Big Easy’s First Lesson

New Orleans. This place finds creative ways of welcoming you. To the careful observer, she weaves her lessons into unsuspected moments of the day. She holds history in her cracked sidewalks, her houses reclaimed by nature, her schizophrenic thunderstorms, her regular before-dawn drunkards, and the ghosts who wander her streets, making sure their stories are not forgotten.

She hunched over her bike, sweat being to trickle down her face as she wrestled with the lock. A large backpack was precariously balancing over her right shoulder slowly slipping down, a not so subtle reminder of the class she was increasingly late for. Panic increased her uncoordinated jabbing motions to get the lock in place.

Something caused her to look up. An old man walking towards her was watching. As he passed his slow twangy southern accent sang out, “take your time baby, take your time.”

“I know but I’m late!” she laughed back anxiously. There was no response as he kept walking. She looked down at her bike, put her backpack down, and stood up.

“That is exactly the reminder I needed to hear right now,” she said as she took a deep breath.

Weightlessly, effortlessly, she bent down, locked her bike, and grabbed her bag. She turned to say “thank you” to the old man but he had disappeared.

So she head to class, remember to move slowly and take her time.

Warm Welcome to New Orleans

Its my second week in New Orleans, a city that greeted me with its favorite nickname “baby,” pot-holed roads, tree tethered pigs, blue jello shots in syringes, and a below sea level southern heat that gives a new understanding of the term “swamp-ass”.

Swimming through the hot wet air of new orleans with my bicycle as my fins, the 5 minute bike ride to class feels like swimming through a river of hot honey, so sickly sweet it reminds you that honey is just glorified bee vomit. There is no way to forget that, as there is no way to arrive at your destination without having a sweat stain appear somewhere on you; hopefully you have learned by now not to wear grey, which advertises your awkward sweating patterns, cute bras that will stain from being constantly soaked, structured pants threatening severe heat rash, or any makeup besides lipstick as it is the only thing that won’t leak a color palette down your face.

First few lessons down.