Friday, November 6, 2009

Rainclouds and Cigarettes: NOLA


I backed the van into a parked car today.

The New Orleans morning met us warmly with coffee, cigarettes, and sweet Greek biscuits. We spent the day wandering around dirty business districts, reinvigorated post-Katrina. While browsing a guitar store, we were witness to a car wreck as a burgundy pick-up sailed through a red light and smashed into a yellow Volkswagen. For the next few moments, the scene was pure spectacle; people hugging and crying, gasoline pouring from the Bug and collecting against the curb, smoke and shattered glass and confusion. All the while, an older man sat outside the guitar shop, spraypainting several PA speakers and trying his best to remain impatiently oblivious to the drama about him, framed in metal and splintered fiberglass and noise.

The afternoon was spent lazily at Jason's house. Jason, an old acquaintance of Harry's, resembled a hip, gracious Danzig. He gave us espresso and red wine, and we smoked marijuana out of a leopard-print pipe.

I worked door at the bar, arguing with drunks and a persistent little asshole from Holland. Afterwards, fortified with several free beers, we headed carefully back to Harry's parents' house, where we ate turkey sandwiches and drunkenly discussed exactly what was wrong in that farcical world of smoke and mirrors known as American politics, a world where the bottom line is the infallible dollar, and the price too often paid for with the blood and sweat of the caste of ignorance. Rights, as we perceive them, as "free citizens", are just solid lines drawn through and around the godlike potential we've been blessed with since our privileged births. Ignorance is our greatest obstacle, save perhaps fear, though any enlightened individual can surely see that fear and ignorance are hand-in-hand, disguised as silver bangles, wards against those who would dare threaten our vague notions of liberty and security, and that ultimately serve solely as shackles.

Houston tomorrow. We leave early. I hate Texas.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

I read this. Thought you oughta know.