Thursday, September 29, 2005
Mourning New Orleans
I miss New Orleans like a long ago lover.
The city throbbed with music. You could lay your hand on any building or piece of ironwork that adorned the porches of even modest homes and feel the music , like the purring of a cat. It was always the place to escape, the place to leave your every day self behind, to the point that my daughter and I , when faced with familial annoyances, have a saying, "let's run away to N"Awllins"
I fell in love with Tom one steamy New Orleans spring at the Jazz and Heritage Festival.It was early evening and time to exchange one party for another.A tired man was selling balloons to cranky children and Tom bought me every balloon he had. There is a certain power in walking the streets with 30 balloons.We tied them on balconies, gave them to kids, exchanged them for kisses from drag queens.A couple was sitting on their banquette with their children, "Hey, c'mon in!"they said and we ate dinner and spent an evening listening to Ray Charles records.
That kind of simple magic happened in New Orleans.
ONce , while I was sitting with friends on the levee watching the Mississippi River roll by, a blonde man playing a flute walked by and stooped to kiss me, "My dear"< he said, "you look like a rose in a trash barrell" He disappeared into the morning mist.
Yep, things like that.