Still in Louisiana. It’s lovely and calming here, even if perhaps by default. I’m spending some, if I may say, rather quality time with my grandparents, maybe even the best time I’ve ever spent with them. Or, maybe I just feel closer to them than ever. Or, maybe I don’t have them forever and I know it more and more as time passes. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Not that any of that matters; what matters is that the time here is excellent.

I don’t have a ton to report, simply because we mostly sit together and eat and drink iced tea and talk– the good old days, the less-good old days, the days ahead, the days far off, elections, heath, insurance, houses, homes, cities, countrysides, cats, music, ancestors, gardens, flowers, stupidity, jokes, outrageous gossip, hypothesis, lawns, real estate, home decor, sleep, nerve, class, race, marriage, leftovers, salad, iced tea, recipes, road trips, writing, books, celebreality shows, PBS, laziness, the greatest generation, entitlement, fear, joy, wishes, taste, mobile phones, web apps, internet access, farms, zipper peas, humidity and hair.

I’m tired. It’s late, but I know I owe a crazy-long update post.

When I last updated, I was in NOLA. I’d met up with the darling Miss Quoted and we slinked around the Garden District, and Marigny and spied on old landmarks and haunted places and places that washed away at various points, and a quite good gin and tonic was had at one of the barely-open-for-it-was-rather-late Copeland’s places, of Anne Rice v. Copeland fame, followed by a bit of their outrageous banana-cream-something-cheesecake followed by more slinking around and more spying on old landmarks and haunted places.

Anyway, the giant check was delivered and smilingly received. Lunch with NOPL Foundation’s Mary Hogan and Ron Biava at Muriel’s in the French Quarter was delightful as could only be the case with such excellent company and as is always the case at Muriel’s— Please note the recipes on their website. Also, be sure to eat a tomato at this place, which is easy enough to do with their colorful and elegant presentations, as their tomatoes are easily some of the finer. Anyway, lunch was a delight and you’ll be hearing much more from me, to be sure, about NOPL.

After, I walked and wrote my head off. Something in New Orleans stirs this and I’m not about to ignore it. I write so much in New Orleans, for reasons only the city could possibly know, and so I walked and wrote, took on one of my favorite eggplant po’boys with Crystal hotsauce from Chartres House Cafe and wrote five pages as I ate. Poor Momma’s Boy, so far away in Chicago, has yet to experience all that is New Orleans. I can’t wait to show him around; I know he’ll love it and have fun there. That’ll be the next trip….

Then, it was to Flanagan’s with the very fabulous, entertaining, sharp, aware and hilarious Seide, whom I adore, where we crossed paths a few gin and tonics into the evening with some very cool friends of hers, and stayed out entirely too late. But, I woke up early, maybe just before sunrise, and wrote again, then napped, then took off, stopping through some of the harder hit and still-unrepaired parts of New Orleans and was shocked to find them still worse– bad for being so badly hit, worse for being left to rot. Truly. And the feeling in the neighborhood was palpably differnet, too. I’m going to have to think of how to describe that just right. It felt complicated and angry, a far cry from the screwed but hopeful I’d last seen.

I arrived in Jackson and met up with the one and only Mr. Matt Staggs and his totally cool wife, Meg, and they so wonderfully showed me a little of Jackson, and treated me to very delicious quiche and balsamic mesculin greens at a lovely cafe below the Lemuria Bookstore, and I had the best time chatting with them about books, writers, the book industry, horror flicks, and all sorts of things. Sadly, we had to part ways much to soon.

So, I drove west-ish, and back deep into Louisiana, with a good part of the drive away from the lights of the highways and just my headlights to lead as I sang along to Cash’s Folsom Prison live recording. Finally, late, I arrived at my grandparents’ joint.

And that about brings us up to now.

The sunsets here are undocumentable and indescribable. The skies go peach and gold and peek across fields of crops and through mossy-droopy trees and the sounds of swamps and fields and woods hum in a way I may not ever be able to describe well-enough.

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