S. and I have been talking about going to the second Friday at Jazz Fest since we saw Arcade Fire on the schedule. I don’t really know anything about music–I’m amenable, and if you say you like it I will listen to it and probably like it to. My sister sends me songs sometimes, and she sent me some Arcade Fire songs because she liked them, and of course I liked them too, and I keep them on my little ipod, along with other songs E. thinks I’d like by Metric and Snow Patrol and Cold War Kids (who are these bands, anyway?). Do I want to see them outside with S. on a perfect Friday in New Orleans? Oh, yes indeed. After picking up a ticket from I. and getting some grading done, I got on my bike and pedaled along in the sunshine, happy to have nothing in the rest of my day but festivaling. We locked our bikes up to a fence–Jazz Fest doesn’t provide anything like enough bike parking–and went inside. Crawfish enchiladas, seafood stuffed mushrooms, some rum punch, and a whole bunch of music later and we were waiting for Arcade Fire. They were great, with their playfulness and overwrought endings and stage banter that sounded like how I used to break the ice with my students as a very shy, very nervous teacher. S. and I split up, trading time to see Willie Nelson (“You Were Always on My Mind” is such a beautiful song) and Lupe Fiasco, and then I was back for the last couple songs, and they ended with that one that I like to pedal to when I’m taking the Wisner bike path–it fits my cadence perfectly. I have never listened to that song with anyone but me, and here we all were, dancing to it. What magic! And then it was over, but they brought a dulcimer on stage, which is a total give away that there’s going to be more–the dulcimer must be played. And then they were back, and Cyndi Lauper was with them, and they played “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” I literally started shaking and then burst into tears because I was just so happy. Then it was over, we were back to our bikes, and we headed to her place, got the dog, did a lap around the neighborhood, and settled in to sit on her stoop and split a beer having conversations, variations of which we have most certainly had before and will again. As I was leaving, she wished me nice bike ride home, said she was pretty sure I would enjoy it. I did. Oh, I will miss S. and I will miss festival days like this one when I move away.