Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Big Easy


i never made it down to New Orleans. it was one of the cities on my list of cities too. my list of cities that i want to visit and live in for a bit. the cities i want to suck the culture from, and eat like the people from there and drink like the people from there. i wanted to struggle and work and celebrate like the people from there. i wanted to have a hint of new orleans in me, i wanted to get some of its scent on my neck and clothes. it was a place i longed to be part of.

its always been an important city, a rich city, a city that helped define this nation. im under the impression that modern america, to some extent, begins in New Orleans. its begins in the french quarter where cultures mixed and new languages were formed or on the bank of a swamp where drawls were created telling tales of legend in broken english.

i guess all the history that drew me to it wasnt swept away and drowned in Ms. Katrinas wet wrath. and its still going to be there, in a velvet vest that stinks of whiskey and a ghost in the basement of an old plantation house. its just i realized just how much we would lose if there was no more Big Easy. and just how much the people that lived there have lost already. and how the city is empty save for the disease left from decomposing bodies. and how some people couldnt leave because everything they know and everything they have lived is right there in that city entwined in the fabric of its history and in the music and in the soil and boiling in a pot with some crab and shrimp and cajun seasonings and the surrender to such great loss is like the sun breaking apart before your eyes, or something else thats too impossible to understand.

and i just saw an old man brteak into tears as his home sunk beneath the sea that is now downtown New Orleans and it breaks my heart that it happened and it breaks my heart that there isnt anything i or anyone else can do.

tony had some words about the coverage of this wreckage, which i entirely agree with. i know sometimes my blog leans towards the maudlin at times and the adolecent at others and if i ended it tomorrow not one person would notice or care; but if we woke up one day and Naw'lins wasnt there the whole world would cry and thats simply the truth.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.