Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to New Orleans

New Orleans is calling out to me like a siren's song, tempting me with her striking, ancient beauty with promises of a glimpse of something special, something supernatural. I don't know what it is, this feeling, but I felt something like it after I left the city. Once home, I had this feeling in my gut that I had just lost a friend, abandoned a sibling. And I say this with the utmost sincerity. I truly missed walking along St Charles Ave or Bourbon Street. Sitting in Cafe Du Monde or the Garden District Book Store or sitting on the banks of the Mississippi. The food, the smells, the architecture, but there was something more. It was feeling that underneath all of that fiction there was something in New Orleans that transcends this reality. There was a child-like hope that things that go bump in the night exist, here.

The very first New Orleanian we conversed with was at our hotel on St Charles Ave, and he implored us not to touch the cats, for they would steal our souls, trapping us inside a feline eternity, if we so much as pet them. Now, this pissed me off. How could someone be so mean as to tell such a ridiculous story and keep strangers and tourists from petting adorable, hungry cats? And how ridiculous still it was for me not to pet the cat, for fear that his story was actually true! But this was New Orleans, I told myself quietly, and heeded his words.

That cat, a cute, kind black cat (go figure) was at the foot of the door step every moment I opened it. And I fed him milk every chance I got. But I did not once lay a finger on his soft fur...