Whalehead King on midnight patrol.
I don't usually post rough drafts or even finished drafts of my other endeavors, recent evidence notwithstanding. Nevertheless, I'm working on something that is on par with what I used to do in New London, Conn. and I'm wondering if my local readers find this interesting or even accurate. I enjoy writing this stream-of-consciousness way, letting one word suggest the next and one sentence suggest the next. Maybe it's dull stuff but I enjoy writing it and I enjoy reading it aloud. It used to be my bread and butter. I have yet to find an open mike in New Orleans for the written word as opposed to musicians, but once I've finished this piece I'd like to give it a public tryout. How is it so far? Have I lost my touch?
New Orleans. When the rain stops falling, the sun shines. The sky can pour down on a sunny day with raindrops spattering off the bands of rainbows. New Orleans. Don’t get your hopes down and keep your umbrella handy. Stock up on galoshes and rubber protection. The Wet Grave, the American Sodom, the Most Unique City in the World...when you are in New Orleans, you can’t predict the weather. You can only predict your disposition. The dimples around a grin mirror a pair of upraised thumbs. Care and the Devil may visit New Orleans but Hope makes its home here.
There’s a big, muddy river on one side and there is a big, crystal, blue expanse of lakefront on the other. Between the two there are vistas that will whet your appetite and break your heart. New Orleans is prone to flooding. There are floods of tears shed in both sorrow and joy. You receive a measure more than you bargained for when you spelunk down New Orleans’ streets. There are more than four corners, there are more than five points. A compass isn’t reliable. Navigating New Orleans requires the experience of a sailor used to Fate’s caprice. Snap a chalk line and you’ll end up in chocolate.
The heat won’t kill you in New Orleans though the humidity might make you wilt. New Orleans makes lifelong friends in weather both fair and foul. Once you’ve been cooked, you’re done; your button is popped, ready to be pressed. Stewed in your own juices, simmering in your own brew, New Orleans offers rich, fragrant gravy. If hunger makes the best sauce, New Orleans piles up smorgasbord temptations. Eat heartily, drink heartily, New Orleans will starve a cold, feed a fever, and slake the most withering thirst.
A cornucopia of overripe fruit, a spice rack stocked with packed apothecary jars, a green grocery with groaning shelves, a kitchen in which the cook cannot stop cooking like a mad fiddler in a fairy circle, a tangled grid of streets laid out like an enchanted spider’s web that has trapped more surprises than a pedestrian can imagine; New Orleans is anything but dull. A riot of color and noise is choreographed by an invisible maestro into Arts, Music, Abundance, Humanity, Law, Annunciation, Benefit, Desire, Felicity, Sage and Liberty, all of which are New Orleans street names.
I tend to fill a page with this kind of free association meandering. I'm about three quarters of the way through and it needs some revision and cutting once the end comes into focus. I see some changes need to made, more words, more meandering words.... I'll go back and pretty it up, complicate it, and maybe ruin it. Right now I'm pushing around 400 words. 500 ought to do the job.
Please feel free to leave comments in the 'Comments.' This is a work in progress but at this point I'd like to know if it rings true, not only to visitors but also to citizens. If you know of an open mike for writers, I'd appreciate if you commented on that as well.
Thank you for your indulgence.