Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #206

Ah, New Orleans. As this photo shows, the city is filled with many examples of lavish, exquisite architecture in the most unexpected places. Who wouldn’t enjoy walking out onto what, in other cities, would simply be a mundane, unexceptional balcony on a modest townhome, and instead finding this treasure of extravagance. Unfortunately, since this is New Orleans, this is also what many victims of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau were gazing upon before a summoned demon threw their asses onto the quaint cobblestones below. You win some, you lose some, but the city still offers the best fried-oyster po’boys that you’ve ever shoved in your mouth and-

Marie, tapping me on the shoulder: “Excuse me.”

Me: “How the hell did you get past my security?”

Marie: “Your security? Child, surely you don’t mean that mangy cat named Scotch who hissed at me when I opened your front door usin’ just my mind.”

Me: “Maybe.”

Marie, waving a hand: “Honey, that cat don’t have nothin’ on me. I took care a him. Looks like you done tried to take care a him before, cause he ain’t got no balls and that’s why he hissin’. He don’t forget.”

Me: “Took care of him? Are you saying that you…”

Marie: “Naw, I didn’t put him down. I just put a curse on him, made him go in another room and think about gettin’ revenge for the berry pluckin’. Tit for tat, Momma always said.”

Me: “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

Marie: “Course not. You a white boy from Oklahoma. But you might wanna keep one eye open tonight.”

Me: “I don’t really care for what you’re trying to imply about my background.”

Marie: “Welcome to the club. And I don’t really care for this little story you writin’. I’m a Voodoo Queen. And you makin’ fun of voodoo queens. Do you understand what voodoo means?”

Me: “Maybe.”

Marie: “No you don’t. You shouldn’t piss off a voodoo queen. Just look at Kim Jong Un. She mad.”

Me: “Well, you’re supposed to be dead, so I didn’t think it would matter.”

Marie: “Voodoo queens never really die. Just look at Margaret Thatcher, her mess still hangin’ around all these years later. And why you have me talkin’ all ghetto and shifty? You ain’t doin’ that with your other characters.”

Me: “Actually, if you’d bother to read some of my posts instead of just clicking ‘like’ and then moving on to the next-”

Marie: “I do read your posts. Ain’t nobody white got an accent. Except you, Oklahoma Boy. You done ripped the twang out a your hick-ass words, soundin’ like you from England and sittin’ on the dang throne. Ain’t nobody buyin’ that mess, clodhopper. You all full a pretense and misdirection, just like the Fox News and the NRA.”

Me: “Look, it’s 12:52am and I’m past the point where I normally make a new post. 73 percent of the people who started reading this bit have stopped reading and gone on to greater things. How can we wrap this up so I don’t look like a racist and you don’t look like someone who is pointing fingers at other people instead of accepting responsibility for their own nasty actions. Just like Donald Trump.”

Marie: “Rewrite the story.”

Me: “But I spent a lot of time getting us to this point and-”

Marie: “Do it!”

Me: “Fine”

Ah, New Orleans. As this photo shows, the city is filled with many examples of unexpected treasures, if only you take the time to get beyond the preconceptions and embrace diversity. Just like it should be everywhere in America, regardless of the accent. I’m done with all this anger and hollerin’ and pointin’ and lyin’ and pure meanness, ‘specially with some a them there MAGA politicians up in Washington. You’re supposed to represent The People, not your hatred and self-lovin’. What the hell is wrong with you? There was a time when your ass would be thrown in jail for the smack comin’ outta your mouth and-

Marie, tapping me on the shoulder: “Honey, I smell what you’re cookin’ and I respect what you got in the pot. I’ve been feelin’ that boil for a long time. But settle down. Frustration is good, but the power comes from controllin’ it, not unleashin’ it all at once. Let’s try this again. Less Oklahoma, less throne, somewhere in between.”

Ah, New Orleans. This city is filled with a million colors. As is this country, as is the world. And only one of them is white. When are we going to learn that no single color is any more important than the others? When will this country learn that until we fully see the rainbow in all its majestic glory, the rain will never end.

Marie: “Better. A little bit precious, but better. How about I sit down with you and we’ll fix it up, together. You got any coffee on the stove? And maybe some fried oysters? You get a little peckish when you’re over 200 years old.”

I did have, and I shared both, and Me and the Voodoo Queen worked late into the night…

Previously published. Revised and extended for this post.

28 replies »

  1. That was hilarious! In the beginning. Your rant was exceptional. And I love how the voodoo queen lost all her swagger and the two of you sat down together. If only the world could… Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you’ll see her, in a way. Her memory is all over the place, especially in the French Quarter. Have you been before? If not, the one thing I would suggest is to stay away from the “touristy” sections. (Like that mess you’ll find on the “Upper” end of Bourbon Street.) Wander off into the lesser-traveled sections of the Quarter and just breathe in the charming, whimsical, eclectic atmosphere…

      I won’t bore you with further details, in case you’re a former or frequent visitor to ‘Nawlins. But if you have any questions, I probably have some of the answers. I love that city…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t kill me….or sick the voodoo queen on me…but…New Orleans is one of those places I don’t understand why anyone would go there on purpose. I remember horse poop being all over the street…oh, and buying a fire extinguisher from two guys who were robbing a store. (I didn’t realize it at the time.) But as usual…a fun read! 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I remember that you’re not a fan of New Orleans, so it’s all good. I also remember your fire extinguisher story, mainly because I forced you to tell it to me at one point. (I can be pushy, fully admit it.) But like I said then and I’m saying now, you just have to go with the right people. Because when you do, it’s a delicious experience…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, wise one. You’re right…(and you can smile.) I forget to try to imagine what things would have, should have, or could have been…if I have experienced them with someone who allowed anything to outweigh his own self interest. (But I would have still hated the horse poop.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. In all the time I lived in Louisiana, I never made it to New Orleans..I learned enough in Lake Charles to know who not to mess with..and to stay off balconies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All my knowledge of New Orleans is formed by the TV show, ‘Treme’, the ‘Live and Let Die’ James Bond film and your posts. I shall have to go one day to see if that’s been a pretty good mix of sources.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect that you would rather enjoy the visit, if I may be so bold. You seem to be as eclectic as I am, and New Orleans is all about eclecticism. I would also add the movie “Red” to your viewing pursuits, as it contains a violent car-chase montage that resolves itself at an intersection in the French Quarter that is right outside the tiny hotel where we always stay whilst visiting NOLA. If you freeze the movie just right, you might spot me standing on the sidewalk, clutching a beignet and discreetly wetting myself over having been nearly killed during the frenzy… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love New Orleans and was fortunate my youngest son spent four years in school there and provided many excuses for us to visit. Unfortunately many of the excuses revolved around his inability to attend class and graduate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds a bit tragic and disappointing, but I can certainly understand the allure of New Orleans disrupting an educational path. After all, I dropped out of college in Tulsa because I felt I needed to go find myself in any place that wasn’t Tulsa… 😉


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