Then my phone rang.
"PEASANT! I need assistance. I woke up covered in what I can only assume is the remnants of the drink these locals call 'Hand Grenades.'"
If I didn't have a headache from the night before, I had one now. Pinching the bridge of my nose, I tried to control my tone as I frowned into the phone. "Call a cab. I'm not a taxi service."
I could hear the snarl through the phone. "Don't you think I have already tried that, you tedious woman! You speak as if I want to spend more time in your presence than is necessary."
"That didn't seem the case last night, with your 'I like redheads' routine." Stone silence. At least I got a dig in. "Wait, wait. You're telling me that you tried getting a cab already? Oh my God, could the cabs not see you?"
"Was widdle Loki-Pokey too tiny for the big bad taxi cab to see him??"
I regret this exchange now. Needless to say once we got to theater, I dropped him off to "watch over my things with his omniscient wisdom," and headed up to the stage. I've got a whole show to learn, the last thing I need is some hungover god lording himself over my every move.
The Saenger Theater is gorgeous - the ceiling looks like a beautiful night sky, complete with twinkling lights, and it is decorated in various statues of Greek figures. Definitely a paradise. And I must say, our Disco Mary definitely classed up the joint - Disco always classes up a joint.
Wait. Is that a dull spot that needs polished? Her feet look like they have something on them...
No, it can't be...I left him in my dressing room...
"Lady Hayslip, it seems you aren't focused on your studies."
"Well, the Dance Captain isn't even here yet, I figured I'd stretch out a little, take a few shots for posterity..."
"I will not have you embarrassing me by not being anything less than perfection in this show, Stephanie. If you insist upon plastering my face all over your little blog, when people come to see you, you must be at your best, the finest example of your art. I find myself often drawn to this medium, much as I hate to admit enjoying these little punch-and-judy displays your people consider the highest of caliber of performance. On Asgard, our most mundane offerings are leaps and bounds beyond your orchestras, your 'Tony Awards-'"
"Alright Trigger, I get it. You're better you're the best, blah blah blah. Well if I have a chance in hell of pleasing your oh so refined palate, you need to leave me alone so I can focus."
His stony expression didn't budge. "We'll just see about that. I will leave once I am satisfied that you can deliver a product worthy of attaching my name to."
"Go on, Princess. Show me what ya got."
4 hours of rehearsal later, his highness is still frickin' there. Staring me down, grinning that wolfish grin of his, clicking his tongue when I missed a step or forgot the next lyric. I was on the edge of losing it! I mean, I'm under enough pressure as it is, the last thing I need is Mister Tricky here giving me a hard time from the sidelines.
He occasionally sought counsel from the other gods and goddesses presiding over our instruction...
...But all it made me feel like as if I was being heckled by a divine Statler and Waldorf. I suppose I finally passed muster, because at the end of the day, when I was packing up to go clean up before trailing backstage that night, Loki deemed the stage worthy of being graced with his presence.
He gestured for me to kneel before him, which I managed to do without rolling my eyes, and he informed me that he had decided that given the proper amount of preparation, he would allow his name to be attached to my presence on this tour. Oh, how incredibly generous of him.
I did appreciate his gesture of kindness after we left, though. Maybe he was having a pang of regret for having to call me that morning to drag his ass from the sin-soaked streets of New Orleans, maybe he was just curious as to what a "Po-Boy" was. Whatever the reason, I highly enjoyed the dinner he offered me that evening.
My digestive system didn't thank him, as the gallbladder sitch is still going strong, but sometimes a little abdominal pain is worth it. And if there is ever a time for it to be worth it, it's in New Orleans. I'm relatively certain gas station sushi in New Orleans tastes like manna from heaven. Didn't get oysters or beignets sadly, but the gumbo and everything else was unforgettable.
After New Orleans, I had to bring Loki back home to meet the parents as I was blessed enough to get the holidays off. I could not be happier, as I haven't gotten to see them in over a year, so I refused to let him rain on our proverbial parade. That's not saying he didn't come in contact with an old adversary while he was here, and a few new faces...but that's another story.
Gris-gris and Shrimp Kisses,
Stephanie and Loki