Tag Archives: sidewalks

It’s What You Make of It

Brain chemistry is a strange bird. I’ve heard it said that life is pretty much what you make of it. I think life is what your brain chemistry says it is. Can I change my chemistry. I don’t know. It’s working fine today so I don’t want it to change. The damn thing changes of its own accord at inconvenient intervals. For today, walking down the sidewalk in New Orleans I look around at the gnarled old tree roots, feel the sun on my back and legs. Warm and caressing, not a care in the world.

Graffiti on the walls speaks of self-expression and mischief. Musty smells like this only happen in the deep south. Leaves, beer, Spanish moss, mildew, sassafras, smoked sausage, anisette, red beans. Wisps of music seeping from open windows and passing cars. This sidewalk walked by creative souls, lost souls, sinners, drunks, tourists and the soul-less alike.

In another frame of mind or in the middle of the night this same street could horrify me. God only knows what went on here only hours ago. Someone may have been murdered on this very spot. I wonder if Anne Rice cooked up her vampires walking on this very strip of ground. Late at night maybe, what a wicked and delicious thought. In the sunlight this innocent strip of sidewalk still has character. Cracked, scarred, uprooted by trees, carved by kids, chunked by cars skidding out of control, collapsed in spots, scraped by garbage cans. This sidewalk looks lived in. Well lived, terribly lived, passionate, squandered, reborn, repaved and destroyed again.

What thoughts walked down this street? The mundane, the inspired, those beyond madness. The old, the young, the in between. The know it alls , the clueless, those making statements, people throwing beads just for the fun of it. Who needs a Mardi Gras parade as an excuse. Yes, I do know what it means to miss New Orleans.

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