Of Rainy Days, Library School, Guide Dogs, and Police Cars

David Faucheux

© Copyright 2018 by David Faucheux

Photo of Alex Trebek on Jepordy.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Café Des Amis

Janet, a friend, came to pick me up for lunch. We met our friend Sarah at Café Des Amis in Breaux Bridge. En route, I gave Janet the book China Dolls, by Lisa See. She may read it quickly or return it to the library and check it out under her own name. As noted earlier, Ms. Lydia brought it to me last week. I thought that Janet, who is of part Asian extraction, would enjoy this story of three Asian girls in San Francisco just before and during World War II. She has mentioned enjoying books by this author.

I enjoyed my alligator sausage and savory cheesecake with crawfish cream sauce. I even shared it out and got to taste Janet’s fried eggplant with crawfish topping and Sarah’s grilled crab cakes. The white chocolate bread pudding was good. The outing was sort of a pre–birthday lunch for me. It was so thoughtful of them to ask me where I’d like to go. I can’t take the Paratransit van there, and I’ve wanted to visit this popular local eatery for years.

I thought I should take a moment here to explain a bit more about our Paratransit service and the art of scheduling rides. It’s a bit tricky to schedule such rides, because you have to allow for the 15–minute window on either side of the pickup time. You also have to allow for traffic. I usually allow 30 minutes before an appointment time, or 45 minutes for longer distances. I try to schedule two weeks ahead, although friends of mine hate this kind of planning and will take a cab rather than lose spontaneity. Spontaneity is nice, but cabs are expensive and can be unreliable. I use them as a last resort.

Back home, I ordered my medications from Northside Pharmacy, which I seem to do quite frequently, now, as medications do not run out at the same time during the month. I should remember to make the folks there something over the Christmas holidays. My New York City friend told me that he usually tips his delivery people. I might go broke tipping on so many deliveries.

I emailed the following item to the DearReader writers’ contest.

Of Rainy Days, Library School, Guide Dogs, and Police Cars”

We understand you were taken to class in a police car?” the Jeopardy auditions coordinator inquired. I hoped that this bit of contestant trivia would put me over the top and land me a spot as one of the few blind contestants to have ever appeared on Jeopardy. So I took a deep breath and began the tale.

The sky had been hemorrhaging rain all morning, and it was rapidly approaching 12:30. If I were not to be late, I’d have to start out for my afternoon LIS7002 reference class soon. It was my first semester of graduate school, and I really did not want to start by skipping a 90–minute lecture class because of monsoon–like conditions. I had worked so hard on cultivating a good impression, even recently wearing a linen blazer and raw silk tie to the orientation for newly matriculated Library and Information Science students despite the heat and suffocating humidity of a Louisiana summer.

I explained to Nader that even though he came equipped with webbed paws and a double coat that made him able to swim and quasi–waterproof, I thought it best he remain inside and consider taking a siesta near the apartment couch. He never liked wearing a raincoat and hated getting his tires wet. He yawned and decided that I had an excellent idea. He was never up for being damp in air conditioning under a desk.

Clad in a cheap green plastic rain poncho, I started out, clumsily maneuvering my white cane like a nervous mine sweeper. The Amazonian rainfall made it hard to hear ambient sounds that could cue me to my environment. I walked; suddenly, I slipped on a chunk of sidewalk. I knew I was broken! I landed. I seemed to be in one piece and got up. I walked some more but realized I had walked too long and missed a turning. I heard the enclosed echoes of an entrance. I gladly betook my sodden self inside.

A female voice wondered if she might help me. I inquired as to my coordinates. GPS had not been imagined yet. I learned, topographically speaking, that I had discovered the LSU Campus Security post by the campanile. I was offered a ride to class. I took it.

I was startled while riding in the back to realize that the door handles were missing. I pointed this out to the driver, and she laughed. “Baby, don’t you know this is a police car?” she asked. I then scrunched down in my seat to avoid being recognized!

I made it to class only seven minutes late, but I was a soggy, squishy mess.

(Mild applause was heard, and I wondered if I had been chosen for the actual game in Los Angeles.)

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