The South has always haunted me, and rightfully so because it’s where I grew up. The dreams taste bittersweet and sludge through my electric metropolitan brain like slow molasses covering the Earth. While I walk through the city blocks of Chicago, flashes of kudzu and humid nights rise up into my swimming dreams like steam erupting from potholes in the empty city streets of my head. These reveries of the South do not carry the concrete visions of Atlanta nor the banjo twangs of Athens. They whisper memories of Spanish moss caught in the tangles of lonely street lights and jazz of Savannah, Georgia… they silently sputter a cough into my ear of jittering flashbacks of Charleston, South Carolina’s soft ocean… they briefly mention a quaint memory of soft architecture of Mobile, Alabama. All of these cities are whispering sisters eating at the table of southern life, and yet.. in these memories, none of them sit as boldly in their chair as New Orleans.
New Orleans does not whisper in my ear, but croons from a far. She is a blues singer covered in the soft historical darkness of cigarette smoke and perfume. She is flashy on the outside, covered in the beads that are thrown off her balcony to the people who drunkenly visit her. She is a coquette who winks and carries the smirk that curves like the twisting veins of a french horn. To tourists she is a natural bon vivant, but to those that live within her… know that beyond the cash and crowds of lotus eaters, she carries the weight of her own history.