Can we make this a thing? I want to make this a thing. I want to be able to say, "Get into Princeton Law School? That's about as easy as turning left in New Orleans." Or, even better, "That girl's as pretty as a fleur de lis, sweet as bread pudding, and as easy to get with as turning left in New Orleans."
Yeah, I guess it's kind of a long shot. I was thinking about it this afternoon, as I drove to the Pelican Thrift store on Carrolton and Tulane. My next stop was to Family Dollar to buy a shelf for the bathroom. Family Dollar is on Canal and Broad, hardly a long drive from Pelican Thrift, but as I turned right on Tulane, I found (which shouldn't have been such a surprise to me) that I couldn't turn left on any cross streets. Of course I couldn't. New Orleans has taken a page from New Jersey in the U-turn department. So what should have been a ten minute drive turned to almost thirty as I ended up in the Central Business District and almost got funneled Uptown on Camp. As I hit Canal, thinking about recent upsetting events, I could only think, "Getting over you is as easy as turning left in New Orleans."
"That's why we ride bikes," Tina said when she got home. She seemed to think making that saying a thing was a good idea.
Things move slowly, and with patience. The boxes are still packed, sitting in the corner of my new room, waiting to be released. I moved in a week ago with Tina, into the upstairs unit of a shotgun on Dauphine. There are five cats including Leonard now, and he's adjusting well. Tina's not had a room mate in probably two years so I take this with patience as well - the sewing table is still in my room, so I can't get a mattress yet. I sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag. That is, when I'm not at work.
There have been many conversations about goings on, in bars and in the kitchen. Most of them are comforting, but I have to turn my thoughts away from assuming anything. Things are moving because the season is moving. It was almost sixty degrees yesterday but today it's down to forty again. Things will swing back and forth - the warm days making me fantasize about starting seeds. Marigolds and hollyhocks, four-o'clocks and chard, rhubarb and peas. There's an empty lot in the neighborhood that Tina once fashioned into a community garden, and I still see neighbors walking over to it, taking clippings of greens that have germinated and grown wild. Any day now will be planting time, and the gardens of summer will come soon enough.
Lonnie says it'll freeze until after Mardi Gras. I'll be on the riverboats and in restaurants and trying to stay busy. I'll be having a 7 and 7 while I do my laundry, waiting for things to change. There isn't much else I can do. The turn of seasons is inevitable and I can only move with it. Along with everything else, I have to abide. Thinking too much hasn't gotten me very far in this world. Agonizing only sets me back. Although it should be said that I am damn good at agonizing over the smallest thing.
But there are a lot of mantras I find myself repeating. Other than, "easy as turning left in New Orleans," and even apart from humming Irish drinking songs while serving sangria on the riverfront, there's one that I find myself coming back to. It's this song that happens to last exactly as long as it takes to drive over the I-10 bridge from New Orleans East to Slidell, that'd be over the Ponchartrain. I wonder if the folks over at the radio station know that. It's a pretty song, sad and lovely, with mandolins. When I was in high school, it used to make me dream of living in one of those flat-facade, high-windowed buildings on Decatur. The whole song is so lonely and sweet, but the bridge speaks to me constantly,
"What thoughts can I call allies, when this circle of ribs keeps working on it's own?"