Monday, July 04, 2005

New Orleans slip sliding away

I traveled quite a bit last week. I went from Houston
to dallas to midland to houston, then to New orleans. It's
kind of neat to see the changes in climate and topography,
as houston blurs slightly into dallas, then the world shifts
to brown in midland, where everything is dry. Then back
over to new orleans where all is green.

Landing in new orleans is like landing in the tropics, like
east venezuela, except the cars are newer. If you fly in over
the swamps of St Charles Parish, on the north facing side of
the aircraft all you can see is the lake and the interstate bridge.
You might think "we're gonna crash in the swamp, arrrgghh",
then suddenly you're down on the bumpy subsided runway.

It's better if you come in over the river and land on the north
-south runway. Lots of rusty tin roofs, and the dilapidated
housing of south kenner makes it look very tropical. So once
you step out of the air conditioned airport, the heat and
humidity hit like a wall, and the musky swampy air surrounds
you and forces it's way down into your lungs, and you think
"gee, there was no musky air invading my lungs in Midland",
and you know you're in a different place.

I grew up here, so the shabby sinking buildings and the heavy
swamp smell seem downright homey. But as I ride past my old
high school on the interestate, the sign advertising my 20 year
class reunion jars me out of my swampy reflections and makes
me think how short life is, tempus fucking fugits. One day you're
young, next day you're old. Instead of the old pagan gods, we now
have're life is half over...bam!

Luckily, a couple of bud lights and a trout almandine at Ditcharos,
along with watching my coworker trying to order the most top-shelf
margarita possible from the very hot but dense waitress cheered
me out of my age induced funk.


Blogger Heather said...

I love New Orleans and want to go back soon. I bet it was nice growing up there.

9:07 PM  

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