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Ghosts, Graveyards and Cypress Knees


USA | Monday, 1 June 2015 | Views [310]

I was possessed by swamp demons, held captive by the souls of New Orleans - a city where even the ghosts exist with a sheen of sweat on their countenance.  This city - brick and iron smattered with cement and steel - has a pulse so ancient, it’s a wonder that the spirit of nature’s underbelly survives here; but it does.  The energy of the bayous waft up from the small cracks in the sidewalk, helped along by vangaurd of weeds, carried to my nose by a mixture of the best and worst smells of humanity.  The heat is all consuming and each drop of sweat condenses generations of gritty revolution or hedonism - which one, my mind unable to entirely decipher the difference - into pools and rivers across my skin.  It was in this state somewhere between ecstasy and heat stroke that I was hauled, rather unceremoniously with my an elbow to the gut - out of a street intersection just a glimpse before two SUVs screeched and merged into one smoking, cussing pile of dented metal and middle fingers.

My minor brush with death only elevated the experience of divinely inspired recklessness for both myself and my traveling comrade.  We wandered, entranced by buskers, through the streets noting every character along our journey.  Taking smiles from the man playing his water glasses - his fingers singing notes that they have committed to memory, but pour into our ears for the first time.  Giving quarters to the drummers who keep time and maintain the boundary between the River and the Land.  Our treasure map lead us past graffitied landmarks, dive-bars - with the best crawfish in town - and a mural crawling with creatures from “Where the Wild Things Are” which seemed both fitting and markedly out of place.  New Orleans was a city of kissing against wrought iron fences; and of too much coffee and of sunflowers that glowed defiant against the heat mirages that roll the length of each street, the ghosts of cars.

Tags: french quarter, gutter-punk, louisiana, near-death, new orleans, street kid

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