Travels with Zooey.
I drove with Zoo to Baton Rouge to meet C, who was already there with his dog. But we were not staying in The Holiday Inn where C’s co-workers were residing. We instead had reserved a room at The Red Roof Inn because it appeared pet friendly and offered a number of amenities including a lovely view of Chuck E. Cheese of Baton Rouge and several loitering derelicts.
The Red Roof Inn of Baton Rouge
C had to go to work, and on Monday, I remained in The Red Roof Inn to watch our two dogs (his dog is a pit bull) and grow more terrified that the loitering derelicts would at any moment break down the door since the lock was not working right and rob me of everything I owned. My extensive experience of creepy motels, steel toed boots, and individual protective devices failed to make me feel safe. In fact, after exchanging several text messages with C and calling The Holiday Inn and explaining to the manager that C was working on a movie Switch and that the rest of the crew were staying at The Holiday Inn and that our dogs were good, I did not feel safe enough to load our things into my car without first walking Iggy back and forth past the loitering derelicts, one of whom was lighting a thirteen dollar barbeque grill and while another smoked crack in a pick-up truck for hours.
I walked Iggy around the parking lot several times, and he did not tug on the leash, and I did not notice anything strange when I switched the leash to my left wrist to light a cigarette before moving the leash back to my right wrist, and it was not until long after I had broken down and unsuccessfully attempted to use the GPS in my phone to drive to The Holiday Inn that I noticed Lupe’s collar was gone.
I had not known how I would stop wearing it or whether or not I would let Zooey wear it, and I had cried the day I took Zooey to the vet to be neutered. My little guy was wagging his tail as the vet tech carried him off, and I was initialing the box confirming that the vet should perform CPR if he suffered complications during surgery when the secretary handed me his collar, which I wore around my wrist with her collar until I picked Zooey up.
When I stopped wearing her collar by no fault of my own, it seemed like a sign that I could possibly join the new dogs in my life and let go of Lupe just a little bit. And for the first time, when Friday came, I did not check the heart painted on Maurepas Street during The Most Wretched Hour.
I have two weeks to explore Baton Rouge and swim in the three pools here where no GPS can find me.
The big pool at The Holiday Inn of Baton Rouge.