Way Hey, New Orleans! The scintillating siren of semi-colons and sauciness has returned to the embrace of your moist folds! (Note: There should be a semi-colon in semi-colon. Not a dash. It’s just embarrassing. Like someone who advertises for Ivory soap blatantly using Irish Spring.)
I am super bummed to be back for the following reasons.
1.) It is not cold here. Turns out I feel very very powerful in the winter, in the cold specifically. Up in Minneapolis, I was polite and pleasant about the 35 to 45 Fahrenheit range but it was only when we got below 20 degrees that I started to scream into the wind. And that’s a good thing. Sorry, might not be clear. Me screaming into the wind is like a dog having a cold damp nose. On other beings, it might be a cause for concern, but when you see me do it, you give a thumbs up and a smile and say to yourself, “Gosh, she’s doing alllllright.”
2.) I was living alone in Minneapolis. My partner is friendly and pleasantly warm from being full of living blood (note: never describe him that way in front of him) but I surely to God hate to wake up next to any living thing. I like to fall asleep next to him, hate to wake up by him. It makes my thoughts go all compact and wodgey. Also, he demands respect and insists that as a human being, I shouldn’t force him to stay completely still while I put cat treats on his thighs, collarbone and elbows. I think this is unreasonable, because how else am I going to get him a handcrafted cat massage? He says he doesn’t want a cat massage, he wants to go about his day. I start crying, which I now realize may be a slight overreaction to not getting to give someone a cat based massage first thing in the morning.
3.) This is sort of a footnote to the above. In Minneapolis, there is no one who is either close enough to me, or not sufficiently scared of my vengeance to tell me I’m doing something wrong. In New Orleans there are lots of people who tell me I’m doing things wrong and I hate it.
4.) Cafes. This one is EXTREMELY petty, but pertinent to me because I’m engaged in a writing project. Up in the old frozen north, there has been a renaissance (naissance? just a naissance.) of pastry. Kouign amanns (folded sugar dough mouth-heroin), croissants, pull-aparts, Danishes that broke the mold when they left the old country, all these things are in the meanest and most paltry of cafes. In New Orleans, home of Actual French Descendants, I gnaw sadly on sugar covered bread roll.
5.) i.e. Probably The Real Reason. This is where my life is. When I’m somewhere else, where My Life is on hold, I feel better. Less afraid. Less battered by the imminent future, by the things I’m doing and failing to do, by the person I ought to be (which is who exactly?). I don’t know who that person is, but she definitely doesn’t cry because she can’t give her husband an unwanted cat massage.
When good things happen to me, people ask me if I’m happy about it. Or tell me they’re happy for me. And I have learned to nod and say yes, I am happy. But I don’t really know what that means. I know the glorious, bloody feeling of victory. I know the emptiness of peace. I know the muscle ache of laughter with my brother. I know the rushing voracious hole of anxiety. I know the awful wave of Being Wrong.
And all of that is fine! The only really nasty one is not feeling ‘happy’ and thinking you ought to!
So, no. I’m not happy to be home. And that’s okay.