29 July 2004


I’ve read that New Orleans is a beautiful city to live in. They sure weren’t writing about the New Orleans that I see every day. The smell of used cigarette smoke and car fumes‚ sometimes mixed with rotting seafood—the remains of some of yesterday’s tourists’ dinner. Trash filling the corners and cracks. Dogs wandering the streets trying to be invisible. Praying for food and water and shade. Homeless sitting in the heat on overturned buckets holding a please help me my children are starving god bless you sign. Needing money‚ but not bad enough to exert any effort at it. Or maybe enough people ignored them that they decided to make it easier.

Dead. That’s what the city looks like in real life. Used up and discarded. Hostile. Enough people everywhere‚ but like they know better than to look at you when you walk past and definately don’t expect a smile or a wave. They write city of the dead‚ and that feels right to me. But I know they don’t mean what I do by it.

That’s what I like about words and pictures. You can make it whatever you want. You can take a sad hell of a place and make it beautiful. Romantic. And people believe you unless they already know better. Maybe if I didn’t live here so long‚ then I would see with different eyes. Maybe.

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