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Jewel’s and the Shah – Quarter Stories 7

STORY: 1979–Dinner at 1132 Bourbon Street at the dining room table was a daunting experience with all these handsome men, at least 10 to 20 years older than me talking about what and who they’d done and where, all coming up and hugging and kissing on me. Ada Hearts was there and I stood near to her for a while listening to her talk about the streets. “This is such a gorgeous decadent city. I just love it. And this house! Where is that dog with the cocktail tray back? Don’t you think the weather has been warm? Sure gets ‘em all naked.” Ada said.

Then George yelled ” Y’all sit.” A couple of the guys helped do the cooking and they put out platters of food, and George had silver out, wine glasses and his china. I was amazed. Big bowls of red beans and rice, crawfish, Texas ribs, corn on the cob, I couldn’t keep track and I was thinking about work. Clyde and George were the King and Queen of this table, holding their court of houseguests. I sat next to Clyde and as soon as I did the chair next to me was immediately taken. I knew instinctively it was Louis Hartfield.

“Howdy Bobby Young, its nice to finally meet you.” Louie said. He looked exactly as described, a beefier, hunkier version of my boss Steve the Ayatollah. I even glanced at his crotch just because I’d heard how big it was and I had to look—but couldn’t tell one way or another. “I’m sitting next to a legend.” I thought a bit nervously.

He asked about where I was from, what my full name was. I was being interrogated. “I like knowing what a person’s middle name is,” Louie said in his Southern drawl, his blue eyes staring me down, “gives me an idea of who they are.” I looked at him a bit, pausing a while wondering if this was a trap or just a Southern thing. “Curtis. My middle name is “Curtis.” “Well Curtis, how do you like working at my old bar?” “I’m getting the hang of it, Louie, if I can call you that,” I said, thinking I hope I don’t have to remember his middle name. I was meeting guys so fast it was hard to keep up. He laughed. “You can call me that sure, that’s fine. Although some of my real good close friends and others at your place of business affectionately refer to me as “The Shah. ”

He stopped to see my reaction. “…but I don’t always need titles.” I almost spit out my food. I knew he was probing me. I relaxed. “Mr. Shah? I have to watch my manners, I’ve learned that around here,” I stated .”I bet you have.” he replied. “No, we’re brothers in this house,” then he pointed around the table, “The rest of ‘em might be sisters, but you call me Louie.”

And so we were brothers. I was comfortable around Louie. He knew what I was experiencing at Lafitte’s more than anyone else, and I was hearing all the first-hand gossip around there about him. He knew it too. He’d heard good things about me through his “grapevine” and his lieutenants who were still in place. I realized I was his highest lieutenant of all.

I was overwhelmed by the whole dinner and by Louie. He didn’t eat much either and we both had to excuse ourselves from the table to get ready to get behind two different bars. Louie said, “Curtis, you come see me after work, I get off later than you”. “Sure Louie” I replied, “I haven’t been to Jewels.” He gave me a smile and disappeared towards the slave quarters.

I was getting more used to slithering through these Bourbon Street crowds now, getting inside the bar and into the back. “You’re doing great, you having fun?” asked Jeff Beauregard when I ran into him. “I sure am.” I said smiling. “You’ve been noticed, so I hope you’re thinking of staying around, I mean after Mardi Gras,” he continued. “I have, huh? Great, yes, I like it here.” “We’ll talk more Bobby. You get up there and kick some ass.”

Jason and I sure did kick some ass. We kind of left Craig the third bartender standing around. We were getting all the hot guys, he had to settle for the ones who just came up the stairs but didn’t want to stop at the first station. The pool table was pulsing, the lights were off, there was cocksucking and more going on, and the music was blasting New Orleans music. We poured and sweated and flirted till about 3 am when a lull kinda set in.

About that time, a handsome fucker from Pensacola named Dennis came right up sure of himself, ordering drinks, and didn’t leave my station. He was drop-dead hot and horny and leaned right over and we made out. This was the first time I was hot for a guy during Mardi Gras having been wrapped up with Clyde and George and Al. Dennis and I made out for a bit over the bar. I bought him and his friends some shots. They were headed to Jewels. I wrote a quick note on a bar napkin that said “Louie, take care of these guys for me” and I gave it to Dennis. “When you guys get to Jewels give this to Louie the bartender,” I said. They looked a bit confused at first and then laughed when he read it. Dennis was beefy and sexy and his shirt was off. Blonde fuzzy hairy chest. Nice arms and great ass. We kept locking eyes. “ How will I know him?” he asked. “You’ll know him, ” I replied. Then Dennis and his group turned and left.

