my new orleans
I’m thinking about New Orleans. My favorite “New Awleen” heels, suede high heels that were purple and green and gold suede parrot shoes that everyone knew were my Mardis Gras shoes.
About skies that have partial clouds passing overhead and you are in sunlight and then in rain and then in hot sunlight again.
About a place where a California girl can’t lie out in the sun because the New Orleans sun is hotter and harsher than anywhere else on earth and will eat you.
“Hey Mister, Throw me some beads!”
Dancing in the streets, parades, a pounding drum beat.
A hand grabbing me by the back of the neck and pulling me backwards three feet in a Mardis Gras crowd, just far enough back a roiling fight passes by in front of me instead of over me.
A guy getting arrested for punching a horse. [Who punches a horse?] A horse a policeman is sitting on.
A restaurant with the best steak sandwich in town between cobblestone walls that used to house a prison, etched with centuries.
Dancing at Tipitina’s. Men with washboards they play better than most musicians play guitars.
Everyone dances. Men. Women. Children. EVERYONE dances.
And the kindness. I showed up in Louisiana a child of the road, a refugee, and everyone was kind.
My New Orleans will always be that place. The place where a beat up battered child of the road could show up and everyone would just say, Those are pretty shoes, let’s dance.