Monday, June 13, 2011

Haunted City

Just as at home, I love having the streets to myself after a night of carousing. Late night is one of the only times a girl gets to contemplate the planet to herself. In Mpls its tearing around the corners of downtown on my bike long after the corporate set has retired to the suburbs. In Mexico, its when the tide and the sand and the moon and me converge. It seems impossibly serene, and its when I'm most happy. Here, it happens less, but for long moments it can be just you and the Quarter. Judging from the throngs of people taking in the "haunted New Orleans tour" I'm not the only one to find things spooky magical this way.

A feral cat, instead of bounding away at the noise of your presence, looks you in the eye and then saunters around a streetlamp to follow you with her gaze as you pass. Just then, a gust of wind comes up to stir the fallen leaves, the magnolia and whatever those drooping, fragrant purple flowers are. You pass a courtyard with a naked lady fountain in the center that makes your heart swell, it's so lovely. You think that if you were to look out at that for all of your life, you could be happy for the remainder of your mortal days.

But just as your reverie is coming into its own, just as your hair is about to stand on end, some fool in a pink shirt turns the corner and you realize you're not alone at all. It's you, the pink shirt guy, and your hunger. It's late, so you dip into the cash-only, open 24 hours Verti Marte, where they sell suspicious prepared foods, overpriced bottles of wine, and chips. You settle on a bag of Zapps, and head home.

More haunted magic will head your way tomorrow.

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