I got back to work pouring and opening beer and Jason leaned over and said “I think you’ll be the one to go in and count tips tonight.” “Great.” I replied. I was excited. It was past 3:30 and I grabbed all the tip buckets and emptied them into one and took the bank into the back and began the count out. It wasn’t an easy process, the money was wet a lot of the time and in New Orleans the coins weren’t rolled, they were put into paper envelope bags instead. Everything had to balance or we’d hear about it from the office the next day. It was getting to about 4am when Jason came in and said “Go on downstairs you’ve been working real hard” “Sounds good. I wanna go meet those guys and see Louie at Jewels.” Jason grabbed me real quick and said “Go ahead, but I wouldn’t mention that too loud around here right now.” I just looked at him. Jeez these guys were spooked. I only had Dennis in my mind going downstairs.

The Mardi Gras crowds in the bars would ebb and flow especially towards 4 and 5 am, the guys tended to wander around bar to bar. I was out those double doors and practically ran down Bourbon to Governor Nicholls taking a right turn and heading to Decatur.

The music coming out of Jewels knocked you back when opening the door. It was once an old sailor tavern, now the nastiest bar in New Orleans. It was hot, the music had a nasty beat to it, and it was dark as hell and smelled like sweat, sex and men. I was getting hard just walking in. I didn’t know the bartender in the front but I saw Louie—the Shah—standing under red lights with one leg up on a beer keg chewing on a straw with Dennis and his buddies, in awe, surrounding him and doing shots. Louie was a pro, he spotted me half-way down the bar, coming his way through the crowd. “Curtis! I got your men well taken care of just as you asked” Dennis was sexier than hell and got excited seeing me, jumping up and grabbing me by the back of my neck, shoving his tongue down my throat...

Louie poured some shots. We all toasted each other and Dennis and I went right back at it. I couldn’t get enough. Louie let this go for a bit and said “Now settle down boys, we got some time and I need to talk to Curtis here for a bit” “I thought you were Bobby?” Dennis said. “I am,” I replied, “but it’s whatever he wants at this point” I stood behind Dennis looking at Louie and feeling Dennis’s nipples and chest and making him back up against me. “What’s up? Louie” I said coyly.

“Now Curtis,” Louie began like he was holding court, having to keep his colts from getting riled up. “How is my dear ex the Ayatollah?” I really didn’t want to have this conversation. “He’s ok, just left him” I replied. “So did I, Curtis, so did I…. They miss me over there?” he asked. “I hear a lot of talk about the Shah coming back.” I replied carefully. “Now Curtis, you calm down a minute and tell me what’s going on. Don’t worry! You’re gonna get that ass I’ve been watching for you!”

I told Dennis under my breath “I gotta listen to Louie or I’ll be in trouble.” Dennis looked confused.“He your brother or something? he asked. “”I’ll go take a piss.” I was so distracted on a couple of levels. “I’m hearing that the Ayatollah can’t take the pressure, oh that pressure.” Louie said. “Yes, everyone is on edge over there” I replied. Louie smiled, “Just as it should be,” he said, “We’ll talk tomorrow. Let's hang for the Bourbon Street Awards, they pass right by the house.” I didn’t know about this but I knew I was waiting on Dennis.

Dennis came back and we made out some more. He told me he had a boyfriend but was free to play, I was a bit disappointed but not deterred. “Well, let’s get outta here, at least, and I gotta head home anyway. So I held his hands walking through the crowd with the handsome man grabbing my cock all the way out the door. We made out on street corner till we came to Royal Street where we had to separate. “This isn’t it buddy, I’m gonna look for you tomorrow. I’ll be here the next few days on my own.” Damn, that put a smile on my face. And I walked back to the house thinking of Dennis and the land of the Jewels and the Shah.

—Bobby Young


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