New Orleans is a phantasmagoria of a city. It is a damp, dank, Murder Capitol of tourists who blitz out in certain quarters as it is where middle aged ladies run naked and yelling to the night sprint over cuddle clusters of passed out bilgey travelers we also know as Gutter Punks drunk before vespers and passed out prior to the angelus.
It is a city of lace and music and mayhem and the lost souls. Students lured away from class. Vacant suburban children who though being poor was fun before they fell into the boring routine of poverty and forgot their privilege. No need to reach distant Oblasts to purchase these souls, most of them are willing to give themselves away for free or at least at cost.
Crying and milking and dangerous and always that moist damp in the corners the city is that fat old person who sweats into their folds but we love them for who they are. The houses drip pealing paint, even those well kempt. The trim houses sit next to their dilapidated country cousins. All about run the highways of the New South while the Old South mutters away begging for pennies and serving $700 bottles of wine.
The gates open up and one enters this world of 24/7 drinking and song. Police cars fly by every now and again just to remind the viewer that this isn’t Disneyland. Or world. Or universe. Despite the layers of fake. Fake barely legal on bourbon street, fake ghost tours, fake order in a field of pure chaos. Those old houses painted up as whores and tarts are a facade of the 19th century attempt to place a gentile doily over the cruel crushing inequalities of that older age that birthed corruption and acres of Jim Crow.
And in this sinking wonderful mess they are tossing beads. For free.
A stranger handed me a whole shit-ton when I said I was new in town. Take ’em, he exclaimed, I don’t want to carry them home. Take ’em to the kids if you don’t want ’em. Having no descendants I still took “’em.”
While in the city for [redacted] to work with [omitted], I managed to get to enjoy some of the parades, bars, music, and slanty shady goings ons.
I neither had the best gumbo nor heard the greatest jazz player, caught a real moment or stumbled upon a place only he locals know.
I’m not sure I would even know it even if I had.